paul rubens watercolor set review

Putting Paul Rubens Watercolors to the Test | Unboxing + Review

Are Paul Rubens watercolors worth the money?

Here’s my look into this 4th generation watercolor set that includes unboxing and putting these paints to the test. Let’s dive into the review.

Disclaimer: some links used in this post are affiliate links, which means I’ll earn a small commission if you purchase using my links at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products I think will be helpful to you and bring you one step closer to creating beautiful acrylic masterpieces!

I received this 4th generation watercolor set from the Paul Rubens team in exchange for me talking about it, with all the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let’s take a look inside.

Paul Rubens Watercolor Set Review

I’m an acrylic artist and wrapping my head around the more subtle nature of watercolors was indeed a huge learning curve- but I am definitely happy to have tried a medium I have not touched in over 15 years.

so yea, it’s been a while.

New 4th Generation Paul Rubens Watercolor Set

Check out what makes this new and improved watercolor set so fun to use.

Paul Rubens 4th Generation Watercolor Set

Paul Rubens is a well-known brand in the art supplies industry, offering a range of watercolor sets for artists of all levels. And apparently, they just released a brand new 4th generation watercolor set, that is said to be “better in all aspects” according to the website.

Hmm, interesting.

Even though I’m a baby watercolor artist, I definitely have heard about this brand and how beloved they are amongst the art community.

So naturally, I had to give it a try.

What’s Inside


Inside the box, I found an array of 24 pretty colors, ranging from bright colors like lemon yellow to more earth tones like burnt sienna. This color selection makes for great color combinations, whether you’re want to get bold or add subtlety to your paintings.

Ok, let’s talk paint tubes.

Normally, I’ve seen watercolors come as dry hard pucks in a container. But Paul Rubens does it different.

Upon opening, each paint tube has a little groove to rest into. When opened, the paint itself can be squeezed out, resembling a consistency a bit looser than toothpaste.

Each tube is 5ml, which is exceptionally tiny compared to what I’m used to as an acrylic artist. But, from what I understand, it’s not out of the norm. Every tube has a screw cap to ensure the paint does not dry out inside the tube packaging.


In addition to the paint tubes and their cute individual grooves for storage, the set also came with a watercolor foldout guide that goes over basic watercolor terms and techniques. Pretty helpful for me as a total newbie, but probably quick garbage fodder for the more experienced watercolorist.

Also, I was hoping to find a mixing tray or additional tools like watercolor brushes, but alas, there were none.

Which is a total bummer if you are completely new to watercolor or painting and don’t have any brushes on hand.

Testing the Watercolors

Swatch Test

Now, it’s time to play with some paint. First, I grabbed a small little plate, squeezed out each individual color onto it, and created color swatches onto watercolor paper. Then, I compared each swatch to the original tube color to compare the lightfastness.

As luck would have it, almost every color matched their respective paint tube, with the exception of phtalo blue, which seemed to dry more blue than it’s more mauve representation on the tube label. #weird.

Pigment Load

As I did my swatching and testing, I noticed how deeply pigmented my colors were; my personal favorites were the blue and red tones, which were rich and very saturated. I was pretty impressed to see the lighter color values like yellow really shine through.

Blending & Gradients

Probably one of the most satisfying parts of doing watercolor is the blendability. It seemed I could create gorgeous spontaneous blends and blooms with very little effort – not unlike acrylic paint, which requires a more involved blending technique.

Then, came creating gradients, which essentially was adding more and more water to the pigment swatch creating a varying value scale. This totally came in handy later when it came to the actual painting step – especially when it came to fixing small mistakes and reactivating dried watercolor spots (#gamechanger).

The color combination and resulting blends were literal eye candy for me – so of course, I give this very high scores.

Creating a Full Painting

Finally, it’s time to create a full painting with these bad boys.

and I have to say, I was very impressed with what I could accomplish with the little knowledge I had about watercolor technique.

My colors were bold and saturated, and I was able to add other mediums like marker to my piece once the paint layers dried.

Thus my piece Cream Head was officially born. Since I was in the mood for trying lots of new things, my painting had to reflect that sentiment. This work demonstrates what it feels like to have sweets on the brain – and how messy it can be to balance the cravings.

Final Thoughts about Paul Rubens Watercolor Set

The Paul Rubens watercolor set was a great experience for me, and totally lived up to the Paul Ruben name.

This set includes a selection of high-quality watercolor paints in a variety of colors that can be used for a variety of moods- from bold to neutral. The watercolors themselves are often highly pigmented, ensuring vibrant and long-lasting color, and are available in both pan and tube forms.

Whether you are a professional artist or a beginner just starting out, a Paul Rubens watercolor set is a great choice for anyone looking to experiment with this popular medium.

Scroll to Top