Are AliExpress watercolours any good?! | Art Supply First Impressions

Hello! When I saw these watercolours on AliExpress, I immediately knew I wanted to try them out. I think I saw a similar set on Instagram and considering I paid only €11 for 42 colours, this is quite a bargain!

Let me explain what AliExpress is if you’re not familiar with it. It’s a online shop similar to Wish where you can buy tons of cheap stuff, from clothes to phones.

I’ve bought many things on AliExpress! The packages take weeks to arrive, but I don’t mind. I wouldn’t recommend it for expensive purchases as there are a lot of cheap knock offs on their website, but it’s great for washi tapes, pencils, bookmarks, etc.

So what about this watercolour set? Is it a great product for an affordable price, or is it just cheap crap? I bought this set myself and all opinions are honest and my own.

The sets are available in 18, 25, 33 and 42 colours. It comes with a mixing palette, waterbrush and washable sponge. The design is quite unique: it looks like a fan in which the colours are stacked on top of one another.

When I started swatching each colour, I was immediately blown away by their vibrancy! These colours are so pigmented, which I love! in addition, they are accurately represented on the little swatch at the bottom of each palette.

You can’t judge art supplies by their swatches, however, so I had to put them to the test and create a piece using these.

First I painted this adorable Charizard! I love drawing Pokémon and I especially like to draw them in my own style, making them as cute as possible.

I didn’t use the waterbrush that came with this set, but instead used my Princeton Neptune Faux Squirrel round brush size 6, which is vegan, by the way!

Anyway, a lot of cheap watercolours are chalky and these are no exception. Just look at Charizard’s wings! Considering the price and amount of colours you get, however, this didn’t bother me so much. In comparison, I got a Sakura Koi watercolor set for my birthday, which is also considered a more affordable brand. That was €42 for 48 colours, so that’s certainly more expensive.

That said, I didn’t love the fan design. I was worried that if I applied water to the layer underneath, my paint set would become a huge mess. I don’t know whether that would actually be the case, but I ended up being very careful nonetheless.

What I disliked the most, is the dark edge once the paint has dried. Applying a darker colour is my favourite technique to add shadows, but this looks absolutely awful!

Finally I also drew Stitch. I made a mistake while painting the body – the paint I used was too purple instead of blue – so that’s not this set’s fault.

But especially when looking at his forehead, you can see how chalky these paints are.

So, would I recommend getting rid of your other watercolour sets and replacing them with this one? Depending on your set, I would say no. If you are a starter, however, I think these are decent! Though I own sets of higher quality, I might use these ones in the future again nonetheless. I didn’t buy them to use only twice, after all.

All in all, I think the good outweighs the bad. The colours are vibrant and varied and the price is absolutely great!

Thank you for reading,

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