Review: Jane Davenport Travel Watercolor Tin- Brights

This 12- half pan set of watercolors is housed in a tin that is very much like the Schminke tins you can find all over the place. The big difference is that it is branded with Jane Davenport’s logo and is painted a pale teal color.

The 12 colors are convenience mixes and have silly names like  70s eyeshadow, ink, and buzzy. These silly colors tell you little about the shades. 70s eyeshadow is cerulean blue, ink is Payne’s Gray, and buzzy is bright yellow. (Some of the colors are not blends but you get my point.) In use I found the colors to be vibrant, highly pigmented, and quite nice. Though the silly names are silly they have general colors in the set that you’d find in most typical watercolor sets. You can find the actual pigment names by clicking through to the JD website and looking them up. The pigments themselves are decent. The JD website doesn’t explain their lightfastness rating at all. But through looking up the pigments I was able to determine that one * is fugitive and will fade quickly while three * means that the pigment is pretty lightfast. Best friend, mystic, and royal are all fugitive pigments and should not be used in work you intend to sell. They are fine for work intended for reproduction.

The pigment rewets with ease and a generous amount of pigment is lifted with a damp brush stroke, more when the pan has been wetted previous to the stroke. The paint is quite nice. The colors that should granulate do, and the colors are intense. I was more pleased with these paints than I expected. Honestly, I had hoped for a cute refillable tin, but I’m happy to use these paints.

As for the tin, it’s pretty decently built, not overwhelmingly nice, but better than you can find at this price point anywhere else. I will likely discard the inner clips and fill with pans stuck in with bluetack. I find myself looking for a few favorites- quin gold and indigo. My travel brush does not fit inside, though others will.

The bottom line is this- if you are looking for an affordable and very decent set of watercolors for travel, this is a fabulous deal. The set is very inexpensive when purchased at Michael’s with a coupon. You really cannot beat the price for watercolors of this quality despite the fact that 3 of the colors are fugitive this is still a good value.

No affiliate links this time. These are available directly from the JD website or Michael’s here in the US. I used a 40% off coupon for my set which made it very affordable and even a deal. I bought the goods in this review with my own cash money and no one influenced my review.

I and others have asked if these are Schminke watercolors, and the company has come out and unequivocally stated that they are not. I’d search out the YT video with the guy who did the leg work but I’m lazy, and someone may link it in the comments or on facebook. If that happens I’ll put a link here for you.

  • Thanks for the ACTUAL review. I’ve been trying to find out if these are decent “play around” paints. I did finally find someone who listed out the pigments (I wish I had saved the link) and most of the pans were pure pigments. Joy! A couple were blends, like the Payne’s grey you mentioned. Any watercolor that comes in a good metal tin for around $20 is almost worth it for the tin (those things are pricey!) I had a 30% off everything coupon so I bought both the bright set and the neutrals set thanks to your review. Great paintings, BTW.

    • lessherger

      The pigments are listed in an image on the JD website. Most are pure pigments. I’m planning on getting the other set in the gold tin at some point because the tins are nice, and like you say for $20ish it’s a good deal.


      • There’s a ton of hullaballoo right now because her second wave of products is coming out in October and there’s a new set of watercolors in more sophisticated tones and a crap ton of those brush pens. She also has fountain pens coming out so I give her credit for introducing a whole new wave of people to fountain pens. I just hope they are good enough to genuinely inspire people to want to use more pens and not discourage them.

        • lessherger

          One of her fountain pens was a Platinum Desk pen and the others were made by the company that makes the Manuscript line of calligraphy pens. One of my friends has the whole line up and loves how well all of them perform. I love my PDP but my experience with the Manuscript pens has been… not good.

          I saw the brush pens with various colored ink at Michael’s recently. I almosts pulled the trigger as I had that 50% off coupon but wanted the second tin of watercolors.

          The paper inserts she sells for the traveler’s notebooks are a rip off, but the various accessories seem to be decently made. Not super great quality, but okay.

          I have to admit I’m not JD fan. Her instructional style irks me.

          • Of the online workshops and classes, I prefer the Sketchbook Skool style of offering a variety of instructors with different styles of artwork. i think it gives people a wider scope of creativity.

  • PS: Not a chance that Schminke would do these. If anything, maybe Daniel Smith helped out? American Crafts is out of Utah and DS is also out West? But that’s just a guess. I know American Crafts did another set of these watercolors last year that Teoh from Parka Blogs reviewed on YouTube — something about Decadent Desserts or Tropical Colors and I thought they tracked those colors back to a manufacturer in Asia. But I can’t recall. It sounds like the colors in the Davenport set are better overall.

    • lessherger

      I can’t remember the name of the company from the YT review I watched, but it’s a Korean company located in the same area as Schminke. I believe that I got the idea it was Schminke from an early marketing video. Which has since been scrubbed and I’m too lazy to look it up.

      A lot of the other stuff in the JD lineup is pretty … cheap so I was wary of the watercolors but what a nice surprise.