Why I love my Schmincke Horadam Watercolour travel set


In the interest of fairness I must mention that I have not tried out every other brand of watercolour available although I’ve used Sennelier, Rembrandt, Old Holland, Daniel Smith, W&N Artists and W&N Cotman paints. They are all really good quality but the main reason I like the Schmincke Horadam paint is the colours are strongly pigmented, not grainy and I can top a pan up from a tube and it will dry relatively rapidly and not run in the tin as I transport it (which isn’t the case for my sennelier paint 🙁 .. )also, some paints I’ve had in tubes have lots of gum arabic coming out before there’s any sign of colour….

For outdoor sketching I really needed something compact and light. I’d already got a tin made by Schmincke and loved the paint quality but found the tin really too heavy and not quite small enough to consider popping into a pocket, this was because there was a porcelain palette inside. It’s a great tin and I’ve squeezed six extra colours out into the spaces the tin provided but I needed to rethink this. 

For years I’d got a Winsor and Newton Cotman box, It’s perfect in terms of size and weight and although I’m definitely no connoisseur I found the paint quality a bit grainy although I couldn’t fault it in any other way and it was excellent value and did the job for me on more than one occasion. I still needed to rethink it….

I browsed, as I often do, the Jacksons Art supplies website and found a possible answer to my needs.. and boy did it fulfils the job!

Okay so here it is, It comes with 8 colours and I squeezed in another row of four to bring it up to twelve colours. The original eight were: Lemon yellow, Cadmium Red Light, Permanent Carmine, Ultramarine Finest, Prussian Blue, Permanent Green Olive, Yellow Ochre and Warm Sepia. I added Naples Yellow, Caput Mortuum, Neutral Tint and Cobalt Blue. Schmincke also provide a cards made from watercolour paper, split into boxes to record the colours you are using to make resupply easier.

The whole thing, when closed measures a minuscule 8 x 6 cm!! Smaller than the palm of my hand and I didn’t have a problem with the weight, not that I checked it but I seriously doubt they could produce it any lighter unless they made it from plastic? The lid has two sections and is shallow enough to get a bulldog clip around and this allows it to be fixed to a sketchbook and frees up a hand when working.

There is also a finger ring on the base of the tin but I haven’t used it yet.



As you can see it clips onto a sketchbook easily (the one pictured is the Moleskine Watercolour sketchbook).

So, if you want good quality paint, in a great little portable tin…. go for this one! I’d recommend topping it up with some colours of your personal choice and if you can’t cope working from two small mixing areas you may need to pack a lightweight palette. I thought I’d need to but this never happened…. adapt and overcome!! Love this little paint tin 🙂

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