Do you desire all of the effects of watercolor but more consistency in paint performance and the vibrancy of pure color? Watercolor paints in tubes provide saturated color with reliable results. The paints may be used straight from the tube for optimal color saturation and opacity; they may also be mixed with water for lighter hues and washes of color. Watercolors in tubes are a good choice for older elementary-schoolers through teenagers. Why? They are an affordable alternative to more expensive paints such as tempera and acrylic, they are flexible and compact, they travel and store well, they don’t require a large work area, and they’re available in beautiful artist-grade colors. To find the best watercolor tubes for the kids in your life, take a look at our picks below.
1. Colour Block Watercolor Paint Tubes
Colour Block’s watercolor set has everything you need to begin painting today. The set includes 24 tubes of premium watercolor paint in both contemporary and traditional hues. The paint is saturated and powerful: a little goes a long way. The colors are fairly opaque when applied straight from the tube, and you can add water for lighter colors and washes. Each tube contains 12 milliliters of paint. The set also includes six sheets of 6-by-8-inch watercolor paper and two natural hair brushes (one flat and one round), all fitting neatly in an attractively designed box. The brushes may shed at first; shake them and rinse them out before your first use. The paints are safe and nontoxic, conforming to ASTM D4236 standards.
2. AEM Hi Arts Watercolor Paint Set
AEM Hi Art’s watercolor set features 24 tubes of premium, vibrant watercolor paint, created with high-quality, organic pigments in a range of hues. The paint applies smoothly straight from the tube and when mixed with water. The paints are safe, nontoxic, and have no chemical smell. The set also includes a white plastic mixing palette, a 12-sheet 5.9-by-8.3-inch watercolor paper pad, three brushes (#2 round, #6 round, and #10 flat), and a portable case made from recycled materials. An included ebook explains and demonstrates basic paint application skills. The palette and brushes are easily washable and don’t stain. AEM Hi Art’s watercolor paint set is perfect for beginners. And here’s a bonus: for every set sold, one set will be donated to an art therapy organization.
3. U.S. Art Supply Watercolor Set
Educators seek high-quality yet affordable art supplies to inspire their students. U.S. Art Supply’s watercolor set fits the bill. The set features 36 premium colors in large, 18-milliliter tubes—50% more paint than a standard-size tube. The paint is made with high-quality pigments to ensure saturated color and smooth, consistent application. Straight from the tube, the paint is bright and opaque; add water for lighter hues and for easy mixing and blending. Some of the hues dry chalky and matte. The paints are acid-free and nontoxic, conforming to ASTM D4236 and EN71 standards. Teachers appreciate the bonus color-mixing wheel, a great teaching tool (and a wonderful reference for professionals). The mixing wheel includes essential art vocabulary, helping young artists learn art terminology.
4. Colorations Liquid Watercolor Paint
Looking for an alternative to dry, pan watercolors or wet watercolors in tubes? Liquid watercolors offer intense color in a fluid paint. Colorations’ liquid watercolor set includes six brilliant colors in 4-ounce bottles. The pigments are suspended in water, but the paints have a high pigment load. Paint straight from the bottle for vivid color or dilute with water for washes. The paints can be used in a spray bottle or airbrush or applied with brushes, droppers, straws, even bingo dabbers. They work well for marbling, and they can be used to dye dough, white glue, and slime. The paints are free from allergens, nontoxic, and washable. Do store them upright, though: the lids can leak.
5. Castle Art Supplies Paint Set
Castle Art Supplies’ watercolor set offers high-quality paints with premium artist-grade pigments. The set includes 24 traditional artist hues in 12-milliliter tubes; colors are lightfast and will not shift or fade over time. The paint is smooth and not chalky, with a high pigment load for beautiful saturated color. The pigments blend well, allowing you to create nuanced gradations of color. The set includes a step-by-step tutorial with tips on watercolor techniques and effects. Safe to use and nontoxic, the paints are perfect for professionals and for young artists experimenting with the paint for the first time.