Wednesday, 10 August 2016

REVIEW: Daler Rowney Aquafine Travel Set

I recently I totally got back into watercolour mixed media art and the crappy kids palette from Asda just wouldn't cut it anymore!

So I decided to invest in student grade materials and the first thing that caught my eye was the various sets from Daler Rowney Aquafine range. I find these are pretty hard to come by in the shops; they all seem to sell Winsor Newton Cotman sets or the Aquafine tubes but not sets or pans? I ordered this one off Amazon for about £10.

There are several Aquafine sets, but this 18 half pan set really took my fancy. It also comes with a short Aquafine Round 4 brush - excellent for detailed work in my adult colouring in books! I like it has a see through plastic card to tell you what the colours are as well.

But nothing beats putting paint to paper so I did a swatch sheet for this to show you the colours that came in my set. The colours are definitely a good selection but I would have preferred if the Ivory Black had been a Permanent Rose or Mauve instead but that's just me and the fact I paint botanicals. I may try and swap the black out from its well...

Daler Rowney Aquafine 18 half pan travel set

The colours are lusciously translucent yet highly pigmented! Being student grade some of the more expensive pigments have been substituted out for alternatives, colours indicated as 'hue', but all colours are all highly lightfast and very similar to the real deal!

Having swatched my tubes of Winsor Newton Cotman colours as well now, I definitely prefer the Aquafine solids. They have an amazing vibrancy to them and blend and bleed very well. And so portable!

I am bringing my set to Sweden for my holiday so I should have some project updates for you in the next couple of weeks on how these perform when used in Johanna Basford colouring in books and as plein air painting! I am going to dry in some Mauve and Permanent Rose from my Winsor Newton Cotman tubes in the empty blending wells for the trip to extend my colours for botanicals.

This is just a sample of a work in progress (WIP) I am doing with this travel set - just look at that colour!!

I currently use Crawford and Black Watercolour Pad, 230gsm weight watercolour paper, which you can get for a steal in The Works (it's unclear whether it's hot press or not but it is rather rough). As I am hardly a professional and do a lot of mixed media, this is an excellent paper choice for me for a variety of projects.

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