We select and review products independently. When you purchase through our links we may earn a commission. Learn more.

The Best Watercolor Paint Sets

🕚 Updated February 2022

Whether you're a novice painter or have experience with watercolors, you can get creative with your artwork. Watercolor paint is thin and can be used on multiple surfaces. We've rounded up some of our favorites here to get you started!

Scroll Table to Left
  Top Choice Best Metallic Colors Best Professional Choice Best Value Best with Brush Pen
  Winsor & Newton
otman Watercolor Paint
Watercolor Paint Set
Watercolor Paint Set
Watercolor Paint Set
Watercolor Painting Art Set
Our SummaryA stylish and practical-sized watercolor paint pan set.A paint box set with 48 highly-pigmented watercolors.A set of 24 highly pigmented tubes of watercolor paints.This portable box of 48 metallic watercolor paints includes watercolor paper, a brush pen, a sponge, a pencil, an eraser, and a swatch sheet.This watercolor paint set includes 12 paints, watercolor paper, and a water brush pen.
ProsHas organized cartridge system and clip-on palette.Includes 42 vibrant colors and six premium metallic colors, is easy to blend, is highly pigmented.Is highly pigmented, has transparency and lightfastness information.Comes in metal box, is an all-inclusive kit, is nontoxic, has no odor.Includes 20 sheets of watercolor paper, has brush pen.
ConsStudent-grade quality.May be better for professionals.Not recommended to be left out to dry; paint may appear chalky.Student-grade, difficult to mix.May be better for beginners.
Scroll Table to Right
Who is LifeSavvy?
LifeSavvy is an independent publication focused on a single goal: helping you make the best purchase possible. We don’t just recommend the best Dutch oven for your needs, we show you how to take care of it so it lasts a lifetime and we recommend delicious recipes to help you get the most out of owning it too! Read More »
How Did We Research?

18 Models Evaluated

7 Hours Researched

43 Reviews Analyzed

The Best Watercolor Paint Sets

A colorful palette of round watercolor paints.

Buying Guide for Watercolor Paint Sets

Set of watercolor paints, art brushes, glass of water and easel with painting on old wooden table.
Chamille White/Shutterstock.com

Why buy a watercolor paint set?

Watercolors are an easy paint medium because you can rewet the paints once they are dried. These paints are water-based, nontoxic, and have no odor. It is easy to create sketches and still paintings with watercolors, and you can even pair the paints with pencils, graphite, and ink. Buying a watercolor paint set is great for those who travel or artists on the go because they are typically lightweight and portable.

What should you consider in a watercolor paint set?

  • Quality: Paints typically come in “student” and “artist” qualities. Those of an artist quality will be more pigmented and come at a higher price. Depending on the results that you expect, you can choose from one of these two types.
  • Format: Watercolors come in both tubes and pans, and which one you choose is more a personal preference as the quality is usually the same. Tubes squeeze the paint out and will require a plate or palette, while pans are cake-like blocks that sit in a paintbox.

What are the best starter colors?

Because paint colors can be made from primary colors, you’ll want to opt for watercolor paint sets that have a variety of colors. The best ones for mixing include various blues, reds, yellows, and browns.

Our Picks for the Best Watercolor Paint Sets

Top Choice

Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor Paint

A stylish and practical-sized watercolor paint pan set.

Pros: This kit has the essential colors to get you started with watercolor painting. This cartridge- system kit offers pan security and versatility and comes with a brush. These watercolors are made to a high-quality standard that has excellent tinting strength and working properties.

Cons: This kit is a student-grade line, with some of the ingredients in the paints being swapped out for cheaper alternatives to keep the price lower.

Bottom Line: This stylish kit is comprehensive and practical inside, so it’s great to take on the go. It comes with mixing surfaces including a removable clip-on palette.  The inside of the lid can also be used for extra mixing when other palettes are removed.


Best Metallic Colors

Emooqui Watercolor Paint Set

A paint box set with 48 highly pigmented watercolors.

Pros: This watercolor paint set includes 42 vibrant colors and six premium metallic colors, easy enough to blend to get an endless range of colors. The paints are highly pigmented which provides superior performance, fast-drying, and no fading. This set is great to use on coloring books, cards, journals, sketching, etc.

Cons: This set is suited for more experienced painters who know how to blend the colors.

Bottom Line: This kit is well-designed to take with you on the go and includes the tools you need to get started. The metal lid has three partitions to be used as a mixing palette for easy color blending.


Best Professional Choice

ARTEZA Watercolor Paint

A set of 24 highly pigmented tubes of watercolor paints.

Pros: This set of watercolors is highly pigmented and will stand out on your canvas or watercolor paper. The tubes allow you to squeeze out exactly how much you need. Each tube is individually labeled with the pigment information as well as its transparency and lightfastness indicators.

Cons: Because this set comes in tubes, the paints are not recommended to be put in pans and left to air-dry, as they will crack.

Bottom Line: This kit includes a wide selection of colors which is great for those who are just starting out working with watercolor paint. You can experiment and enjoy the bold pigment of these paints.


Best Value

ARTISTRO Watercolor Paint Set

This portable box of 48 metallic watercolor paints includes watercolor paper, a brush pen, a sponge, a pencil, an eraser, and a swatch sheet.

Pros: Bring your artwork to life with this all-inclusive kit. This set is great for both beginners and professional artists. It contains bright watercolors as well as neon and metallics, which are completely water-soluble and highly pigmented. This set is portable and exceptionally convenient as it includes paper, an exclusive brush pen, and other implements. The set is nontoxic and has no odor, and the paints are suitable for both kids and adults.

Cons: The paints granulate, and the binder is thick if not enough water is used.

Bottom Line: This kit is great to travel with and comes with what you need to create watercolor art at home or on the go. The lightweight mint tin box is stylish, ergonomic, and makes a wonderful gift for the artists in your life.


Best with Brush Pen

Arteza Watercolor Painting Art Set

This watercolor paint set includes 12 paints, watercolor paper, and a water brush pen.

Pros: This full package of watercolor supplies includes 20 sheets of foldable, thick watercolor paper, 12 rich, vibrant watercolors, as well as a water brush pen for adding small details. It even includes marked guidelines for you to fold a sheet of the watercolor pad into a ready-to-display work of art or frame.

Cons: This set is best for beginners, not experienced or professional artists.

Bottom Line: This kit is a simple set that is great for a novice to create and have fun with art. The guidelines and included watercolor paper are nice basic additions to start your journey with painting.

Final Thoughts

Watercolor paint sets are a great way to explore your inner artist and get a chance to experience painting on different textures and surfaces. There are plenty of options out there that will get you on the right painting path, whether you are beginner or a professional. Consider some of our recommendations to help you jumpstart your creative journey!

Rachel Shubin Rachel Shubin
Rachel Shubin is a freelance journalist who is passionate about telling stories. Along with writing reviews for LifeSavvy, she writes a book column for Cape May Magazine and is a reporter for the Cape May Star & Wave Newspaper. When Rachel is not writing, she can be found advocating for mental health awareness and animal rescue, reading novels, exploring Cape May, or working on her polymer clay jewelry business, Piper + Pearl Co. Read Full Bio »
LifeSavvy is focused on one thing: making your life outside of work even better. Want to know more?