Mary A. Madsen/Photographer, Artist

I got these as a warm-up set and put them away, thinking at this price they couldn't really be all that good. Yes. They. Are. After working with Daniel Smith and other high end paints, I got them out just to use them up and have a travel case. I had to make several swatch pages to see if I was really seeing the quality I thought I was seeing. I was! And there are colors here that aren't usually found in sets in this price range. Some reviewers have remarked about the lightfastness, but I'm seeing the same rankings on the wrappers as I find in other, much more expensive, sets. The best part is that there are only a few that are made with more than one pigment, making them very easy to mix without getting mud. I do like Daniel Smith because of the granulation, but most of the earth tones here also granulate. Confession time. I have TWO of these sets, and yet my fingers are itching to buy a third, even though I don't need one. I did topple one set on the floor and had the pans scatter everywhere. That turned out to be a good thing. It showed me just how densely pigmented these are because I couldn't tell the colors apart without swatching (the darker the paint in the pan, the denser the pigmentation). Unlike Holbein, which uses many different pigments in most of their colors, as well as white, these give a very crisp, fresh color and are fabulous for layering while maintaining transparency. he scattered pans also gave me a chance to write the color name on each pan before putting them back in the palette and securing each one with a small piece of rolled painters tape. I can remove one without them all pulling up. Don't be fooled by the price. These are excellent.

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