Prima Marketing Watercolor Pan Review (The Classics, Complexion, Pastel Dream, & Decadent Pies)
I have always trusted the good ole’ tube watercolor but what prompted me to buy a pan watercolor was the search for convenience. I have a line up of travel itinerary waiting ahead and I wanted to bring a pan watercolor with me. I was looking for something compact to fit in my carry on bag, something easy to use and also reliable.
After reading many reviews and watching countless YouTube videos on different watercolor pans, I have come to the decision to purchase the Prima Marketing brand.
Before we get to the review, there is a confusion between the brand name Prima Marketing and also Art Philosophy. There’s very little info about the switch of brand name, but in the product listing on various shops, the brand is still called Prima Marketing. I do notice that the newer batch of product has the name of “Art Philosophy by Prima”. If you have any info of this, please comment below.
1. The packaging wins my heart. The metal tin that holds 12-half pans watercolor fits my purpose of bringing it to travel. The tin opens up two fold of cover that serve as mixing well and it stays 180 degrees as you hold it. For those who do urban sketching, this watercolor pan is convenient to hold while you’re painting in standing position. The tin has a large mixing well, so I don’t have to pack additional palette when traveling. And the pan itself can hold up to 21 half pans watercolor. That is a lot of option to choose when packing for travel. But on its own, it comes with only 12 colors.
2. The color is very pigmented. It gives a rich and vivid color that is easy to blend. I think this is the reason why a lot of people will go for the Prima Marketing watercolor. See below for swatches.
3. The price is also reasonable. I bought it for RM129 for each pan. Generally, the empty pan itself costs around RM50+, so you’ll get the 12 watercolors for only RM80+ if you were to break the price down piece by piece, this is a good deal.
4. The colors are assembled based on a theme such as Decadent Pies resembles traditional desserts and Pastel Dreams consists of pastel hues. This can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on how you use your watercolor. To me, I think getting one pan on its own is not enough. Hence, I have four. But if your artwork features mostly pastel shades, then the Pastel Dreams palette would be enough for you.
5. You can add your own paint in the pan once you’re finished with the color. Each pan is detachable.
1. Like every other watercolor pan, mixing the color can be a pain in the a**. It’s meant to be used straight from the pan because getting the paint out off the pan with your brush is almost impossible.
2. As mentioned, the watercolor comes in theme, there is a chance that you need to purchase more than one pan in order to complete your painting. You can’t choose to buy the individual watercolor shade.
3. Although it is said that the Prima Marketing watercolor is an artist-grade, but it doesn’t tell what pigment it has in each color. An actual artist-grade watercolor gives you a better understanding of the color such as the finishing (transparent or opaque), permanent or semi-permanent, etc. There is no such info on the pan so you have to swatch it and use it often to figure out the character of each color.
4. It doesn’t come in an individual color. This is a bummer because I tend to use white and black faster than the other colors. I’m not sure what happens if I finish up the color that I like the most. I won’t be able to top up with the individual piece.
Initially, I was drawn to the Pastel Dream set because my reason for getting it was – too lazy to mix pastel color from the tube. I just want to paint the pastel colors straight from the pan. It turns out, I use the Complexion set more often than the others. Just for the record, the names of the set don’t confine you to paint what belongs to the theme. You can use it however you want. The Complexion set was meant for skin tone (I thought this is a nice-to-have set since I don’t paint human much), but I use it to paint food with it most of the time.
If you need to pick only one set, I would suggest you to take The Classics or Decadent Pies. The Classics enables you to mix and match the colors easily and it has all the basics for you to work with. And Decadent Pies is a pretty set if you’re into urban sketching and painting scenes in your travel journal. It also has basic colors but more earthy tone.