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Watercolour with Cass Art Review

Reviewed by Louise Totton

I have always wished I could paint. Some people make drawing and painting look so very easy and effortless, whereas I would describe myself as ‘artistically challenged’. A year or so ago, I was trying to work out how to change the timer on my combi boiler (bear with me in this – honestly, it is relevant!), and I could not follow the instructions at all. So, I turned to Google, who in turn pointed me to a YouTube instructional guide for operating my boiler. Within twenty minutes, my timers were reset, and I have found a brand-new source of help for pretty much anything I was struggling with. Since then, I have used YouTube to teach myself to crochet, do some basic maintenance on my car and to get ideas for some face-painting ideas for my children. I find it so much easier to ‘watch’ instructions rather than read them, especially for visual things like crochet and face-painting.

So, with this in mind, I thought that instructional videos would be a great way to begin to learn watercolour painting techniques. Other than lack of ability / inspiration, the other thing that has been holding me back is the overwhelming range of products available and the expense of kitting my self out. Cass Art seemed a great place to start though. The site is simple to use, and is nicely split into categories so I could get straight to the watercolour section. Being a compete novice, and not really understanding the difference between the standard paints, artists’ quality paints, tubes of watercolour and concentrated pigments, I was relieved to see there is an Aspiring Watercolour Starter Set, which contains everything that I should need to at least begin to start to learn to paint. The set contains:

At the moment, this set is on sale at £29.50, which is a complete bargain. The normal price is £41.95, which is still a very reasonable price to kit yourself out for a new hobby.

The set arrived in good time and was very well packed and protected. The paints themselves are contained in a fold away plastic palette, with two folding trays to mix colours on. The quality of the paper was excellent – it feels thick and luxurious, and I couldn’t wait to get started. My first port of call was YouTube, where I searched for ‘beginners watercolour tutorial’. I spent a bit of time watching various videos before selecting a couple to try out. most of the videos are less than 7 minutes long, and the ones I chose had very few steps involved. Both tutorials I chose to try out were skyscape type pictures, as they looked the simplest to start with.

I had a fantastic time, and a really relaxing and rewarding afternoon trying out these paints. They are a lovely quality product and really are fantastic to use. The set came with two artists’ quality paints, and I have to say that there is a noticeable difference between these and the standard ones. The colours are so rich, and I plan on getting some more of these to add to the palette. The palette itself has spare spaces for adding any additional colours, which is really handy. I am actually quite proud of my efforts – for someone who has no artistic talent whatsoever, I have managed to produce some paintings that actually look like what they were supposed to look like!

The two tutorials I followed then gave me the confidence and basic skills to have a go at my own skyscape, without following any instructions, which just goes to show how quickly you can pick up new skills if you have the right tools to do it.

I would have to give this set a rating of 5/5, and I can’t wait to get stuck in to doing some more painting. My nine-year-old has asked if we can do some painting together over the holidays, and with it being so simple to create these pictures, I know she’ll be able to do it, and to produce something that she can be really proud of.

Rating: 5/5

For more information or to buy your own watercolours, brushes and paper visit www.cassart.co.uk.

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