It’s been so much fun seeing everyone’s World Watercolor Month posts the past couple of days! So exciting being a part of this with everyone!  Such a wonderful variety of art!

In honor of World Watercolor Month and raising awareness for art education for children, this post is on watercolors/art supplies for kids.  It starts out with information about The Dreaming Zebra Foundation, then the supplies. Brands featured- Pelikan, Artists’s Loft, Reeves, Faber-Castell, Yasutomo, and Crayola. Helpful links at the end to help generate ideas for helping the children in your life express themselves artistically.  These supply posts were born out of the belief that artistic expression is extremely important, and far reaching in how it impacts our lives. Children are masters of artistic expression and the beautiful state known as flow.  When they create, they don’t sensor themselves.  They just go for it, colors, shapes, and fun!

Pelikan watercolours, faber-castel watercolor pencils, reeves gouache, artist loft watercolors, crayola oil pastels, yosutomo


The Dream Zebra Foundation Logo - Donate art supplies to celebrate World Watercolor Month July 2016 Research has shown that art education has a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of every child and has proven to help level the learning field across socioeconomic boundaries. Unfortunately, arts education programs are too often the first to be cut when cuts are necessary, so more and more children each year are missing out on the important benefits of art classes.

Watercolor is the #1 needed art supply! Click Here to Help!

With your help, we can reverse this trend. To make this first ever month-long global celebration of watercolor affect real change, we’ve teamed up with The Dreaming Zebra Foundation, a charity providing support so that children and young adults are given an equal opportunity to explore and develop their creativity in the arts. Click here to shop the World Watercolor Month wish list of art supplies for kids! (hosted by Blick Art Materials) 

The Dreaming Zebra Foundation charity for Art supplies and art education for underprivileged children

The Dreaming Zebra Foundation is unique in that they provide an art recycling program that is free to the public. Reusable art & music supplies that would otherwise be discarded, along with new or unsold materials, are donated by individuals and businesses and matched to recipients who have requested those materials for arts education purposes in communities around the world. Art education has a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of every child.

Have some beginner watercolor sets you no longer use, but still have some life in them? You can also support the cause, by simply sending your reusable art supplies to:

5331 SW MACADAM AVE., STE. 258-522

All of the supplies featured in this post will donated to the Dreaming Zebra Foundation, with the exception of the Crayola pastels. I’m in Southern Arizona and I think they might melt in the mail. Scorcher down here!

Artist quality  paints may contain hazardous pigments that are not suitable for children.  If purchasing for kids, supplies should state that they are non-toxic.  Most US packaging states if it conforms to ASTM D 4236 standards, or the foreign equivalent.

Pelikan and artist loft watercolors

Pelikan is a German company that manufacturers paints for children and families. Pelikan Opaque Watercolors 24– $20.  “These watercolors from Germany are made from high quality pigments of the finest grain size. Easily soluble, they deliver good lightfastness with brilliant, dense colors. Conforms to DIN 5023DIN 5023.” Not for children under three because the removable pans are a choking hazard.

This double decker palette separates, the lid has deep mixing wells, and the large cake pans snap in and out.  Nice for sharing!  Big cakes to make it easier for the wee ones.  This set is a good deal and comes with a lot of paint. Also comes in a set of 12 for a little over $11.

perlikan opaque watercolors 24 set

  • Set features a push-button box and includes a tube of Chinese White
  • Hollowed paint tablets for quicker solubility
  • Removable lid with large mixing pans
  • Colors included: Black, Carmine Red, Flesh, Magenta, Vermilion, Yellow, Orange, Lemon, Indian Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Cobalt Blue, Violet, Prussian Blue, Ultramarine, Turquoise Blue and more
Pelikan watercolours swatch
Pelikan Swatches

Artist’s Loft Fundamentals Watercolor Pan Set 36.  I got this set at Michael’s for about $5.

“This package of brilliant watercolor paints helps you create beautiful works of art. This pigment paint collection is comprised of a wide spectrum of vivid colors which are all water soluble. The set is for any student, teacher or adult who wants to experiment with different watercolors and is looking for a great value.”

Like me, many adults have a set of these.  I see them all over the place in photos.  They are chalky, but also a lot of fun with all those colors.

Artist Loft Watercolors
Artist’s Loft

Fun little example painting using the two sets above.  For an example of splatter technique, see this 3:13 minute video– How to Paint a Cherry Tree in Watercolor – Splatter Painting Trees – Sakura

Tree Panting with perlikan watercolors and artist loft watercolors
Pelikan and Artist’s Loft Paints

Reeves makes a line of children’s products.  This UK company has been around for a long time- since the 1700s.

Reeves 24 pack Gouache Tube Set– $18 these are considered student grade.

“Reeves Gouache is non-toxic and conforms to ASTM D-4236 standards. Good-quality color at an economical price, Reeves Watercolor Sets are ideal for students and beginners.  Reeves Watercolors are easily diluted with water. Brushes and other painting materials are easily cleaned with soap and water.”

Reeves is easy to find at many local art stores, craft stores and online. They also come in smaller sets of 12 and 18, and the same sized sets in  watercolor.

Reeves gouache
Reeves Gouache

Faber-Castell, another company that’s been around since the 1700s, makes a lot of premium art supplies for kids.  Most of them are distinguishable from their other lines by the red packaging. They have a pretty nice video gallery featuring their line of children’s products. These paints look fun, the interlocking pans can be made into different shapes. They also have these  water-soluble crayons, and a bunch of other products.

