Review: Daler Rowney Aquafine Watercolor Pocket Set

Daler Rowney Aquafine Watercolor Pocket Set

The Daler Rowney Aquafine Watercolor Pocket Set is a very portable set for artists who like to draw outdoors. Aquafine is the student grade watercolour series from Daler Rowney. I haven't quite figure out the difference between student and artist grade though, besides the price.

I bought this in Singapore. It's the only portable watercolour set selling here - I see it a lot during sketchwalks with local sketchers.

The box is made of hard and sturdy plastic, and beneath it is a thumb ring. It's small enough to slip into a pocket, or tied with rubber band to a sketchbook. On the lid are three partitions for mixing colours.

A size 4 brush is included but to make the set truly portable, a waterbrush with reservoir is recommended. Waterbrushes (Amazon UK | CA | DE) are very popular and there are too many to choose from.

There are 12 colours included: Lemon Yellow, Gamboge (Hue), Vermilion (Hue), Alizarin Crimson, Sap Green, Viridian (Hue), Yellow Ochre, Light Red, Burnt Sienna, Cobalt Blue (Hue), Prussian Blue and Ivory Black. The choice of colours is not very different from other watercolour pocket sets.

The colours look nice. Each has slightly different pigment properties. You can check out the specific characteristics in the chart below (click to enlarge)

Aquafine Watercolour Colours

Even though they are half pans, they can last a long while unless you're painting every day. And the pans are detachable so they can be replaced when empty, or you can buy some watercolour tubes and squeeze paint into them - might be more economical this way.

Mine was bought at around US$20 equivalent. The price's not bad. It's a good value set for beginners. I find the colours not as saturated as the artist quality pigments, but that's to be expected for the cheaper price compared to other watercolour box sets.


You should be able find this watercolour set at art stores, if not online at | Amazon UK (Listing 1 | Listing 2) |

Try searching on Jackson's Art Supplies (UK) also.



Nice review :) I notice you

Nice review :) I notice you have also reviewed the Cotman pocket sketcher sets. Which one do you think had better pigment concentration in the paint? I like the smaller size/shape of the Cotman box better, but I have heard that it is difficult to get good colour out of it, so I'd be interested to hear which one is better in that regard. Thanks :)

There is a new design for the

There is a new design for the Daler Rowney basic 12 travel set coming out with a better thought out plastic palette box. This is done to match the new Winsor Newton Cotman Brush Pen set I assume. I wonder if you can do a review on those 2 side by side.

I was able to find the Daler Rowney for $10 USD on two UK sites, as well as the new Cotman Brush pen set for under $13 USD through the big box stores with coupon. (I know you did a Cotman Brush Pen set review already, but can you compare that to the original Cotman Sketcher's box?)

I have a feeling between the Cotman Sketcher's box, Cotman Brush Pen set, Daler Rowney (original) plastic 12 half pan set, new Daler Rowney plastic 12 pan set, and Daler Rowney metal tin sets -- the 2 newer sets from the companies will win in design of the plastic boxes, but still, what's the verdict on the Cotman vs Aquafina student line watercolor half plan qualities?

And a side note, a disappointment that Daniel Smith dry half pan travel boxes didn't put nearly as much thought into the design of their first plastic travel box. :(

I just went there today.

I just went there today. seems like this set is several dollars less than the simply colours
now i just wanna know which is better the Daler Rowney simply portable half pan or the aquafine

Quote from article: I haven't

Quote from article: I haven't quite figure out the difference between student and artist grade though, besides the price.

Student grade colours have more binder and less pigment, so won't give the depth of colour of artist grade. Fine for starting out, but if you really want to get into watercolour, upgrade to an artist grade as you get better.

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