I saw this tin in a little art shop and fell in love at first sight. At the time I wasn't drawing as often as I wished to, and the price for something I may or may not use much was quite high for me. Oh but the beauty of the thing! I walked around town convincing myself of my irrefutable need, and finally went back to the shop and bought it, promising myself that I would use it to take up painting again properly. I have never regretted it for an instant, merely marvelled that I ever could have considered not buying it.
This watercolour tin is tiny. It's smaller than my Blackberry, smaller than the palm of my hand. It's very heavy for its size, this weight coming from the wonderful build. It wasn't until I saw it compared to my previous (much larger) 24 colour Daler Rowney tin that I realised just how superior the quality is. The enamelling gives it a strength and solidity that the paint on the Daler Rowney tin doesn't come close to providing.
The enamelling inside seems to be treated in some way, the paint draws together in the mixing wells instead of spreading, which helps tremendously in mixing small amounts on the run. I've been using my tin for over a year now and you'd have to inspect it closely for any signs of the enamel chipping on the outside, and there's none at all on the inside.
This box came with 8 colours, I've changed my paints so much I've forgotten which the original colours were, but I know I'm still using some of them. The quality of the original paint is fantastic, artist's quality, full of pigment. I took the loose metal separators out of the tin, which allowed me to rearrange the pans and fit 14 half-pans instead of the original 8, or the advertised 12. I find that I mix most of my colours myself and some of my 14 colours are rarely used, so what I have is a tiny tiny tiny collection I can fit in any pocket, and holds more colours than I can use.
And the very best thing about this box? I love it so much that I take it with me everywhere with my travel brushes (Winsor & Newton Cotman Field Brush Set
), my Rotring pen (Rotring Rapidograph ISO Pen 0.25 Black
) and a small sketchbook, and I'm drawing again. Anywhere, any time. Can I say this box changed my life? Okay... maybe too dramatic... but it certainly changed my relationship with my art.
It's worth mentioning that if you already have watercolours that you're using, or for some other reason don't want the box with the artist quality pans included, there's this alternative: Fome Empty Watercolour Box for 8 Half Pans
I bought this for my friend as a gift after we spent months trying to come up with a tin for her that was as lovely as mine. The Fome tin I bought is of equal quality to mine, and the same in every way apart from not having a Winsor & Newton logo on the lid. It was perfect for her because she already had watercolour pans she was using and just needed a new home for them. She's as in love with her tin as I am with mine.