Monday, April 9, 2018

Reviewing the Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colour Compact

Reviewing the Cotman Water Colours Compact.
Are your friends or family members artistic? Do you need a gift idea for that artist? The Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colour Compact set is an appreciated gift.

The Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colour Compact set comes complete with 14 “half pans” of watercolor, a small field brush, and a detachable water cup. Winsor & Newton is a respected name in the world of art supplies and paints. The half pans can be removed and replaced when a frequently used color runs out. Or exchanged for other colors that are needed for the current painting.  The case closes and is slim - easy to slip into a backpack, bag, or purse.

Over the years, I have found that it is difficult to buy gifts for the artists in my family. I would love to be artistic, but I’m just not. So I love to nurture the creativity of the artists who surround me and live vicariously through them. The only problem has been that artists usually have very strong opinions of the supplies they prefer to use. I have found it so intimidating to purchase art gifts over the years that I have usually stuck with the “safe” things. Gift cards. Or the pad of paper that they use the most frequently. Blah. Boring.

Artists are often very particular about certain brushes for certain projects. It’s so overwhelming that I tend to stick with the gift card safety net. However, I occasionally want to purchase something that, over time, he can think, “I remember when Dawn gave this to me”. That would mean that I’ve chosen something useful to him, something he likes, and of good quality.

Apparently, one year, I managed to do that. Time has gone by so I can’t recall what the occasion was. But, I gifted an artistic friend a Cotman Watercolor Compact. 

He is often outdoors; taking long scenic drives, camping, fishing, and hiking on a regular basis. When he goes out he often takes the Cotman Watercolor Compact along. If he sees something that interests him, he does a quick sketch or painting.

I asked him why he likes this item and he went on a long explanation about why certain paints (i.e Windsor Newton Cotman) are of such high quality due to the pigments and how they are made. My eyes glazed over. So he started over and summarized with the following:

“It’s high quality”

“It’s durable. I’ve sat on it and it’s fine”

“Any brand of half pan paint will fit”

“I love the portability”

“It doesn’t become stained except for the creases where you would expect some staining”

“I do prefer Cotman pigments”

“Although the Van Gogh pigments are good too”

“I really have no complaints about it” but then went on to say “the little brush was okay, not the best, but I take my own along anyway”.

Of course he does.




If you have an artist/painter on your gift list, consider the Cotman Watercolor Compact. I think your artist will love it too. I bought this gift years ago (in 2013 if I recall correctly) and have seen first hand that it is still in use and is appreciated. 


A riverside plein air painting (photo taken in 2013)




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

4 comments:

  1. I agree with you, Dawn Rae, that artists are difficult to buy art-related gifts for. As you mentioned, they have very specific opinions about the supplies they prefer to use. My daughter is an artist, married to an artist, so I know this first-hand. My daughter is like your artist friend in that she likes to work in water colors and likes a compact set she can take with her anywhere. I'll have to ask her if she has tried these Winsor & Newton Cotman water colors.

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    1. Hi Dawn Rae. Am returning to tell you the response I got to sharing this review with my artist son-in-law today. His response was "THESE are the BEST". Thought you'd like to know how another artist feels about them. :)

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  2. I am not an artist either, but I couldn't help but think as I started reading, I would love the compact portable set if I could paint. How cool that 5 years later he is still using it and still loves it. What a wonderful find you have made! I am surrounded by artists and would never have a clue what to give them without these kinds of reliable recommendations and reviews.

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  3. I would love this portable painting set. It just might get me back into painting. The thing is you have to be ready when inspiration strikes. And, since nature is my muse, I should always have art materials with me. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. What a great gift idea.

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