Schmincke Horadam offers a Limited Edition tin of 12 colors each year. It comes in one of their signature tins (love the owl logo!)
EDITED: In this review, I mentioned problems that I had with the tin. I felt I had probably just received the lemon in the bunch, but it turns out that it is a production problem. Schmincke has responded. You can read about the resolution of the problem here.
And I have to add that I bought my set through Wet Paint Art. They are being SO responsive. Response to complaints on the issue are almost immediate and they give you a thorough answer as to what happened and what action is being taken. If you learn nothing else from this review, remember that Wet Paint Art is an excellent store for buying art supplies. Good customer service is worth it’s weight in gold
I’ve also spoken with Schmincke Horadam and am being sent two replacement tins.
This year the new colors were Perylene Dark Red, Saturn Red, Cobalt Azure, Phthalo Sapphire, Yellow Orange, Rutile Yellow, Potter’s Pink, Perylene Violet, Perylene Green, Hematite Black, Viridian and Mahogany Brown.
Only one of the colors is transparent, five are semi-transparent, two are semi-opaque, and four are opaque. Five are granulating. four are staining, four are semi-staining and four are non-staining.
These are all single pigment colors. The only one I already had was Viridian, so I was very pleased.
I wasn’t as pleased with the tin. Some of the issues won’t matter to some people and will to others. I’m pretty picky about mine.
Comparing it to an older one, the metal is thinner and it does that popping in and out thing with very little pressure.
The support ring on the bottom sticks out. I does flatten when you set the tin down, but I don’t use them (they’re meant for you to slide your thumb into to help you hold onto the palette while painting in the field), and I find it in the way like this. The ring should be easy to remove though.
The bottom has non-skid bumps to help with stability, but …
… the mixing lid doesn’t lie flat, so when you are mixing or picking up paint, the lid goes down, and the rest of the tin goes up and so much for stability. Again, the older version (not sure how much older) of the tin did not have this problem.
The other thing that I didn’t like was discovered the first time I used the tin. As I was wiping off the paint, I noticed some spots on the lid. Some of the enamel had flaked off. All I used was a soft brush for painting and a wet paper towel to clean off the paint. I’m going to contact Schmincke about this. I probably just got a lemon, but they’ll want to know in case it is a production problem. *Edit: It turned out to be a production problem.
The double indentation in the lid is designed to fit snugly between the wells in the wing. Unfortunately, I like to paint a chart showing the layout and colors in a palette, and with those indentations even a thin sheet (80 lb) of watercolor paper keeps the lid from closing all the way.
The tin does have good features. The wing has 8 wells for mixing.
The set comes with 12 colors, but the removable tray has room for 18 half pans, so the set can be customized if you want to add more colors. Or you could leave the tray out and fit even more pans inside.
The wing is beveled on three edges, but not the inside edge. That edge isn’t very sharp so I don’t think it would be easy to cut yourself on it. To be truthful though, I don’t find too many tins that are beveled all the way around, and with many the fold-out wing is not beveled at all, so this is a step up in that regard.
Of course, the important thing is the paint. I love the colors, especially the Rutile Yellow and Cobalt Azure. And the Perylene Violet. And the Perylene Green – it has such a dark value! Something that can be hard to get with watercolors.
I found that you do need to wet the colors and let it soak in if you want the darkest values.
And the colors have a nice range. I adapted a free tutorial from Joe Cibere to test out the paints. It’s a great test of both paper and paints and fun to do.
I let the colors mingle all over and did some heavy lifting just to see what worked and what didn’t, so it got a bit muddy in places, but I like the way the colors from this set work together.