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Paints, Pans, Tubes, Pencils....
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  • QUALITY.Most manufacturers produce pigments in professional and student ranges. The professional colour will use superior quality pigment with less binder than the cheaper student range, which offers an economical alternative - ideal for beginners.

  • WATERCOLOUR PANS and HALF PANS. These are small, usually plastic containers filled with a 'cake' of prepared dry pigment. The size of these pans is not standard across manufacturers but a half pan is roughly 19mm x 15mm x 8mm. These can be bought in convenient boxes with integral mixing palettes and room for storing a brush or two, brilliant for painting on the go and individual replacements can be purchased. These are really easy to use - the colour can be simply lifted from the pan with a wetted brush and applied directly to the support. Ideal for field work and for storage if space is short.

  • WATERCOLOUR TUBES come in different sizes and are filled with moist pigment and binder. They can be bought in sets or individually. They must be stored with care to avoid drying out and must be mixed with water on a palette before use. The already moist pigment makes it easy to mix strong washes in quantity so if your work is large scale these might be the best choice.

  • GOUACHE is an opaque watercolour. It will dilute and can be used like regular watercolour but it is really designed for flat colour fields - ideal for designers etc. This is sold in tubes of various sizes.

  • WATERCOLOUR PENCILS are pencil crayons with water soluble pigment 'leads'. Generally sold in sets they are best used for small, detailed work where the depth and dynamism of traditional watercolour are not required. They are used just like regular pencil crayons but can be blended with water.

  • WATERCOLOUR STICKS are thick sticks (like pastel or chalk) of pigment and binder - they can be used, like a crayon or charcoal to draw on wet or dry paper and 'bled out' with the use of water. Useful for particular styles and techniques or to work back into traditional or mixed media work.

Buying your first paints? 
 I'd recommend a student quality small half pan set for your first purchase. Small sets usually have around 12 pigments including a cool and warm version of each primary colour - this is very important. This small starter set will do you very well and when you need to restock you'll have a good idea of what colours to buy as you progress to professional quality paints.

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