Re: Pigments for Koi Water Color Field Sketch Box Kits
I have both the 12 color set and the 24 color set. All I know about the pigments is that they're non toxic hues, but they are very good quality. The packaging does claim that they're lightfast, so I'm less worried about the pigments knowing that. High quality student grade paint will have hues for toxic mineral pigments but it'll still be lightfast -- and to me that's good enough, it's a choice of using modern pigments or traditional ones.
When I use Pigma Micron pens and the Koi pan watercolors together for pen and wash, the results are so great. I could get a set of Rapidographs and go using my artist grade watercolors, but these are so much easier. The 12 color set was the first water brush I ever owned and the ones in these sets are still the best ones I have. The flow is nice on them.
But their being non toxic student grade meant I could also buy a 12 color set for my six year old granddaughter. I hide my artist grade watercolors away from her because normally she'll get as much on her face as she would if she was doing face painting and same for her clothes and everything around her. But when I let her try my 12 color set, she didn't get it on anything else!
So I bought her a new one. She's very careful about not losing the water reservoir plug and cleaning off the pans. She treats it with great respect.
She also paints better, with more confidence using her Koi watercolors. I'm not sure what it was about how they handled, whether it was the water brush or the stronger colors, but she mixed more and tried more ambitious painting techniques. She also observed more and painted more accurate shapes, sometimes from the negative space.
It was eerie watching my little girl respond so well to using adult painting supplies. A big blast from the past because the same thing happened when I was small and my dad let me use dip pens and Rapidographs. When I used adult supplies I slowed down, thought about what I was doing and was more careful - and also dared to try more sophisticated things.
I love the idea that she might be selling art by the time she's the age most kids are getting their first fast-food jobs.
I just wish that Sakura would catch on with how popular this item is and come out with an artist grade version of the product. I wouldn't mind paying more for a slightly adapted version of the set that had replaceable half pans or open stock tubes for refilling them, pigment listings on the colors, higher pigment load (although the pigment load on the Koi ones is great!) and perhaps a natural sponge. It would have to include the high quality water brush to keep the convenience of the original sets.
It would also be nice if the half pans were in a sturdier plastic holder or the wells were in a thicker plastic holder if refilling is all by tubes. The way Koi sets are now, cleaning a well and replacing just one color would be difficult and the pans are in a delicate plastic insert. A thicker, sturdier insert would make the artist grade case more of a permanent investment.
I've been trying to use the colors evenly and may have to do a series of white paintings on black or dark papers in order to even the colors up since I don't use the body color much.
Though if each of the colors was available in open stock tubes for refills, refilling the set would be easy. At least at Blick I've only seen the Koi tubes in sets of twelve, not open stock. It doesn't include half the colors in the 24 color set.
Last edited by robertsloan2 : 07-25-2010 at 12:47 AM.