Watercolor paints are a staple for beginners and experts alike. So, irrespective of whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned artist, having a good set of watercolor paints can help you draw up a quick color sketch when you feel like it. In order to help you find the finest set of colors available in the market, we’ve put together this list of the ten best watercolor paints. Take a look through it, and see if there’s a particular set of colors that impresses you.

Watercolor Paints FAQ

Let’s first look at the answers to some of the common questions about these paints.

1. What Are Watercolor Paints?

These colors are essentially paints that are suspended in a water-based solution. They come in various formats like tubes, bottles, and solidified cakes embedded in pans. Irrespective of the format they come in, they need to be mixed with water in order to enable them to spread out on the painting surface. Watercolors are most often used on paper and, less frequently, on canvas.

2. What Can Watercolor Paints Be Used For?

Watercolor paints are best used for creating small sketches and colored drawings. They are great for beginners who are in the process of learning the art of blending different colors to create newer shades. And although it isn’t commonly done, watercolor paints can also be used for larger drawings.

3. How Do You Choose The Best Watercolor Paints?

Some of the factors you need to consider when you’re looking for the best watercolor paints include the quality of the colors, the intensity of the pigments, the ease with which they can be blended, and the format in which they come.

4. Where Can You Buy The Best Watercolor Paints?

You can find the best watercolor paints in an art-supply store, a local stationery shop, or in a departmental store. You could also purchase them from online marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, and Target.

red watercolor and brush

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How We Reviewed The Best Watercolor Paints

In order to help you pick the best watercolor paints in the market, we searched several online marketplaces and stationery outlets to find the most popular watercolor paints available. We then evaluated several painting kits on the basis of multiple parameters like the vibrancy of the colors used, the quality of the paints, the kind of packaging they come in, the level of permanence, and their lightfastness. Having thus weighed out the many options, we proceeded to pick the ten best watercolor paints to prepare this list.

Overall Price Range Of The Best Watercolor Paints

The price range of the best watercolor paints may vary from as low as $40 for a pack of 20 or more colors to as high as $80 for a pack of 10 colors. The price depends primarily on the type of packaging used, the kind of sources used to obtain the pigments in the paints, and the overall quality of the paints. The higher-priced variants tend to blend better and last longer on paper, while the cheaper variants may be less intense and fade away faster.

What We Reviewed

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Winsor & Newton Professional Water Colour Compact Set

SHINHAN Professional Watercolor Paint

Watercolor Paint Set by Crafts 4 All

Daveliou Watercolor Paint Set

Colore Watercolor Painting Kit

Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colour Paint Sketchers' Pocket Box

DANIEL SMITH 285610005 Extra Fine Essentials Introductory Watercolor

Sennelier La Petite Aquarelle Watercolor Paint Set

Holbein Wc W405 Set Of 24 5Ml Tubes

M. Graham GRM-33-10SET Intermediate 10-Color Watercolor Paint Set

Winsor & Newton Professional Water Colour Compact Set

Features

With 14 half pans of professional hues, this set offers some of the best watercolor paints on the market. The pack is tight, pocket-sized, and lightweight, and the selection of paints includes a warm and a cool shade for each of the basic colors. The set also comes with a one-series 16-sable brush, and the case offers several mixing surfaces in addition to a sliding palette. The pigments are brilliant and transparent and are rated AA or A on the permanence scale, meaning that the colors will remain vibrant for years.

PROS 
  • Kit is compact and travel-friendly
  • Colors are vibrant and of premium quality
  • Pointed brush is great for painting details
CONS
  • Case is of cheap quality
  • Paint pans are too closely spaced

Price: $$$

This set of watercolor paints can be purchased on Amazon for around $.

Where to Buy

Shinhan Professional Watercolor Paint

Features

This set contains 30 of the best watercolor paints for beginners and professionals alike. The pigments are pure and high-grade, and the colors are strong and transparent, making it easy to blend them together to create shades with multiple nuances. They’re also highly adhesive and lightfast, meaning that they can resist fading when exposed to light. The paints in this set are also non-toxic and take a couple of days or more to dry out on the palette. You can also easily take the compact pack along when you travel.

PROS 
  • Colors have a clean finish
  • Paints are easy to spread
  • Easy to wet again on the palette
CONS
  • Names of colors differ from most other brands
  • Packaging could be better

Price: $$

This set of watercolor paints can be purchased on Amazon for around $.

Where to Buy

Watercolor Paint Set by Crafts 4 All

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Features

For anyone who’s looking for a self-sufficient paint kit, this is one of the best watercolor paints sets. It includes 24 premium quality watercolors that are non-toxic and brilliant. The clarity is unmatched, and the colors do not fade away even when exposed to light. The kit includes three brushes to get you started with your project right away. The paints are easy to blend together, making it possible for you to create a wider range of colors to suit your needs. Above all, this set comes with a lifetime satisfaction guarantee.

PROS 
  • Excellent choice of colors
  • Ideal for wet-on-wet and wet-on-dry techniques
  • Colors blend well on paper
CONS
  • Takes a while to mix them
  • Brushes could have been better

Price: $$

This set of watercolor paints can be purchased on Amazon for around $.

Where to Buy

Daveliou Watercolor Paint Set

Daveliou Watercolor Paint Set - 24 Non-Toxic Watercolor Paints 12ml -...

Features

Easily among the best watercolor paints, these shades come in squeezable aluminum tubes that allow you to extract the colors on to the brush without mixing them with other shades. The set includes 24 non-toxic paints that can be blended together to create a range of colors right from delicate hues to strong and bold shades. The pigments are pure and hand-picked, and they do not deteriorate when left in the tube or the palette. Re-wetting them is a breeze, and the protective screw caps ensure that they are well preserved in the tube.

