I am a great one for mulling over things that I must buy; especially the expensive ones. Art supplies in India are so dear that buying them is nothing short of a small investment. So, instead of the supremely expensive Winsor and Newton artist’s watercolor set, one must settle for the student variety Winsor and Newton Cotman 24 whole pan watercolor set, which is relatively cheaper. After doing a reckie of all the online art supplies stores, I was overjoyed to find that the Himalaya Art Supply site was offering the product I chose at Rs 1500/- less than Amazon or on SnapDeal (Snapdeal also has a sort of Chinese Winsor and Newton that is as cheap as Camel – can’t figure that out). So, after months of dithering and wondering what to do, I decided to go for the Himalaya Art Supply offer.
Guess what, after I placed the order and made the online payment I was informed that the price was actually the same as that as that on Amazon and it had been a mistake in their updating system. Why would I pay the same price for a product on which they would then charge Rs 450/- as delivery charges and then take 14 working days to deliver, which comes to almost 3 weeks, when Amazon would deliver it free of cost on the third day. In high dungeon, I cancelled my order and went back to opening the product everyday and looking at it with lovelorn eyes. I mean, its like when you screw up your courage to do something distasteful and it fizzles out, doing it a second time is not easier.
Well, one Sunday I was whiling away the time by clicking on my wishlist items on Amazon.in and almost received a heart attack when I saw the watercolor set going for almost 50% off! I blinked my eyes, refreshed the page twice, checked on Hubby’s laptop to be sure and then ordered. Received it the next day!
And then began the unveiling.
I was a bit disconcerted to find that the pans were not individually wrapped as in the earlier model and suffered a pang of fear that it was a bogus product. Hubby ensures me that Amazon would never deal in bogus products and as I tend to trust him in such matters, I decided to do so with this too. Also, I decided to put up an extremely detailed account of my Watercolor pan set so that someone can tell me whether I have been duped or it is the real thing!
The box is not as smart as the older one, but the paint box inside seems to be the same as that shown in videos of the Winsor and Newton Cotman sets. All the pans were wrapped in cellophane like little candy treats. They do look adorable lined up like that don’t they?
In many reviews, people had warned that the pans were not fitted to the bottom and were prone to falling out when you travelled with them. They suggested gluing the pans onto the box. I smirked and thought how worrisome these firangs were and since I won’t be doing any Plien air painting I had no need for such frivolous advice. I should have known better. While I was trying out the colors, I had a sketch taped to my board waiting for its paints. Engrossed in my new colors, I put my arm over the paint box, managed to get the wet Ivory Black pan stuck to it, and even as I raised my arm to look at it watched it fall face down onto my sketch. Thankfully, it fell on a part that was supposed to be a log and therefore the work could be salvaged. An inch above and I would have had to make a new sketch. Always pay attention to reviews from people who definitely know better.
Here you see the cellophane wrapped pans. The name of the color contained in the pan is printed on the side of each one for which I was extremely thankful. The Winsor and Newton logo is stamped on the bottom of each pan. The pans themselves are made of lightweight plastic and seem a bit too flimsy, but then I guess in a bid to make their product as cheap as possible they used cheap materials for the containers. Well, as long as they didn’t compromise on the colors who cares!
This was a color chart contained in the box. It is a small leaflet, again very different from the one shown in the older boxes. In the lower picture I have marked the colors that are present in this box. It just makes me feel wonderful that I have so many of them.
There are 3 shades of yellow, 4 of red, 4 of blue and 2 of green. I really wish they would have added one more green in place of the extra Cadmiun red deep hue. Greens are so difficult to get right anyway and are used so abundantly all the time. Just a humble suggestion.
I made a color swatch to make it easy to identify the colors in the box (hasn’t photographed well). Its very amateurish but it has been a big help in picking up the colors correctly. I realised that these colors have a more transparent quality than the Camel ones I was using and somehow seem brighter. They do however have a tendency to stick to my watercolor brush bristles. Maybe its just what all very good colors do because my Camel colors never did feel sticky. Whatever it maybe, I love the box and the tiny little pans and the beautiful colors.