Let's Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!!!
I've been a fan of Prima Confections watercolor sets for years and can't wait to demo the latest palette I picked up. Instead of a straight-up product review today, I'd LOVE to share with you WHY I continue to collect watercolor sets (even though I have a bazillion colors already!), and how a prepackaged watercolor set can benefit YOU in your own art!
Today's video is perfect for watercolor beginners who might not know which watercolor sets to buy, people looking for a little stress relief/ enjoyable art therapy activities, and advanced watercolorists looking for ways to challenge their creativity by limiting themselves to ONE palette of color.
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If you've been following me for a while, you know I'm a HUGE FAN of Daniel Smith watercolors and totally love creating my own watercolor palettes filled with shades I love.
I've also enjoyed watercolor sets by Prima for years - and recommend their Complexions Set to ALL my students because it's amazing to have a little palette filled with SO many perfect pre-mixed skin tones right at your fingertips.
These cute little sets by Prima like the "Terrain" one I'm demo-ing today, are a great "value set" because you get 12 colors for $20-25.
In case you're not familiar with Prima Confections Watercolor sets, these are NOT fine art quality paints, they're basically mid-range products and considered a "craft-grade" product. This doesn't mean they're bad in any way or that you have to spend more money on your supplies- they just may not all be light-fast, so if you're creating a gift or a commission for someone, your work could fade over time. Just something to be aware of :)
If you're just creating for fun, Prima sets are awesome because they're super affordable and the color combos they've developed are beautiful and richly pigmented.
How to Unwrap Watercolor Half Pans
If you're completely new to watercolor and bring a set home like the one I'm working with today, it may feel overwhelming to just get started.
Make sure youclick over to watch today's video because the demo shows you exactly how to unwrap each tiny half-pan of watercolor and assemble your palette before you start painting.
This can feel really tedious, but just pop on some music or a podcast and get going. Before you know it, you'll be ready to swatch.
Why You NEED to Swatch Watercolors
Watercolor swatching is something I used to ignore for YEARS! I just couldn't be bothered. I've got 3 kids and was always way too busy. Plus, when they were little, I had zero time to create, and didn't want to suck up all my artsy time with swatching before I even got to the good part of making something!!
Here's what I learned the hard way, and want to help you avoid...
I spent YEARS grabbing the wrong colors and diving right into my creation process. Years, throwing what I *thought* I wanted on my paper based on the color cap or what it looked like in the pan, etc.
There are SO many things wrong with those choices! For starters, check out the first color in the second row of the set I'm demo-ing today. It looks like a super dark blue, almost black right?
It's NOT!! When I took the time to swatch this set today, I was a little shocked at how light this blue came out on my paper. Check it out...
If the old me had grabbed this and started painting, expecting a dark navy to appear on my paper, I would've been SO MAD because it's totally not, right?! Swatching your set ahead of time REALLY helps avoid future frustrations like this and eliminates the guessing game of not knowing what's REALLY in your palette.
One of the things I really love about the Prima sets is they come with a tiny blank swatch card (shown above & below), that I can fill out myself and pop right back into my case.
I also love that the swatch card provided by Prima has been printed on watercolor paper (SUPER important if you're a newbie - never swatch watercolors or water-soluble products on just any old paper - you need a thicker, sturdier paper that can absorb the water - so always use watercolor paper or watercolor journals).
As you'll see in today's video, I not only swatch directly onto the swatch card that came with my Prima set, I ALSO swatch into a cute, rectangular watercolor journal at the same time. This might feel like overkill, but I've found that it can be easy to lose these little swatch cards for my watercolor sets, and I kinda love having a little reference book of colors as a backup.
Color Swatching Reference Books
To make swatching more fun, I've created a number of resources to help you. I've got a FREE Fun Fab Swatch Sheet and TWO books about swatching, my latest one, Swatch! Copy! Color! ...
and my Fun Fab Swatch Pad, created with my beloved Facebook Group a couple of years ago!!
You can swatch directly into the books for markers, colored pencils, and other dry products.
Remember, for watercolor swatching and swatching water-soluble art supplies, you always need to be working on watercolor paper or watercolor journals.
If you love the swatching backgrounds or faces in these books, feel free to freehand them into your own watercolor journals to make swatching even more fun for you at home!!
Why I LOVE Collecting Watercolor Sets
"Karen is flipping hilarious and she's very real...I like the way she teaches in a way that really gives you confidence, whether you're a beginner or advanced there's always something new to learn!"
- Elizabeth W.
What Fans Are Saying
Karen, you are absolutely fabulous! You make me feel like I can draw anything. I have recently retired and finally have the time to do some of the art that I have loved since I was in school. I am really at the beginning of my art journey and I hope to learn as much as I can. Thank you for all you do.