Campus by Raphael is a travel set that’s student grade but way better than Prang, Simbalion or other lower-end brands accessible to most people.
This watercolor set contains ten half pans, a built-in palette, and a free size 3 brush.
The brush is of course short, so it may take a bit to adjust to such a short handle. But since it’s a round brush, you can paint over big areas as well as use its fine tip for thin lines and details.
It comes only in a black or blue colored case. Only black is available in the Philippines at the moment. The case has a hole at the bottom half so you can put your thumb in to hold the whole paint set as you paint outdoors.
They try to package the set with color wheels and an illustration as how they distributed the colors in the set. But the text is mostly not in English so not too helpful, and I cannot, for the love of God, find what specifically the colors are anywhere in the internet so I’ll try to describe them by comparing them to known/generic colors.
The set contains 2 blues, a brown, yellow, yellow ochre, red, orange, light green, magenta and black.
So above we see the colors and a diluted wash below per color.
The two blues available in this set differ. One is darker than the other.
They are almost identical to Ultramarine on top) and Cobalt Blue (below) of Winsor & Newton
only that the Campus colors are a bit brighter.
Campus Winsor & Newton
Then there’s the yellow in the set that looks like a cool yellow.
Then we have a yellow ochre and a burnt sienna.
The set has a yellow green/ light green that’s great for leaves especially if you’re into loose floral painting. But you will have to mix this with either blues if you are into a richer green.
Then there’s a color that you don’t usually have in small sets especially in a travel set- magenta. There’s also a red and an orange here. The red is very transparent and light, almost like a quinacridone red. So that one is great for mixing pinks for roses or flowers but it’s problematic if your preference is a deeper red like alizarin crimson. Nothing remarkable to say about the orange but it’s a good medium orange for me.
Magenta + this red = awesome florals!
The thing about the available colors here is that it has black. Since I use this for some workshops,
I’ve slowly become accustomed to have a generic Ivory black in my palette for teaching
although I still would rather mix my own neutrals for art works.
But having this black in this set is very handy for students to learn values and mixing tones.
So that’s the black with a wash of gray under.
Mixing the color wheel with either blues
Using the Cobalt Blue in there I really like the blue green produced- quite brilliant and clean.
Using Ultramarine here and the yellow in the set produced a dull blue green and a green almost like sap green
which may be better for a naturalistic palette for painting leaves and greenery.
I like how deep the violet and neutrals turned out here.
All in all these colors dry to a clean finish. It does not dry with a chalky texture unlike Prang and Simbalion.
They are mostly transparent while some- yellow, yellow ochre, and orange are a bit opaque but this is minimal.
The palette on the upper half of the set comes in very handy for mixing and may be taken out with
a pair of long-nose pliers if you want to rinse or clean it thoroughly.
I suggest you keep the plastic tube-cover of the paint brush
so that its tuft is kept protected inside the case, else it will get deformed.
It’s pretty portable and great for a compact watercolor set. Even if this set has an unorthodox selection of colors,
I think this set is still worth the money and is great for starting artists- kids or adults.