CHEAP vs EXPENSIVE Art Supplies - Does The Price Really Matter? Testing Watercolor Paint & Paper!

  • Published on Jan 12, 2019
  • Hey guys! In today's video we are going to test out cheap vs. expensive watercolor art supplies to see if the price really matter, if you need expensive art supplies or if inexpensive and cheap supplies would do as well! I will test out different watercolor paint sets from Prang, Daler Rowney, Winsor & Newton to Daniel Smith, Schmincke Horadam and Holbein! I really hope you enjoy this video!
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    ♡ Prang Watercolor * (US)
    ○ Daler Rowney Mini Travel Set * (US) * (UK) * (GER)
    ♡ Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colour Paint Sketchers' Pocket Box * (US) * (UK) * (GER)
    ♡ Daniel Smith Essentials * (US) * (UK) * (GER)
    ♡ Schmincke Horadam
    ♡ Holbein

    ♡ Canson Montval Watercolor Paper * (US)
    ♡ Bockingford Watercolor Paper * (US)
    ♡ Arches Watercolor Pad * (US) * (UK) * (GER)
    ♡ Hahnemuehle Expression Pad * (UK) * (GER)

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Comments • 521

  • Sheline12780 _happu
    Sheline12780 _happu 8 months ago +168

    among all the papers arches is the best, but its also very expensive, my experience with canson montval paper was really bad and I wouldn't buy that paper again, I always think more than the quality of the paints, watercolor paper matters more. If you have a good quality paper you can use less expensive paints on it and produce wonderful results. I suggest to invest a little more on watercolor paper rather than the paints if you are just starting out and then take it from there.

    • Sammy 124
      Sammy 124 2 months ago

      Really? I used canson for a while and have no problems with it. But I do have Bee paper that is 100% cotton that I heard is really good, considering it being more affordable than most papers that are 100% cotton but I haven’t done much work with it

    • Ro Pi
      Ro Pi 7 months ago

      Can anyone please elaborate on the difference between machine made and mould made? What is the process like and how does it affect the output?

    • Rebecca Elliott
      Rebecca Elliott 8 months ago +4

      Arches is worth every penny. Absolutely worth the investment. If you buy it at Michael’s you can wait for a 55% off coupon. The. The price is much more reasonable at 55% off lol. Sometimes they have a 60% if you’re willing to wait for it. I think they do it maybe twice a year.

    • Louise Jennings
      Louise Jennings 8 months ago +4

      María Jimena Nonato canson is garbage. They’ve somehow managed to become the brand every art supply store stocks all their shelves with, but arches is uh-mazing for watercolor if you can afford it. I’ve not used the bockingford brand before, but anything is a step up from canson, tbh.

    • MUSE
      MUSE 8 months ago

      @Ricardo Andrade Camacho indian handmade Maestriaa is low price and best of watercolour beginners

  • Jen 33
    Jen 33 Month ago

    I bought Phoenix cold press watercolor paper for practice and Bee Paper cold press watercolor paper for keeps. The quality between the two is pretty wide. Just putting brush to paper is so much joy with quality paper. But I am a beginner so I can’t use pricey paper all the time.

    • makoccino
      makoccino  Month ago +1

      Cheaper paper is great for practice when you are total beginner, but as soon as you are a little familiar with, I would definitely invest in quality paper! I also found it's a lot cheaper to buy a whole big sheet instead of a pad and you can cut them to any size you want!

  • MaxusFox23
    MaxusFox23 2 months ago

    And here I thought buying this Canson block was a good idea... oops.
    Welp, time to go get paper with cotton, I guess o)-(
    EDIT: I ended up buying 100% cotton paper and JESUS CHRIST the difference is abysmal, thanks!

  • Mariam Baly
    Mariam Baly 2 months ago

    Can you please try meiliang or pretty excellent (yeah that's the name) watercolours? They are 20$ for 36 colours half pan in a tin.

