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My two children and I had a fun afternoon recently painting all three of the 30x24cm pictures in this set together. The set, rrp £14.99, and which I was lucky enough to be sent to try, is designed to be an introduction to water colour painting. Initially when we opened it up the set looked quite disappointing - you don't get much in the box, there are three printed pictures, 5 very small bottles of paint, a mixing palette, pipette a brush and a instruction booklet and that's it - but it turned out to be great fun and much enjoyed by all three testers.
The picture templates are nicely designed and appealed to my children, the London picture has an olympics feel and the other two paintings (New York and Paris respectively as per the photo above) are attractive as well. They are pretty fool proof to paint as the lines between different parts are printed in wax and so stay white whatever you do - the detailing on the statue of liberty and the New York sky scrapers is particularly effective in my opinion.
Mixing up the colours looked pretty daunting at first; there's a colour chart with instructions as to how many drops of magenta, yellow, red, blue, black and water you need to make 50 varied shades, but in practice it was really easy. The instruction booklet was multi-lingual which was confusing at first but again, fine once we had got the hang of it. The children found it quite interesting working out how the different colours were made and adding more water on their paper to make lighter shades. There are 20 squares to the palette so plenty of scope for mixing and the actual paint comes out of the droppers easily and there was more than enough to complete all three pictures and then continue to paint freestyle. A little paint seemed to go a long way, though it wasn't the easiest to wash off little hands - soaking definitely required, so I would recommend use of an apron for messy painters with this set.
Perhaps most importantly results from this set were amazingly good, the colours on the finished paintings are vibrant and reflect the fact that the testers have understood a little about how watercolour painting works in my (biased) opinion. I would say the set is probably best suited for age 7 and up and enjoyable for both children and adults alike. The only issue I have with this item really is that its potential in terms of creativity is a bit limited - you are encouraged to copy the picture rather than using your imagination, and it is undeniably quite pricey for what you get, though smaller sets in "midi" and "mini" size are available and might be a cheaper and more speedy alternative. That said the components of this set are all of great quality, in particular the brush is very well made - it has two ends, one thick and one thin, which is a novel idea, and the paper itself is a quality item too.
When all is said and done this set kept us all busy and happy for a whole rainy afternoon, which would make it well worth the purchase price in my opinion. The children absolutely loved painting their pictures and, ultimately achieved good results at the end. I will definitely try out more of these sets perhaps in the smaller midi size. Recommended, albeit being quite expensive it's a good item.