Paint colors of any medium can be the most difficult and costly art materials to shop for. There are hundreds of choices by numerous art supply stores, professional grade and student paints, so how do you choose? We really just want that perfect spring green, that vibrant pink, that sultry transparent red, but how many pigments actually have those same descriptions or characteristics? There are many! Too many to try them all to find out which one is The One!
Watercolor pigments can be more difficult to identify simply because they are concentrated from the tube and we use them in a more fluid state when painting. It is also more important, than with other opaque mediums, to see them react to each other in a wet environment. But watercolors can seem more expensive because they come in smaller tubes, and are so concentrated. So purchasing watercolors can be very intimidating when gathering all of your supplies to begin painting.
Some new watercolor artists, rightfully, take the advice of their instructors and purchase a complete art kit used for a workshop or class, or buy what their friends buy, others from an art dvd or book, and some just guess! There are color wheels, art books, color charts and online reference materials, but the truth is you really can’t tell anything about a pigment unless you actually try it out yourself.
Ok, with that in mind, most art supply manufacturers really don’t give you much choice but to buy one of every color they offer to be able to try them. The smallest tube size is 5 ml and you can pay over $10.00 for just one pigment. Most paint companies only offer 14ml tubes and larger. Good for them, they are selling lots of paint; bad for you, because the cost of those tubes quickly adds up! Then, if you don’t like the color, you are just stuck with all of those expensive tubes of paint you will never use! Sounds like a waste of time and money.
Well, Cheap Joe’s has a solution to this dilemma, the American Journey Watercolor Sample Set Palettes. Each palette set focuses on a specific selection of colors that help you try the paint before you buy it! We are introducing this cost effective idea with four basic palettes: The Top 10 American Journey Colors, Joe’s Limited 4 Color Palette, The Quinacridones 12 Set, and The American Journey 12 Essentials Palette. Each set gives you an ample amount of watercolor pigment to test, compare, experiment, and even paint with. Ranging from $2.49-$4.99, you can try ‘em before you buy ‘em without breaking the bank!
Introducing American Journey Watercolor Sample Sets-
Joe’s Essential 12 Colors Set - This paint set includes an ample sample each of Aureolin, Blue Stone, Brown Madder, Gamboge, Joe’s Red, Joe’s Yellow, Quinacridone Gold Deep, Rambling Rose, Raw Sienna, Royal Amethyst, Skip’s Green and Ultramarine Blue.
Top 10 Colors Set - This paint set includes an ample sample each of Alizarin Crimson, Aureolin, Burnt Sienna, Cerulean Blue, Cobalt Blue, Gamboge, Joe’s Blue, Quinacridone Gold, Raw Sienna and Ultramarine Blue.
Quinacridone Sample Set - This paint set includes an ample sample each of Alizarin Crimson, Brown Madder, Coral Red, Permanent Magenta, Quinacridone Burnt Orange, Quinacridone Burnt Scarlet, Quinacridone Gold, Quinacridone Gold Deep, Quinacridone Red, Quinacridone Sienna, Quinacridone Violet and Rose Madder.
Joe’s Sample Colors Set - This paint set includes an ample sample each of Joe’s Blue, Joe’s Green, Joe’s Red and Joe’s Yellow.
So, the first question we were asked about these sample sets, was “Just how much paint is a “sample”? Well, enough to experience the pigment, know its characteristics, and even paint a complete work of art, the size depending on how many colors are in the set.
I took the challenge to use all of the paint in a sample color to see how much area it would cover. I sampled the Joe’s Sample Colors Set which included Joe’s Blue, Green, Red, and Yellow. I was certainly surprised to discover just how much area each sample would cover. I was actually able to completely cover a 6″x6″ piece of Kilimanjaro 300lb. watercolor paper with each color. That is a total of 1 sq ft. of coverage, and that was with only four colors. The sets include up to 12 total colors per set. That means more coverage!
So, because of the concentrated pigment load in the American Journey Professional Watercolors, there is more paint than you think in each one of these great little palettes.
Another concern or question is what is the palette made of?
Well, it is made of compressed recycled paper material, not plastic. You would think they would swell up and fall apart when water is applied, but they are actually very sturdy. I completely used up all of the paint in the Joe’s set and even filled them up again without disturbing the palette surface. They are lightweight and disposable. Just place a rubber band around the palette and you can take it anywhere. I would recommend allowing the paint to dry overnight before closing the lid or traveling with it. Then, when your palette is all used up or if you unfortunately misplace or lose it, the loss will not have been a great one.
The pigment information is conveniently provided on the color info chart that is included in the palette. Pigment name and number, transparency, staining info, light-fastness rating, it’s all there for each of the paint colors. I secured the charts in the lid with double sided tape.
So, it seems like just a small convenience, to have a chance to really experience a pigment before you commit to an entire tube of paint. But, also remember, we do have select colors of American Journey watercolors available in 5 ml. sets that allow you to buy a small amount instead of a larger tube. And of course, if you do get a tube you are not completely satisfied with, for any reason, we do offer our exclusive 365 day “no questions” guarantee!
These handy palettes have loads of possibilities. Give them to a young artist with a brush and paper. Include them in art kits for someone in the hospital. They are perfect for stocking stuffers and small gifts for your painting buddies. Tuck them into your pocket idea notebook for recording journal inspirations. Secure them inside your sketchbook with a rubber band. Just right for hiking, sketching, doodling, or anytime it is not convenient to use your regular plastic palette.
Sometimes it is the little things that mean the most. It is our hope that these sample palettes will relieve of some of the stress when wanting to try new colors by lessening the investment of trying them. Also, that they will become the perfect gift for inspiring others to create art. If this proves true, we may continue to develop other sample palettes sets in the future to include more colors of the American Journey watercolors.
As they say, it is usually the cup holder that sells the new car.
and take your little sample set on vacation and leave your big palette at home!