Winsor and Newton Cotman half pan review

Look at these little beauties, aren’t they lovely? And the little pan palette that it all comes in is absolutely brilliant. As you can see, my Winsor and Newton Cotman watercolours arrived today and have been tested already!

If you have a look at some of the pics below, you will see that you have the main compartment with the half pans in, and then two mixing palettes that open on either side.

One of these is divided into 4 larger sections for mixing a wash to cover a bigger area, and the other side is more for mixing smaller puddles of paint. This is the side that I use. I’m not entirely sure what it is made from (feels like a plastic of sorts) but what I like is the fact that the mixing trays lay completely flat, so there’s no paint running about. I haven’t noticed any staining on the palette yet either, but it’s early days. I tend to use my cute little ceramic daisy mixing palette for my watercolours, but it’s nice to have these extra options.

Let’s Look More Closely at the Watercolour Set

So, inside you get 45 half pans all wrapped in their individual wrappers to keep them nice and protected. Once you start unwrapping them like little jewels, you’ll notice there are a couple of duplicates of some core colours, as currently there are 40 colours total in the the Cotman range. The duplicates are yellow ochre, titanium white, ivory black, ultramarine blue and alizarin red hue. This was quite handy as I left them in their wrappers and stored them in my case with my tubes, perfect for when I run out.

I was already working on a watercolour strawberry whereby I had used the Winsor Watercolour Professional tubes – so the one on the left is the pro colours and the one on the right is the Cotman half pans. Do excuse the terrible picture, I just snapped it quickly at night whilst I’m writing this article.

Winsor and Newton Cotman half pan review

Although I haven’t finished the painting and I still have some layers to add and work to do, this does give you some idea of the vibrancy of the colours. I was really impressed and they laid down beautifully and were a delight to use.

Also, if you look to the right side of the pic there, you can see what the box looks like from the side when it’s all closed up. All packed away nicely – perfect for a bit of en plein air painting, should the mood take you!

I know that many professional artists use these as well as hobbyists, and when you consider the price difference, I would 100% recommend buying these to learn with, practice and even start creating art that you can sell.

To give you an idea, I paid roughly £4.80 – £5.80 for the tiniest 5ml tube of the Winsor professional oil paints, yet this set cost me just under £40 for forty five colours. If you times forty five by the lower end of £4.80 for the tubes, you can see that the equivalent cost would be £216.

So my advice would be to get this set and you can add the professional half pans one by one as you run out (you don’t have to buy the professional paints in a tube, they are also available as half pans). Or just replace like for like, because I think the Winsor and Newton Cotman range is an absolute winner and is definitely going straight on to my favourites list!

If you are thinking of buying this set, I got mine here over on Amazon for a good price, but it’s always worth shopping around and doing some price comparisons.

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