  • Kikimono
    Kikimono 4 months ago

    I don't use watercolor, I don't paint, I couldn't even tell a difference between a paintbrush and a feather duster.
    But everything you do is just so relaxing and inspiring, it really awakens my artistic curiosity !
    So if I ever take the plunge, thank you in advance for all your advices :)

  • Alex Santiago
    Alex Santiago 4 months ago

    Could you test Canson Mixed media paper??

  • ElizabethGronlund& GachaGurl

    Wow, you really get into it here, very interesting and kinda sad really. Canson started with a bang back in the day. I was just reading about them from when they first opened their mill. And now everyone hates them. Well, as a person of little coinage I still love my Canson cuz compared to printer paper it's effing amazing haha
    One other point I want to point out is ,apparently, "cheap" and "expensive " depends greatly on geography. Seriously Prang? 1 dollar? How? Where? That 💩's gonna cost ya a fist full of dollars here in the U.S, as far as I can find that is. I actually found that little W&N set you showed, the square one, for 7 bucks, the same and cheaper than most small sets of prang. I have found one U.K. store that sold there house brand for more than Daniel Smith. And then, of course there us in the U.S where you have to sell your first born or your soul to buy ANY kind of real paint. WTF is that about? I feel bad I don't buy from my own people , but....hahaha jk no I don't, the greedy bass turds! But, seriously... very interesting video, especially to see what you call cheap and expensive. 🤗

  • Xin
    Xin 5 months ago

    Using paper in the Arches level quality is a whole different experience, it's amazing; but as I'm not a professional, I kind of feel that it's wasted on me. I generally use Aquabee and Strathmore 500 BUT I have to say I actually maxed out on those paper before (they stopped taking layers of paint after too many layers) so while I like them, I realize that they have a limit. I've used Canson XL, it's not bad, like I would not do like an extensive painting but a cute illustration with few layers is fine, you have to be more careful about water control though. I feel like paints do matter to a beginner, but only to the level where you have to be painting with a set that isn't chalky; the first Reeves set I had actually made me want to throw myself off a cliff. Brushes I feel matter almost not at all as long as they hold a point and don't shed all over your paper, you can make almost anything work.

  • AM Miller
    AM Miller 5 months ago

    i love prang paints. they are about $15 for 20 colors where I am. They are great for washes. I recently bought W&N cotman ($35) and I’m trying to adjust to the higher pigment load. Prang paints are not particularly translucent or pigmented but if you add tons of water they make great even washes. W&N are translucent but so pigment compared to prang that i’m not sure how much water to use. I use bee 100% cotton paper, external cold press, 140lb

  • Mel Clasher
    Mel Clasher 6 months ago +1

    I sleep with the new things I get ps right now the watercolour set i have

  • albin albin
    albin albin 6 months ago

    I prefer the 1$

  • Barn Owl
    Barn Owl 6 months ago

    Great Video! I just started with Watercolours and i watched most of your videos about it, they helped a lot! :)
    Question: Does the paper affect how well the colours lift and how well the colours reactivate with water? Sometimes it just feels like the colour dos not move when I try to reactivate it with water...
    At the moment I use the Canson XL Watercolour Pad and the Farber Castell Goldfarber Aqua.
    Any suggestions for good watercolourpaper, thats not too expensive and easy to get in germany?
    Greetings from Bremen in Germany :)

  • Tú Ngô
    Tú Ngô 6 months ago

    omg I love holbein and DS ❤❤❤

  • Ayart96
    Ayart96 6 months ago

    Such a good, well structured video, clearly showing how the papers and paints react! it must have taken a lot of hard work to make this video and I'm grateful for it thank you :)

    ANOTHER RANDOM NOOB 7 months ago

    Yo Maco, My watercolor supplies has used up, can you give me another. BTW thanks for watercolor Tips Do and Dont.