Watercolor Pencils- about $23 for the set of 36 on Amazon.  This is a nice student grade set, comes in a metal tin with a hinged lid.  Also has one gold metallic and one silver metallic pencil, and a small brush. This particular set comes from Japan.

Faber-Castell watercolor pencils set
Watercolor Pencils

I love this set of paintbrushes from Faber-Castell. They aren’t large sizes, biggest is 5/8,” the angular handles are larger for small hands to manage, and they won’t roll.  The jewel colors are fun.

Faber-Castell kids watercolor brushes

Yasutomo Niji Pearlescent Watercolor Paint Cakes 16$6.71 on Amazon, $3.74 at Merri Artst.  They also come in a set of 21 colors.  These are around a few dollars for a reason. There isn’t much paint in the pans, the iridescence is weak, but for the price, fun can be had with them.  I think I got this set from my local Michael’s craft store. Set states non-toxic in the description and it’s not for children under three.  If you are interested in iridescent paints, see this post– not all intended for use by young children.  Swatches of this set are also available in that post.

Yasutomo Niji Pearlescent Watercolor paint
Yasutomo Niji Pearlescent Watercolor

Crayola 24ct Oil Pastels Portfolio Series– about $10 on Amazon, they are water-soluble.  I got these from my local art store.  A set of 12 Crayola is about $6.  Crayola of course, is known for all of there many variety of children’s art supplies.  They go way beyond crayons, but those are fun too!

  • Smooth bendable texture non-rolling hexagonal shape strong long-lasting sticks
  • Color mixing blending rubbing scratch board tints and shades techniques
  • It is Non-toxic Jumbo size for strength and durability 28 different colors Unique hexagonal shape for anti-roll Brilliant true colors for good blending to secondary colors Tapered point ideal for detail drawing
  • Portfolio Series Oil Pastels offer a variety of unique and flexible features
  • 24 different colors
  • Use for wet or dry work
  • Brilliant true colors for good blending to secondary colors
  • Tapered point ideal for detail drawing
Crayola Portfolio water soluble oil pastel with circular example
Crayola Portfolio Water-Soluble Oil Pastels

Helpful links:

How to Pick Paints for Kid Art Projects

11 Best Art Materials for Toddlers

The 25 Best Kids Art Materials

Best sellers on Amazon for Kids’ Art Paints

This is an ongoing Saturday series of watercolor and art supply reviews.  July is officially World Watercolor Month! If you haven’t already joined the Face Book group for this first ever celebration, come join us, we are having a lot of fun over there!  The rest of the Saturdays in July, we will be going on a World Tour of Watercolors with stops in Japan, Russia, Germany, France and the UK! With the exception of one of those posts, these will be going back to single products for now. Whew! Everyone could probably use a breather after the last month of lengthy multi product supply posts. I appreciate you sticking with me!

Don’t forget to hashtag your artwork that contains watercolor with #WorldWatercolorMonth

“I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy.”
Kahlil Gibran

Please donate!  Every bit helps!

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Posted by:Jessica Seacrest

Hi I'm the Doodlewash Supply Blogger and offer biweekly reviews of various types of art supplies, watercolors, and helpful tips. I approach artistic expression with a light-hearted point of view. I love to see, and support others opening up to, and embracing their creative process with any medium or creative expression.

25 replies on “DOODLEWASH REVIEW: Kids’ Paints

  1. I really wish I had this review when my kids were little. Granted, there were many fewer art supplies 20 years ago, but I mainly stuck with Crayola brand stuff because their quality was usually reliable. Occasionally, we’d use RoseArt stuff, but some of their stuff was better than others. It’s not like I think the kids would produce museum quality art, but there is nothing more frustrating than a marker running out of ink or having a faded hue.

    Thanks for another marvelously extensive review, Jessica!❤

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, when I was a kid, there were wax crayons mainly (elementary schools actually get the 8 packs out for free!). My grade 5 art teacher gave us oil pastels to work with, too. Markers came a bit later.😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I should know better than to try to comment via FB.. My long comment seems to have disappeared. I was just telling you that I was a preschool teacher for 5 years and know how important art is for all their development. I love all the Crayolas stuff…especially their twistable stix.. Great post!! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

      1. sorry, I think I may have posted several times as i didn’t see my comments when I checked.. LOL


    1. Hi Cathe, super important for all of us! I do a job that is very left brained, in a very left brained industry. I feel like I’m finally working with the other hemisphere and evening things out a bit. So many of us walk around thinking we are not creative, but I think we just get used to not expressing in that way. Get ’em while they’re young, I say!😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You know, I tried posing twice last night from Facebook.. Should have known better..

    I don’t know if knew this but I was a preschool teacher for about 5 years. Art is so important for kids’ development from cognitive to fine motor skills. And I love how enthusiastically they paint! Crayola brand is so good. I have just about everything they make from crayons (yes, I have a box of all the colors that I don’t let my kids touch.. hehe) to Twistable Stix. These are fabulous. If you’ve ever used Faber Castell’s Gelatos, they are similar and much better than Gelatos IMHO. I use them when I illustrate my old dictionary. Colors are vibrant and they don’t need a lot of water so it doesn’t ruin the delicate paper of old dictionary.

    The peschool I taught bought supplies from Discount School Supply and one of the things they bought was Coloration’s Liquid Watercolor. Intense colors. We used it for spray painting and even made puff paint with glue and shaving creme.. It really was the most fun job I’ve ever had.

    Great post!!!


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