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Review: Sennelier Aqua-Mini 8 Half Pan Watercolour Set

I've reviewed Sennelier's 12 half pan box a few years ago so let me give you the bottomline first, their paint quality is still top notch.

The reason why I bought this set is to see if the cute box design is functional.

This is a small and portable box. It's smaller than the Winsor & Newton Cotman Pocket Sketcher Box but slightly thicker. Downside of such a small box is the mixing area on the lid is limited.

The pans are held in a plastic holder. If you look closely, the pans are rather small.

These are the eight colours included.

  • 574 Primary Yellow PY74
  • 675 French Vermilion PR242
  • 314 French Ultramarine Blue PB29 + PV15
  • 344 Cinereous Blue PB15:3 + PW4
  • 805 Phthalo Green Light PG7, PY153
  • 819 Sap Green PB29 + PY153
  • 202 Burnt Umber PBr7
  • 703 Payne's Grey PV19, PB15:1, PBk7

The pan colours dissolve easily with water, and the colours are very vibrant. This is a good selection of colours because you can mix a good range of secondary colours.

The only weird colour to me is Cinereous Blue which is a mix of PB15:3 (Phthalo Blue) and PW4. The resulting mix is a granulating colour that looks very similar to Cerulean Blue.

With Primary Yellow and French Vermilion, you can get warm oranges.

With Primary Yellow and Cinereous Blue, you get a nice grass green. With French Ultramarine Blue, you get a warm green that's very similar to Sap Green.

Sap Green is a convenience colour. It's a colour that I use often. Having this colour helps me save time from not having to mix it, and it also helps keep my yellows clean. I usually use Sap Green mixed with yellow to make it yellow green, or with Ultramarine to make it darker, or with a red to make it even darker.

This is the gray you can get with Burnt Umber and French Ultramarine Blue.

You can also mix your own grays using Primary Yellow, French Vermilion and French Ultramarine.

When Cinereous Blue is mixed with French Vermilion, we get rather dull purples and violets.

When French Ultramarine and French Vermilion are mixed, the purple is more vibrant.

Here's a sketch I painted with this box set of colours:

I used Cinereous Blue straight from the pan for the sea on the left. Lots of Sap Green, Ultramarine and French Vermilion were used for the greens. The roofs were painted with Primary Yellow and French Vermilion. Shadows were created from a mix of Primary Yellow, French Vermilion and Ultramarine. The rocks on the left were mixed with Burnt Umber and French Ultramarine. Dark areas that are close to black were painted with Payne's Grey.

I could consider this to be a rather versatile palette. It can mix a very wide range of colours and at no time did I feel that I was limited by the colour selection. The colours are also very transparent, making them suitable for pen and ink sketches.

Overall, it's a good set. Main downside is the lack of mixing area.


Find more reviews at Dick Blick Art Materials (US) | Jackson's Art (UK)

You may be able to find this on Jackson's Art Supplies (UK) too.