  • Moist Water
    Moist Water 7 months ago +1

    I found it interesting of how much effort you put into your videos

  • K Lu
    K Lu 7 months ago

    Wow that's a lot of gemstones ...

  • Paolo Gabriel Magyaya
    Paolo Gabriel Magyaya 7 months ago

    Can you try a Prima Decadents Watercolor ?

  • stephanie
    stephanie 7 months ago

    This is wonderful. I use both canson and arches depending on what I need. I understand how canson performs so I don't mind it's weaknesses- I don't do a lot of flat washes with it. Ive tried fabriano as well.
    As a beginner, I try to strike the balance between volume and perfection. Volume makes me more productive but that glass ceiling is there and when you're ready to take the next step and feel like the materials are what's holding you back, make the commitment and take the next step. Also, expensive matls can be counter productive because you might feel like you're wasting money and can be quite intimidating.
    I use the most basic materials. And now use combination quality for paper and a small professional quality paint set. I've produced crappy outputs and good outputs on both paper.

  • Nika Claire
    Nika Claire 7 months ago

    What's the black and white piece of a girl behind you in this vid? It's lovely! Is it yours?

  • Cutekitty100
    Cutekitty100 7 months ago

    Remember the undyne costume you made (from undertale)? Could you make susie from delta rune? Srry just a random request

  • Sophia Schuyler Weasley
    Sophia Schuyler Weasley 7 months ago +1

    I like all of them but I like the 1 dollar one more

  • Alex Darum
    Alex Darum 7 months ago

    Did you made a rose quartz?... Or a pink diamond disguised as a rose quartz :3

  • taigatancbj
    taigatancbj 7 months ago

    Doesn’t even have money enough to buy the expensive ones on a regular basis. I go for Canson, honestly just because it’s the only one that is in a reasonable price range for most people.

  • Hafasa Hayat
    Hafasa Hayat 7 months ago

    TVclip was the pencil
    Mako is the highlighter
    TVclip made our wonderful TVclip world
    Make made it brighter 🤗

  • Just Monika
    Just Monika 7 months ago

    Hmmm tbh 1$ looks mlre realistic

  • sukma suci Safitri
    sukma suci Safitri 7 months ago

    For me, if only counting the watercolor : from 1$ price to 10$ price the quality is enhanced to that of chalky, muddy, and very low quality to that of decent, vibrant color. But, of course every pigment is that of low quality and mostly hue rather than true color. And then, from 10$ to 20-30$ price range, the quality is some of the best, you can get the 6,8 or 12 sets with some real pigment, and mosly 2-3 pigment. The permanency and tranparancy is great also. And then from 30$ to that above it (the same standard 12 set) the only thing that gets better is mostly the permanency, how it held up againts light, and you can find some single pigment if lucky. Sometimes, there's also uniwue characteristic like flow and granulation. But, That's it. The most notable difference is from 10$ to 30$ watercolor. So for me, except i have some specific characteristic, i will buy the 30$ one. All of this, considering the availability in my country and the price range in my country, with the 6-12 set color.

    • sukma suci Safitri
      sukma suci Safitri 7 months ago

      Btw, for the quality of prang watercolor to that available in my country, you would need at least 4-5 $. 1$ would be the very bad, chalky, and non-vibrant watercolor.

  • Ashley-Ann Destacamento

    No, the watercolour doesn’t matter. You showed that. It’s because the artist matters. All of them are beautiful!

  • Planttation ,
    Planttation , 7 months ago

    i like the one dollar one more

  • Kendel Darragh
    Kendel Darragh 7 months ago

    Outstanding video and content.

  • Kendel Darragh
    Kendel Darragh 7 months ago

    Very interesting and helpful.

  • Mia Siebeneck
    Mia Siebeneck 7 months ago

    I like how you always have something positive to say no matter how crappy or bad it is. 👍👍👍👍😁😊

  • Mesmerising Art With Sisters

    Ur experience was a little bit like mine........ur channel is the best for beginners to learn art.......thanks mako.....

