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Hello!

Hi! This is a joint account of Belle and Bea (the beez). But who are we, anyway?

Belle: I’m the older kid, and I’m probably going to be writing majority of the blog posts while Bea’s still being a noob about writing. Most of the reviewed products will probably be mine, with a few exceptions.

Bea: I’m four years younger than Belle, and I take pictures of the products we review. I actually pushed my sis to start a blog, although she was the one who got me into art.

We do reviews of the watercolor stuff we already have, and soon we may even post our own paintings. Stay tuned for those ^^

Posted in Product Reviews, Watercolor

REVIEW: Disney Art Attack Watercolors

Hello! As promised in my previous blogpost, I will review the Disney Art Attack Watercolors.

In the town I live, I can buy two versions of the same brand. One is the chalky pan set, basically similar to Camel Watercolors (review here). It’s really like most generic pan sets that children buy. I think that costs around Php 100, probably because of the name Disney slapped onto it.

But I’m not reviewing about the chalky pan set. I bought the slightly more expensive version–same brand, but it came in twelve, large, square pans that were (surprise surprise) semi-moist. I hadn’t seen children’s semi-moist pan colors before that, so I took it even though it cost Php 30 more.

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I really should’ve stuck with the chalky set, though. Within two weeks, the set melted. It was well dried after my last use, and I stored it in my school bag (which never sees the light of day at home). Yet when I took it out, it was a large, globby mess. The green paint got everywhere, as did the light blue and the brown. After that, opening the container always resulted in messy hands.

Despite the mess it always took to use this set, I decided to open it up again and review it, just because this Art Attack set is seemingly non-existent everywhere else on the Internet.

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I painted this swatch on 200 gsm NOT watercolor paper. Nothing too fancy about it.

Based on the swatch I made, I could make a guess on the colors included in the pan. I may be wrong, though; this is just an approximate.

Left to right, upper to lower row:

1. Rose

2. Green

3. Light Blue

4. Orange

5. Black

6. Brown

7. Blue

8. Red

9. Yellow

10. Pink

11. Purple

12. White

My remarks: 

Some of the colors were unnecessary, like white, pink, and light blue (white isn’t mostly used for watercolor, pink can be made by watering down the rose or the red, and light blue by watering down the blue.

Aside from that, there wasn’t much granulation in most of the paints (a plus or a minus, depending on the user). Also, some of the colors were pale, like the rose (it took me two coats to achieve a darker color not identical to the pink) and the green; the others were vibrant. Mixing the colors was a hit or miss–some mixed well, while others became muddy.

Still, the colors were doable–they weren’t chalky and they didn’t rub off, so that’s a big plus for me. What wasn’t doable was how easy it was for the colors to melt. The fact they melted, under normal temperature, was my biggest gripe.

Overall, though, I’d recommend this paint set to rather artistic kids. It’s not as bad as the chalky paints, but it’s not too expensive to give to a child. Also, this set may introduce them to other semi-moist paints like Prang and Yarka, which are used by students and professionals alike.

For a teen/adult who wants to begin in watercolor? Probably not. The colors in the palette are definitely targeted to children. There aren’t cool and warm versions of each pigment, which are important in learning watercolor seriously. But if you just want to experiment around and not deal with chalkiness, this is doable.

Posted in Product Reviews, Watercolor

Review: Camel Brilliant Water Colors

 

Writer for this post: Belle

Demonstrator: Bea

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If you’ve studied in an elementary school nearby the UP Los Banos Campus (or, in my case, within it), the yellow plastic case above seems a little familiar, doesn’t it?

(It taunts me in my psychedelic watercolor dreams)

That is the Camel Brilliant Water Colors. I’ve once used a set of this back when I was in elementary, and this year when I checked, it only cost Php 34 (a little more than 60 US cents). I suspect it cost even less when I was in elementary. Back then, I used to complain having to buy this because it seemed so expensive–to a ten-year-old whose allowance was 20 pesos. Now, however, this set could be considered a steal compared to other watercolor brands.

Is it, though? Time to open this baby up and test it.

 

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Camel Water Colors comes in a set of 18 colors (full pans); I don’t know which specific colors because there’s nothing about the brand, apparently. The colors are hard and dry when you first get them, and some may even have this weird, white, powdery coating on them (the coating goes away after use, though).Also, the pans crack easily, but it doesn’t seem to affect the quality.

As for the container itself, it’s really portable, although the plastic stains easily and doesn’t feel durable. It’s thinner than most portable watercolor sets, and it has three substantial mixing wells (although, as a child, I used them for holding water). It also has a thin compartment for the brush the comes along with it.

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The brush has a red plastic handle, and black plastic bristles. The bristles don’t really form much of a point, and they tend to be all over the place. Even though the set is a children’s watercolor set, I think getting a more decent brush for this set is important. I’ll say it: the brush is rubbish, even for children’s standards.

Testing and Swatching

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For this review, I tested each of the colors on 200 gsm Canson watercolor paper and used the brush in the set, just to see if it’ll actually hold out. I’m actually pretty glad that I let Bea just use the rubbish brush instead of one of my better ones, because it takes a lot of vigorous scrubbing to get a vibrant pigment out of those pans. Bea actually didn’t bother using the mixing wells, because the only way to get any substantial pigment was to use the colors right off the pan.

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This is the final swatch Bea painted. Some of the colors, like the yellows and reds, were vibrant (once you abused the brush, of course). However, the others were either pale or muddy. When the colors dried, though, there wasn’t too much chalkiness like I feared (but there still was).

The Verdict

These are children’s watercolors, meant for kids and should probably be used only by kids. For elementary students who just need to bring  a cheap watercolor set for the school year’s requirements, this is probably good enough (although another brush may be needed for fine work). However, if you want to get serious about watercolor, you should probably invest in a more expensive set. After all, this set costs less than three US quarters–you get what you pay for.

Thanks for reading all that! Next up: Disney Art Attack Watercolors 🙂