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Review: American Crafts Travel Watercolor Set

Do you love of the hottest trends in scrapbooking, card making and planning? Or are you wanting to dabble but don't know where to start? We have the answer when you are ready to jump in!

American Crafts has released a fully portable watercolor palette that is versatile, adorable AND affordable with the MSRP at $16.00! You can't beat the value for this price and as you read on you will see why!

The palette is about 7 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches and made out of a durable plastic making it lightweight and easy to store in your bag! This is what it looks like when it is removed from its box:

When the palette is opened you see all the luscious paints with the 0h-so-cute accessories:

18 paints for $16??? Are you kidding? One 15ml tube of watercolor can run $10-15! That's for one color!

Let's take a closer look at the accessories:

You will find a waterbrush, a sponge which can be used for cleaning paint off your brush (or adding texture with paint) and a porcelain tray.

The cute little white porcelain tray is fabulous for mixing up your paint as it does not stain the tray and you see the true color.

So, really....all you need once you fill the brush with water is paper! (In general, you will want to use watercolor paper as it holds more water....but regular paper can be used as long as you use little water.)

Something I always do when I receive new paints is to swatch them and use a piece of watercolor paper that will fit in my palette when it's closed. I absolutely love using my Waffle Flower Watercolor Stamps and Die Set (MSRP $42.00) It is also available with the stamps only (MSRP $20.00). I have used this set dozens of times to swatch out paints, inks, pens, etc. This set makes it so easy!

I drew a line through the top boxes with a Sharpie (any waterproof pen can be used) to see how transparent the paints are. (Note: with watercolor you generally build up shades or value changes with layers so most watercolors have some level of transparency.) If they are transparent we should still be able to see the line after they are filled in with paint. Transparency can be very important in watercolor.

Next I just painted in the squares....the rectangles are filled with full pigment and then water is added for the smaller boxes to show more of a "wash" (that's a watercolor term!). By the way, the waterbrush in this set gives excellent water control! I was quite impressed with it....some waterbrushes give little control as the water gushes out making A BIG MESS!

Here is my completed swatch card and you see it can easily store in the lid of the palette so I can always refer to it. And here you will definitely see that what shows in the palette is vastly different from the color once it's activated with water!