  • Slytherpuff Griffynclaw

    You look like Demi Lovato a little bit

  • Vickie Rayhill
    Vickie Rayhill 8 months ago

    I've been painting with watercolor and gouache for 30 years, and was told back then that if you could afford only one paint set, it should be Prang-that surprised me because that is what we used in school.

  • Fancy Tortilla
    Fancy Tortilla 8 months ago

    At first I thought those were burgers in the thumbnail

  • Cwiffy
    Cwiffy 8 months ago

    Fabriano Sheets are great, We've used Arches for our projects and its just a dream to work with, color and different techniques just shows! Traditional painting requires a lot of investment for the best products.

  • N K
    N K 8 months ago

    Mako you know exactly what I'm looking for. I'm new to watercolours and have no idea which watercolor paper to buy, I know Arches is good but should I go with cold pressed or hot pressed. I've not used any but I can't afford to buy both to test them. I know they differ in texture, I draw both detailed and non detailed work. I was leaning towards hp but everyone is raging bout cp, I'm clueless, help me! I don't know what to do

    • N K
      N K 8 months ago

      @makoccino thank you so much! Your a saviour. Always love quick replies

    • makoccino
      makoccino  8 months ago

      I personally like cold pressed 100% cotton based paper but the textures between all three (hot pressed, cold pressed, rough) can vary drastically! Some cold pressed paper can have more texture than other cp paper. Hot pressed paper might not hold water that well if it's 300gsm or less. I loved the result when I used 600gsm hot pressed cotton paper, the wash of paint was beautifully even! My other 300gsm hot pressed cotton paper created more backruns / a cauliflower effect when I used lots of water. So if you kinda want both, detailed work and not detailed with lots of water usage, I would go for something heavier than 300gsm and cotton based paper! Or cold pressed paper that is cotton based and 300gsm or more. With hot pressed you need to be careful what you get, because sometimes the surface can be so silky that you feel like you have less control as it feels like the paper is resistent to the paint! So I would look for cotton based first and then decide :)

  • Lalala Lolololo
    Lalala Lolololo 8 months ago

    i bought fabriano wc paper a year ago and then i ran out so i bought canson cos i thought its good and whenever i work with canson, the results are very crappy, unlike fabriano's. It made me think that im losing my skill eventually but it was the paper lmao

  • A harmless rock
    A harmless rock 8 months ago

    What kinds of papers do you recommend on watercolor except watercolor paper since my parents say watercolor paper and oslo are the same, which isn't. I tried using oslo and bond which didn't work.

  • Snow Drop
    Snow Drop 8 months ago

    Where do you get prang water colors for $1 where I live at they are $8

  • celagail
    celagail 8 months ago +2

    I absolutely agree with everything you said. The paper really does matter, when it comes to vibrancy and achieving certain watercolor effects. I was so frustrated when I was first trying out watercolors. I didn’t understand until later that my inexpensive cellulose wc paper had certain limitations. That realization was a huge stress-reliever, when using that paper thereafter.
    I greatly appreciate all the time and work you put into this video to explain how paper kind and quality really does vary no matter what quality the paints are. This is so important for budding artists. Thank you Mako! 💕
    PS - I’ve actually been planning a blog post about watercolor tips and suggestions from my own experience learning watercolors as a new medium. In the post, I’m planning to include suggestions on what to invest more money on, if at all, given the objective of trying watercolors. For example, some people may solely want to try them for coloring books, therefore the focus would mostly be on what paints (and brushes) to get rather than the paper, which would obviously already be provided for in the coloring book. On the other hand, hobby artists who might gift their artwork or even decide to sell some of them, would have different things to consider when choosing art materials, and so on and so forth. So, with that in mind, would it be okay with you if I reference this video in my post?

