Yasutomo Niji Pearlescent Watercolor 21-Color Set ($5.25) was a total impulse purchase. The price point was so low and sometimes I’m just a crow and require something shiny. Besides, I love watercolor sets. I knew this was not going to be the end-all be-all of watercolor sets because no watercolor set that sells for under $6 is going to rival the Daniel Smith tube paints I have which can sometimes cost $30 per itty bitty tube and are made from grinding up the horns of unicorns. Okay, not really but some are actually made from real ground-up gemstones so they might as well be unicorns. So, anyway… back to the 21-color pearlescent set from Yasumoto.
The set comes in a lovely plastic box which makes it perfectly portable and fine to share with your favorite junior artists. There is a slot to store your favorite brush in the case so you can keep it in the kit. I suspect my niece and I may one day paint many a My Little Pony with these.
I aligned my swatches with the colors in the pan so you can get a good idea how vivid the colors appear in the pans versus how they look when they are applied to paper. I used my Strathmore multimedia sketchbook for swatching and a Princeton Neptune synthetic squirrel #8 round paintbrush from Blick. I wet each color first before I swatched to give the pans time to rehydrate. However, the colors were still quite a bit lighter when I swatched them. They were quite luminescent though with lots of sparkle.
Overall, there seemed to be a lot of beachy colors: shell, sand, earthones and sea hues. There were not a lot of bright, fantasy colors. Everything was very subtle. The colors are quite pretty but they do not paint as bright as they appear in the palette.
The rinse water also had a lot of sparkle in it too so be warned not to cross-contaminate your rinse water with other paints.
In the end, I suspect I will use the Yasutomo Pearleascent colors as an accent with more vivid watercolors rather than as a standalone set. But its a fun little set and would definitely be a nice addition for the paint hoarders out there.