Kuretake Gansai Tambi Color Set, 36-Count

Last updated date: August 20, 2021

DWYM Score

9.1

Kuretake Gansai Tambi Color Set, 36-Count

Why Trust DWYM?

DWYM is your trusted product review source. Along with our in-house experts, our team analyzes thousands of product reviews from the most trusted websites. We then create one easy-to-understand review. Learn more.

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval
Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in the category.
Show Contents

We looked at the top Watercolor Paint and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Watercolor Paint you should buy.

Update as August 20, 2021:
Checkout The Best Watercolor Paint for a detailed review of all the top watercolor paint.

Overall Take

This set includes traditional Japanese watercolors, intended for both professionals and amateurs alike. The rich and varied colors in this set will help your illustrations come to life. There are 36 colors in total.


In our analysis of 27 expert reviews, the Kuretake Gansai Tambi Color Set, 36-Count placed 11th when we looked at the top 18 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

Gansai Tambi paints are traditional Japanese watercolors for professional artists and crafters. They are the perfect accent for scrapbooking, crafting, and artistic projects, including sketch, illustration, and ink wash painting. Gansai Tambi watercolors come in a variety of options, including a set of 12, a set of 18, 24 and a set of 36 unique colors. Create beautiful works of art, use with stamping and paper projects, and add details to scrapbooks and more with these paints. Paints work best on paper and use a water-based pigment. The pigment is nontoxic and conforms to ASTM D 4236.

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

9.4
4 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.6
722 user reviews

What experts liked

But Kuretake's Gansai Tambi watercolors are still interesting, affordable, and vibrant, and for the right type of watercolorist, they may be a perfect addition to your studio or supply hoard.
- Natto Soup
August 31, 2017 | Full review
I find the Gansai Tambi paints to be a strange hybrid of traditional watercolor paints and a more opaque gouache paint. I can pick a good deal of paint and create an almost opaque color or thin with water for a more traditional watercolor look.
- The Well-Appointed Desk
March 3, 2016 | Full review
Many colors good quality colors for a very good price it's very affordable and also the size of the pan is amazing because you can feed any type of brush in there and that's what someone likes you know also for me pro is that you have very unique colors you won't find on other sets or you rarely find them like for example the metallic colors ice-watch at the bottom and also you have a vast range of reds greens and blues because those are the colors are used emoto is useful for me.
- Cheapstery
This selection includes four metallic paints and a pearly white shade, and the inside of the lid offers a handy spot to brush on a swatch of each color.
- Wiki EZ Vid

What experts didn't like

This paint goes fast- the high glycerin content means you need more paint to get the color you want.
- Natto Soup
August 31, 2017 | Full review
Pigmented but sometimes artists don't want those colors they want more natural colors but as i said if you know about color theory you will know which colors to mix to get like the neutral color you want or a normal natural color you want.
- Cheapstery

Our Expert Consultant

Amy Markham   
Artist and art educator

Artist and educator Amy Markham is the creator of Starling, a podcast dedicated to helping artists develop depth in their creative practice. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Amy has been an art educator since 2001. Today, she teaches middle school art at a school outside of Memphis, Tennessee. Her personal artwork explores myth-making and symbolic understandings. Through her brand, Starling Creative Living, she leads others to explore art production as a method for enriching their life experience.

An Overview On Watercolor Paint

Painting with watercolors is an artistic endeavor commonly experienced by novice painters or children, due to the non-toxic nature of the paint, ease of cleanup and affordable cost. But the elementary idea of watercolor painting doesn’t accurately depict what these paints can do in the hands of artists who use more highly pigmented watercolor paints.

“All watercolor paint is non-toxic and easy to clean up, which makes it a great choice for a beginning painter,” says our resident arts and crafts expert Amy Markham, an artist and middle school art teacher. “Yet, it has so many possibilities that any artist can develop a lifelong love affair with the medium.”

She went on to add, “You can create with watercolor pencils, sticks, pan blocks and paint from the tube. The most common versions are the pans of watercolor paints that are awakened when touched with water or watercolors from the tube.”

Products that use hardened cakes of paint in a plastic tray or pan are still a great way for more experienced artists to take highly pigmented colors of paints with them when they wish to paint outdoors or on small canvases. A product like Lightwish MeiLiang Pocket Box Watercolor Paint might look similar to the cheaper versions that elementary students use, but these paints are packed with much higher pigmentation. This allows the paint to show up on your canvas with richer colors that don’t look watered down.

