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Old 02-04-2010, 05:15 PM
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vbuben vbuben is offline
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Pigments for Koi Water Color Field Sketch Box Kits

I have a 24 colour field sketch box (BTW I really love it - very functional, includes waterbrush, etc...). I know "marketing" names for these 24 colours, however, I can't find anywhere names of the pigments used. Does anyone have this information?

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Old 02-04-2010, 06:51 PM
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juliar juliar is offline
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Re: Pigments for Koi Water Color Field Sketch Box Kits

Thanks - I think it's a great set also. It's one of my favorite gift items.....

Sorry, the company policy is that the formulation of ingredients are kept secret on art materials except for artist grade. The Koi watercolors are a high quality student grade.
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:54 PM
G.C. G.C. is offline
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Re: Pigments for Koi Water Color Field Sketch Box Kits

I have the 12 watercolor Koi set.
Including a waterbrush and sponge was a great idea!
The colors are also great! very vibrant and as good as the professional paints. I don't have any complaints... l have given this item as a gift several times and I am also an owner of this very practical/useful box!

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Old 07-25-2010, 12:38 AM
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robertsloan2 robertsloan2 is offline
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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.

Robert A. Sloan, proud member of the Oil Pastel Society
Site owner, artist and writer of http://www.explore-oil-pastels-with-robert-sloan.com
blogs: Rob's Art Lessons and Rob's Daily Painting

Last edited by robertsloan2 : 07-25-2010 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 08-12-2010, 09:35 PM
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Phlugel Phlugel is offline
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Re: Pigments for Koi Water Color Field Sketch Box Kits

I agree with Robert and actually contacted Sakura and they told me to use the tubes to refill but as you say the tube sets are all 12 only.
I use this set a lot as I often paint in front of the TV and we travel a lot and I have used it on a plane and often on cruise ships. Mine is looking sad and almost time to just buy a new one My greens and blues and yellows are in sad shape particularly.
I too love their brushes and have used them for a few years now after finding one in Canada.
They are great and I have really enjoyed my set.
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Old 09-04-2010, 05:52 AM
mad4color mad4color is offline
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Re: Pigments for Koi Water Color Field Sketch Box Kits

Hilary Page has evaluated these and has the pigment names in her big book. Some of them are fugitive: pale orange, chrome yellow deep, and the violet I think.

The carmine is not supposed to be made of lightfast pigments, but in her test, it was very lightfast, moreso than the vermilion.

I like these watercolors a lot. It is hard to find individual tubes. Some Dallas arts stores used to have Koi in individual tubes. The best thing to do is watch out for them on ebay. If you have an art supply store in your town that carries the sets and often runs 40% off coupons, that's an option also.

The carmine is a wonderfully, rich red that can be very opaque. The cobalt and cerulean paints, of course, are synthetic, but I like them too.

Sakura used to have a more expensive brand for a few years, Impellist, that I thought was nice too, but they were not on the market long. Must be too much competition.

It would nice if Sakura would upgrade some of the least lightfast pigments, but that carmine is perfect as is and would be hard to match. The carmine would be a good one to test in your own area for atmospheric and lilght conditions.
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Old 09-04-2010, 11:22 PM
mad4color mad4color is offline
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Re: Pigments for Koi Water Color Field Sketch Box Kits

Well, I don't know if this is allowed to post the direct link, but someone on Cheap Joe's did lightfastness testing on them that are consistent with Hilary Page. Junk the baddies like pale orange. Pale orange should be easily made anyway with a quality white and a touch of some lightfast yellow and red.

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