PROS 
  • Very reasonably priced set
  • Look great on paper
  • Wide selection of colors
CONS
  • Do not mix smoothly
  • Texture is compromised once the paints dry

Price: $$

This set of watercolor paints can be purchased on Amazon for around $.

Where to Buy

Colore Watercolor Painting Kit

Colore Watercolor Painting Kit, 24 Colors

Features

Suitable for both beginners and experts, these are some of the best watercolor paints available. They come as a set of 24 non-toxic colors that are bright, attractive, and true to their label. The paints are exceptionally transparent, making them appear authentic when painted on paper. They are also fairly permanent and can survive for a long time even when exposed to light. The pigments in the set have been carefully selected to ensure that you have all the shades necessary to create a stunning piece of art.

PROS 
  • Easy to blend
  • Good quality packaging
  • A little bit goes a long way
CONS
  • Tubes are quite small
  • Strong odors

Price: $$

This set of watercolor paints can be purchased on Amazon for around $.

Where to Buy

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Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colour Paint Sketchers' Pocket Box

Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colour Paint Sketchers' Pocket Box, Half...

Features

With a mix of basic colors set into tiny pans, this is one of the best watercolor paint sets for beginners. It comes in a plastic box that is pocket-sized and portable. The inner side of the lid features two short ridges that divide it into three compartments. These sections can be used as mixing palettes. The pack also includes a pocket-friendly brush with a thin tip that is great for adding intricate details to your painting. The pigments in the paints are derived from various sources, including organic elements.

PROS 
  • Compact pack is travel-friendly
  • Includes a tiny brush for details
  • Colors blend together beautifully
CONS
  • Pans are spaced too close together
  • Paints tend to fall out of the pan when dry

Price: $

This set of watercolor paints can be purchased on Amazon for around $.

Where to Buy

Daniel Smith 285610005 Extra Fine Essentials Introductory Watercolor

Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colour Paint Sketchers' Pocket Box, Half...

Features

With three cool colors and three warm hues, these are among the best watercolor paints for beginners. They come in compact tubes that are easy to squeeze and use. The paints blend together excellently, allowing you to mix them in various combinations and degrees to create a much wider range of colors than the one you started off with. The paints are all made in the USA and make for a fine gift for an art student in your family or a friend who likes to paint in their spare time.

PROS 
  • Highly pigmented and intense
  • Colors mix together quite smoothly
  • Premium quality paints
CONS
  • Smaller than expected
  • Paints give off an intense odor

Price: $$

This set of watercolor paints can be purchased on Amazon for around $.

Where to Buy

Sennelier La Petite Aquarelle Watercolor Paint Set

Sennelier La Petite Aquarelle Watercolor Paint Set - 24 Half Pan...

Features

Clearly one of the best watercolor paints sets for people who are looking for a portable pack of colors, this kit includes 24 shades set in half pans. Each set also comes with an elastic hand strap at the bottom which is convenient for artists who want to hold the palette of colors in one hand while painting with the other. You can simply slip your palm through the strap and hold the box in place. The inner side of the lid has multiple compartments separated by short ridges. You can use these sections to mix various colors together.

PROS 
  • Paints re-wet and mix well
  • Smooth colors that are easy to blend
  • Travel-friendly pack
CONS
  • Colors get lighter after they dry on the paper
  • Case could have been designed better

Price: $$

This set of watercolor paints can be purchased on Amazon for around $.

Where to Buy

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Holbein Wc W405 Set Of 24 5Ml Tubes

Holbein Artist's Watercolors Set of 24 5ml Tubes W405

Features

What sets these paints apart is the fact that they are ground more finely than most other watercolor paints. They’re manufactured in Japan without using ox-gall, which is an animal by-product. With 24 tubes that each come with a volume of 5 milliliters, these are worthy of being considered as the best watercolor paints for beginners. The pigments are vibrant, and the colors blend well with one another. So, you can easily mix two or more shades to create a hue that isn't available in the palette.

PROS 
  • A little bit goes a long way
  • Colors are transparent
  • Easy to re-wet and use
CONS
  • Pigments are on the lighter side
  • Tubes are quite small

Price: $$

This set of watercolor paints can be purchased on Amazon for around $.

Where to Buy

M. Graham GRM-33-10SET Intermediate 10-Color Watercolor Paint Set

M. Graham GRM-33-10SET Intermediate 10-Color Watercolor Paint Set,...

Features

Made in the USA, these are the best watercolor paints for beginners who want to start off with a small palette of colors. With only ten shades that come in compact and squeezable tubes, these paints allow you to experiment by mixing the shades in various combinations to create other colors. The unique thing about these paints is that they are made using pure gum Arabic and natural blackberry honey. This combination keeps the paints from hardening and ensures that they remain fresh in the tube.

PROS 
  • Transparency is quite good
  • Pigmentation is excellent
  • Texture is thick and creamy
CONS
  • Low mixing ability
  • Paints give off a strong odor

Price: $$$

This set of watercolor paints can be purchased on Amazon for around $.

Where to Buy

The Verdict

The colors from Crafts 4 All may just be the best watercolor paints on the market. They come in a pack of 24 vibrant colors and blend together extremely well, allowing you to create more colors to bring your painting to life. The set is also moderately priced and offers great value for money. Alternatively, if you’re interested in a pack that offers more colors, the set of 30 watercolor paints from ShinHan is an excellent choice. On the other hand, if you’re a beginner or if you’re looking for a set that offers a minimal range of colors, the pocket box from Winsor & Newton checks all the right boxes.

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