Tube paints are also a very common watercolor paint style. In this case, the paint is stored as a liquid in a small tube.

“Tube paints are better for larger works and more for artists who work in a studio-like setting,” says Markham. “Rewetting tube paint is different than pan paints that are made for that. Using tube paints that have dried on the palette is possible, but it is hard on your brush and will often give you a duller version of the color.”

Markham recommends sticking to pan sets if you’re a novice.

“If you are a beginner, I would suggest a pan set because it is more economical and will give you a chance to experiment,” she said. “And, you can use them together. You can mix pan paints and tube paints as you build your practice with these materials.

A good set of tube paint offers a good range of colors that come with a medium level of pigmentation. Markham, the creator of Starling, a podcast dedicated to helping artists develop depth in their creative practice, broke down the difference between the levels of pigmentation.

“The highest quality will be considered an artist-level and the next step down would be a student-level. But not like the Crayola paints from your school days. When you see student-level, think more of an art-school student level,” she said. “They are meant for someone who is learning to use the medium and getting the best out of it at a lower, entry-level price while they explore the properties of the paint.”

The student-level tier level of paint is where most people will find the best value for their needs. A typical painter who is trying to express their artistic side through a relaxing practice will want to begin working with a set of watercolor paints, like the U.S. Art Supply Professional Watercolor Paint, 24-Count. It provides a high-quality student-level paint set at a great value. The set includes a color mixing wheel as an added bonus, but the paints themselves are easy to work with and will show up on paper with the hue and vibrancy you need to really achieve the color that you hope to.

The biggest difference when stepping up to the artist-level paints boils down to a couple of factors: pigmentation in the paint and the ability to last the test of time after being painted, meaning it will still look good as a piece of art long after it is finished.

“The better quality versions have a higher concentration of pigment and would be considered artist-level. An artist-level watercolor will have a higher intensity of color, which gives it the ability to create a better range of value in washes. It also is more archival and often has a better lightfastness rating,” Markham said. “Lightfastness refers to how the paint responds with exposure to light and humidity. On tubes of watercolors, many artist level paints will have a rating on the side for lightfastness and you want a very good or excellent rating here if you are investing in artist level paints.”

Lightfastness ratings are a great way to narrow down which paints will be the higher level for artists, as the paints with higher lightfastness will also generally have richer pigments that an artist would find ideal to use in their work. A set of tube paint typically comes at a slightly higher price point than some of the other common watercolor paints, due to its lightfastness rating.

As Markham points out, finding truly rich pigmentation in paints is not always easy and not usually cheap for the companies making the products.

“Many student-level watercolors will be synthetics. Some of the true pigments are more expensive because they are harder to find, rare or even scarce,” she says. “So many companies will use a synthetic pigment to keep costs low. This is a great alternative, but know that it means the color may not be as vibrant as a true pigment and it may mix a little differently as well.”

The Watercolor Paint Buying Guide

  • Creating art through the use of watercolor paints is fun, challenging, easy to try and highly rewarding in many ways. “Many people find the fluidity and transparency of watercolor to be challenging,” says Markham, “But that is also what makes it such a versatile and amazing medium for expression. It asks us to loosen up, be free and allow the flow in our process.”
  • If you’re only just starting out, make sure you’re using the appropriate materials. “As you are beginning to explore watercolor painting my suggestion would be to start with student-level products and then once you have a feel for the process move into artist-level,” Markham suggests. “You can mix these products without fear. And as you build your paint collection you may find you like one color from one company and another color better from a different brand. So it is all about personal experimentation.”
  • As you do inevitably begin building your paint collection, it can help to keep notes or a journal on particular products that you really enjoyed or didn’t like as well. It’s much easier to remember these things when you have them written down, as you might find yourself looking back after a while and forgetting how each color made you feel.
  • Another handy tip from Markham: Rewetting tube paint is not the same as rewetting pan paints. The tube paints begin as a liquid and, when rewetted, are going to show up duller than when they were fresh out of the tube. Rewetting is also not very friendly to your brush. Keep this in mind so you can avoid the frustration of finding this out firsthand.
  • Watercolor painting is an easy way to get started in the world of art for anyone at any level of skill.  “The most important part of learning any medium or developing any creative practice is just to get started,” says Markham. “So, get some paints and see what happens. And, as always enjoy your process.”