Prang – Buy or don’t buy?

 

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Almost everyone encounters (if not starts with) Prang, whether it’s the smaller set or the one with more colors. Prang is a widely accessible brand that is one of the cheapest and most affordable watercolor paints in the market. In the Philippines, it’s available in National Bookstore  (National Bookstore is EVERYWHERE) and you can sometimes buy refills for just Php30 or ¢60. The store Deovir holds more of the refills.

I remember in my college days everyone in class claimed (and I agree) that the Yellow in the set when you buy a Prang set is brighter than the refills. Have not verified this yet but by experience I recall agreeing and getting frustrated by the refill.

With only the small set (8 colors) you can mix a variety of colors and practice the skill of mixing!

Prang 8 color

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The chart above is done by mixing in layers.

I will try to list out all the pros and cons of using Prang in this post.

Pros:
– The set is affordable and you can buy it easily since it is accessible.
– Since it’s cheap, it’s an immediate go to for beginners and you don’t need to worry about wasting paint/pigment.
– The case has a number of compartments that you can utilize, you can mix a lot per well for dipping wide brushes- they fit!
– There is a wide range of colors available, Prang even has a glittered version- you can experiment!
– Colors are very easy to activate and maintains smooth/creamy consistency over the years.

Cons:
– The colors are sweet and have the tendency to attract bugs, so you need to secure your paints and paintings to assure no bugs will eat your paint/ paper.
– The colors are fugitive – will not stay as vibrant as when you finished the painting. It’s a shame if you’ve done very great works only to have them fade over the years, even if you add varnish or fixative. You can always snap a photo after if you’re purpose is only for digital/printing illustrations and don’t really need an original.
– If kept in inappropriate conditions, the paint may catch moulds but this goes for every watercolor set.

A good measure is to buy what you can afford at the moment- that is, only if you need to buy it.
And when I was in college this is all I could afford and we were strictly told to only use this – even only the primaries- and all of use produced wonderful works of art.

You can produce realistic paintings..

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This one was with Prang on a sketchbook so the paper was not absorbing the colors but it still turned out well.

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In the end, whether you use this student grade set or a very fancy artist grade set, it really will not matter unless you learn to utilize it. You can surely use this set and achieve great paintings!

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