The Art Nomad Professional Watercolor Paint Set from ZenArt isn’t the smallest travel set or the lightest, but it is one of the handiest and most complete.
With 6 brushes, 24 colors, 1 pencil, 4 large mixing wells, and a sponge, it has almost everything you’ll need except paper and water. The colors are non-toxic and professional quality.
Art Nomad Specs
- Dimensions: 8 x 3.5 x 1.3 inches / 24.5 x 10 x 4.5 cm
- Weight: 330 g
The set is also referred to as the ‘Professional Watercolor Paint Set Art Nomad’ and ‘Art Nomad 24*7 Watercolour Travel System’ depending on which site you are visiting.
The set comes in a cardboard box. The art by Anastasia Shimshilashvili is beautiful. The cardboard is pretty thin, but I’m going to keep it just because of the art.
It includes a pamphlet with a color chart, all the pigment index information, examples of possible brush strokes, and information about brush care.
There is a pre-printed swatch chart for you to paint in the colors. It’s on good watercolor paper so you get a good idea of colors. It also has a logo printed on it though, I think to give the idea of transparency.
There is also a plastic splash guard to place between the paints and the brushes, to protect both. It can also be used to protect your paints when you are out and about in nature where stuff might be blown into your palette.
Art Nomad Palette
The palette case is quite unique. Made of recyclable plastic, it has an elegant lid, and a rolling hinge that allows the brush stand to lie flat or to be rolled into an upright position.
I mentioned above that this set isn’t the lightest or smallest. It’s a bit too large for my older self to hold in my small hands for an extended time. That said, it isn’t too heavy or too large, either. Most people could carry it from place to place without discomfort. And the weight helps stabilize the set while you are using it.
It won’t fit in most pockets, but would fit in larger purses or a briefcase.
The paints sit in the set, which is partitioned, rather than in separate inserts. You could remove a cake of paint, but not the pans themselves.
The paints come wrapped in clear plastic. They are loose in the pans, but just adding a few drops of water in the bottom, secures them in place.
The mixing area has four good-size wells.
Make sure to take note of the order of the brushes. The handles are slightly different sizes and the brushes sit snugly in the stand. But if you change the order, they aren’t as snug and will come loose when the case is closed.
The brush sizes are all different, so I took a waterproof marker and wrote the size on each brush holder, so I’d know which was which.
All the working parts of the case move easily and smoothly. The lid snaps shut securely to prevent accidental opening, but there’s a little bit of a trick to opening it.
You can see a half-circle in the curve of the lid that looks a bit like you could push it. You can’t. But hook your fingernail under it and push up gently and the lid comes right open.
Don’t despair! If your nails are too short for that, grasp the top lid at the corners with one hand, and the bottom corners with the other hand. Pull gently to open the case.
The case has the usual ring at the bottom that you can slide your thumb through to help stabilize it if you want to hold it in your hand.
There is a good size sponge that sits between the paints and the mixing area. This can be used for controlling the amount of water in your brush.
That brings me to a little surprise that came with the set. There were two extra paints — a deep chocolate, and a golden yellow.
There was no information included about these two paints and I’m not sure if all sets will have extras, and if they will be the same colors. But it was a really nice surprise. They are actually my favorite colors in the set.
I cut the sponge into three pieces and was able to make a place for the two extra paints.
Art Nomad Travel Set Brushes
The brushes include (going from left to right in the photo):
- Angled size 10
- Flat size 12
- Round size 8
- Flat size 14
- Fan size 6
- Round size 4
The brushes are a Japanese Synthetic — I wasn’t able to find any other information listed anywhere. They are more soft and flexible than the brushes usually found in this kind of set.
Overall, the brushes are small, and hold the usual amount of water that you get with synthetics of this price range, so they’ll work best for smaller paintings and sketches. This is a travel set, so that is what you might expect.
The handles are very short. Possibly too short for those with larger hands, but just about perfect for me.
One of the inserts shows a range of brush strokes, but that’s not the same as trying them out yourself. I played with them, and was quite pleased with the range of strokes that were available.
The rounds don’t have a super sharp tip, but come to a nice point so you’re able to get both fat and thin lines.
The flats have a nice chiseled edge that allows thin lines and the flexibility gives sweeping curves. They do splay as they get dry, but not as quickly as most synthetic flats. I could dry brush for quite a while before getting the streaks that splaying will cause.
I could get almost the exact same marks with the flats as with the angled, but it was easier to get some of them with the angled brush. Angled brushes are sort of a convenience that way.
Another convenience brush, fan brushes are really nice for foliage and dry brushing.
ZenArt refers to these paints both as professional and artist quality. I would put them at high-end artist grade, and low-end professional. They’re made in South Korea.
The colors are bright and vibrant. They are non-toxic and vegan-friendly.
The humidity here is such that I find it hard to say how *reactive these paints are. I’m finding all my paints take a little more work to get thoroughly wet, and they all dry out much faster than usual. So all I can really say is that these activate as well as my other professional pan paints.
*reactive – how quickly the paints (especially pan paints) get wet enough to paint with, and how much they move when you put them on the paper.
Based on my other ZenArt sets, I think these will wet very easily when the humidity changes.
ART Nomad Professional Water colors list: Lemon Yellow, Cad-Free Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Red Ochre, Cad-Free Orange, Cad-Free Red, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna, Quinacridone Rose, Quinacridone Pink, Quinacridone Rubin Violet, Ultramarine Violet, Cobalt-Free Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Phthalo Blue, Prussian Blue, Cobalt-Free Turquoise, Turquoise, Emerald Green, Dark Green, Yellow Green, Sap Green, Raw Umber, Deep Black
Examples Using Art Nomad Set
Since this is a travel set, where people might be using sketchbooks and postcards, which are seldom the highest quality, I only did one of my examples on 100% cotton watercolor paper.
For my first example, I used Bamboo Mixed Media paper. My emphasis was on exploring the reds and greens in the set rather than trying for realistic color. This is slightly absorbent paper, but the color stayed bright and moved well.
My second example was on cellulose watercolor postcard. I was trying some of the other colors, but also playing with the range of values (light to dark) that I could get.
This paper is one that allows for easy lifting. I found that the brushes in this set hold enough water that I had to be careful or I would lift color accidentally. It was easy enough to control once I was aware of it.
For my Halloween decorated stairs I used a smooth sketch paper. I really liked how bright the color was.
For my last example, I mainly used the two extra colors, and a 100% cotton paper. I love these two colors.
ZenART takes pride in creating products designed to satisfy all the needs of an artist — quality, ease-of-use, mood, and price. They look for ways to bring elegance to each product, believing it enhances the artistic urge to create beauty.
Links of interest
- Art Nomad Professional Watercolor Paint Set
- Hahnemühle Bamboo Mixed Media Sketchpad
- Hahnemühle Nostalgie Postcards
- Hahnemühle Watercolor Postcards
- Hahnemühle Hot Press The Collection Watercolor Paper
I bought this set with my own money because I was intrigued and thought others would be interested in it. I received no other considerations, though this post may contain affiliate links which help support Doodlewash. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in