  • SJ Rosten
    SJ Rosten 8 months ago

    I have only recently started watercolor painting. I find your information so helpful. I was surprised to learn the paper used causes such a difference in results. I’m learning so much! Thanks

  • Sea
    Sea 8 months ago +1

    water colour paper is quite pricy so I have a hack...Card! You can get different colours with different textures and they are so cheap in bundles. Plus they hold water really well and are very thick! Try ebay or Amazon

  • Mariam
    Mariam 8 months ago

    I love all your videos u r my favourite

  • Banana Milkeu
    Banana Milkeu 8 months ago +1

    watercolor on arches watercolor paper kinda looked, like chalky?

  • Pan Lingyee
    Pan Lingyee 8 months ago

    After many years, my local chain bookstore decided to stock some cheap watercolour paper and gouache. I honestly adore it as much as or more than my expensive stuff. I bought a pad of A4 derwent academy watercolour paper for $5 and the gouache for $5.20. The paper warped a bit but I could still do the wet on wet technique and the gouache blended really easily even though I got a set of 12 for $5.20. If you are really broke (like me), look around and there should be quality cheap options (or just get 2nd stuff).

  • ALICE 3244
    ALICE 3244 8 months ago

    best paper i have used so far is Fontaine by Clairefontaine

  • Jenn Glow
    Jenn Glow 8 months ago


  • Col Wilson
    Col Wilson 8 months ago +2

    We live in a disposable consumer driven society. It’s hard to not want the latest and greatest, thinking it’s going to improve your art game, but expensive doesn’t impart good design or talent. The truth is that so much more goes into a finished work of art. I might change the order of importance to: 1) Hard Work & Dedication, 2) Talent combined with passion, 3) Paper, 4) Brushes and 5) Paint.
    You can definitely see all the hard work and editing that goes into your channel. You took a whole lot of research and info and put it into 12 minutes of solid content. Thanks for another great video!

  • María Jimena Nonato
    María Jimena Nonato 8 months ago

    This is just what I needed.

  • Karuno
    Karuno 8 months ago

    I love the bockingfordpaper for its price! But not for the price that you listed in the video ! You can find a 50 a4 loose sheet pack on amazon for about 20€ which makes the paper costing only 0,50€ per a4 sheet

  • Samriddhi Vyas 14
    Samriddhi Vyas 14 8 months ago

    Can you paint .the scream.

  • Che Hojas
    Che Hojas 8 months ago

    I love your videos

  • Lee's Channel
    Lee's Channel 8 months ago

    The nicest watercolor paper that I've seen was Canson Heritage 300lbs Rough 100% cotton paper, but it's over $16 a sheet.

  • cools mojoh
    cools mojoh 8 months ago

    Have you ever get roasted? If so will you show us?

  • Šhïvâ
    Šhïvâ 8 months ago

    I use the chanson one , and I like it

  • Zainab Qureshi
    Zainab Qureshi 8 months ago

    You should really try Khadi paper!

  • Niyah joy victor
    Niyah joy victor 8 months ago

    hi mako :3

  • Jennifer L. Hart
    Jennifer L. Hart 8 months ago +9

    So I am ashamed to admit that when I first started painting watercolor a little over a year ago, I was just using Canon because my son had received it for a gift and never used it. I went through almost an entire XL pad but never managed to do lifting well for clouds or sun and oftentimes the paper would buckle when doing wet on wet and it doesn't reactivate as well. And this whole time I thought it was me doing something wrong! You don't know how relieved I am that it could be the paper. I am still learning and making mistakes, but I feel reenrggized. Going to splurge on some new 100 cotton paper ASAP

    • makoccino
      makoccino  8 months ago +1

      Awww yayy! I'm glad I could help!! Yes the sizing of the paper can make all the difference when it comes to lifting off the paint! I personally really enjoy working on 100% cotton paper and I can highly recommend it! Also make sure to check the paint you are using! Some pigments are naturally more staining, so it can also happen with some colors it can be a little bit more difficult to lift them off the paper!