Review: Pebeo 12 Half Pan Watercolour Set

Recently, I bought a box set of Pebeo pan watercolours to try out.

Pebeo is a French manufacturer of art materials.

Pebeo watercolours are available in tubes and pans. They seem to only have one range currently called the Fine series. In this range, there are only 28 colours. The paints are made in China.

Pebeo watercolours are actually student grade watercolour. I bought this set because the pricing is very attractive. Their pans and box cost just a few dollars more than an empty watercolour metal box.

The palette box is painted all white including the exterior. What I like about it is the second mixing area when flipped open is totally parallel to the ground surface.

For cleaning, you can remove the pan holder plate inside. This is just like box sets from other brands.

The colours included are

  • Primary Lemon Yellow - *** - 1
  • Cadmium Yellow Pale - *** - 1
  • Primary Red Cadmium - *** - 1
  • Alizarine Crimson - * - 3
  • Primary Phthalo Blue - *** - 1
  • Cobalt Blue - *** - 1
  • Permanent Green - *** - 1
  • Earth Green - *** - 1
  • Yellow Ochre - *** -1
  • Burnt Sienna - *** - 1
  • Burnt Umber - *** - 1
  • Ivory Black - *** - 1

The lightfast rating of *** represents excellent lightfast and * means it will fade. Alizarin Crimson for example is the one that's going to fade faster when exposed to light.

Below's the colour chart that I've created. Click for a bigger view.

You get what you pay for with the Pebeo. The colours are not strong, pastel-like and a bit chalky at times.

It's very difficult to get the pigment from the pans. Hence, mixing colours is very frustrating. As such, I don't even feel like I want to use them for painting any examples. It's that bad.

After spending so much effort to dissolve the paint, it's quite disappointing to see the low intensity of the paints.

If you want to get student grade watercolours, Winsor & Newton's Cotman series is much stronger and a better choice without breaking your budget.


Pebeo Fine series of watercolour isn't really that good in quality. If you're on a budget, I suggest you get WN Cotman instead.



I'm a beginner and Pebeo is

I'm a beginner and Pebeo is my first (and what I'm still currently using) watercolor, and whenever I compare my paintings to the ones I see on instagram, I've always wondered why my colors aren't as vibrant as theirs. Thank goodness I found your blog! I've learned so much about the the qualities I should look for and consider before buying a watercolor.

I wanted to buy Sennelier but I don't have the budget for that.. So I wanted to ask you for a reccomendation, I'm looking for a watercolor paint that has strong and vibrant colors, but also budget-friendly, so far from what I've read from your blog, both WN cotman an Prima watercolor confections have the qualities I'm looking for. So, which of the two would you say be worth to buy?

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