Kuretake Gansai Tambi

So, because I'm addicted to art supplies it seems, I ordered the Kuretake Gansai Tambi traditional Japanese watercolours from Amazon. As you cans see, these are very large pans of colour, about twice the size of a full pan, but they are shallower and so I think roughly comparable to a full pan. The set I bought contains 36 colours, though this does include white, two golds, and a silver, none of which is likely to see a lot of use from me (though you never know). The whole set is packaged in a cardboard box, but it's quite sturdy and is really nicely done. While it wouldn't hold up like a metal tin, it's still got some substance to it.

Anyways, the set does contain a really good range of colours though, for my taste, a little light on the earth tones. Still, you can mix to get some proximity and that'll take a little testing to see what colours blend well with each other.

Needless to say, as I do with any watercolours, I like to swatch them out on paper to see what they look like (and to keep a record of them). As you can see, the colours are bright and lean to the opaque which, as I understand, is common in traditional Japanese watercolours and one of the reasons I wanted them. I didn't swatch the white, but I did swatch the metallics.

Kuretake also, quite helpfully, includes a space in the lid to let you swatch the colours out. Unfortunately, I don't read Japanese, so it only offers the numbers and I still like to see the colour names, hence my own swatch card. Nevertheless, since they offered it, I did use it anyways...

So, since this is my first use of these colours, I decided to try my hand at Sumi-e and, well, it's not the best piece of art I've ever done! Nevertheless, I think I like the simplicity of the look and so it's something I'm going to continue and practice with. I simply don't have the flow of the brush strokes down.

So, I like the colours. They're vibrant and easily picked up from the pans without needing large amounts of water to tease out the paints. The set is beautifully packages, the large pans make it easy for bigger brushes to pick up colour, and the set feels like it was made to be enjoyed.