May 26, 2013

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Tube Watercolors for the Classroom: Plus a Giveaway!

{This giveaway is closed to entries- Congrats to Keri who is the winner of this giveaway!}

Tube watercolors remain one of my favorite art supplies to create my own art with, but I hadn’t considered adding them into the classroom until I found the  Fantasia® Watercolors from Sakura. I don’t know how we get these ideas in our head that some art supplies are for adults and others only for children, but the truth of the matter is, kids can have success (and sometimes even more success) with advanced materials. Getting out of our own habits can be a really good thing.

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First, I like the idea of tube watercolors for students because it’s less messy. The paint stays put, and students can learn to either create their own intensity of color by adding more paint to the water in the palette, or you can even pre-mix the colors with water at the intensity you choose and store them in cups.

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Many of my art projects actually LIMIT student color choices, especially at the younger grades. For example, when doing Chinese Vase Paintings, I only allow students to use blue. I spent countless prep periods popping blue water colors out of their palette to separate them from the rest of the colors to avoid brown mud. I found watered town tempera to be just way to gunky and messy. With the tube watercolors you don’t have to! Just pick the color to dispense and you’re done!

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The idea of a homemade ‘Paint with Water Pages” is attainable using a product like this (thank you, Pinterest!) - The colors can dry up over time on a plastic paint palette, and become instantly re-invigorated with the addition of water. For you, this means less waste. I also find the small size of the tubes are great for storing and a little truly goes a long way.

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A very common problem of many art teachers is their water color palettes aren’t bright enough on the paper. Although some brands are better than others in this regard, I think the solution may lie in using an entirely different product to get the job done.

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Lucky for all of you, the fabulous people at Sakura are giving an entire class pack (over a $100 value) of Fantasia tube watercolors to one lucky reader.

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To Enter:
Comment on this post – What type of watercolors do you use in your classroom?  Tell us your watercolor ideas/struggles. How might tube watercolors benefit you?

Be sure to include your email address when you fill out the comment form so we have a way to contact you if you are the lucky winner. This giveaway will be closed on Friday, May 31st at Midnight. The winner will be chosen by

Good Luck! 

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  • Deanna

    We use the watercolors from the tube, but we’re still learning the techniques. Love the ideas on this blog!!

    • Katrina

      I only use the leftover ones from a previous teacher – prang packs and we are running out so it is good to get suggestions for ordering. I also have problems with high quality paper and brushes. It seems like all three are needed to make special masterpieces. My students enjoy the creative aspect of watercolors and the technique involved.

  • Lynn

    I’ve had good experience with liquid watercolors. Makes nice washes to draw on top of with watercolor pencils. I have even made liquid watercolors with dried out markers (thanks to Pinterest!) The tube watercolors sound like they would be easy to use and a good way to control the amount of paint that each student gets. Hope I win…

  • pat

    my students use prang pan watercolors. while stirring over the colors they tend to dig a hole in the middle of the colors and think the colors are gone without using the colors on the side. tube colors might be easier to control and easier for the brush to reach corners.

  • Theresa Gillespie

    I was considering trying different watercolors when I was filling in my order for next school year. I use Prang watercolor trays and refills in my K-5 classes but get frustrated with the mixing and muddying of colors – even though I teach and reteach how to use them. I will have to test out some tube watercolors with my summer students.

  • thiry47

    We use the old school trays of 8 dry cakes, and occasionally primary colors of liquid watercolor concentrate in an 8 well pallet to encourage mixing. Cost is the driving factor behind this choice, although I wouldn’t have thought of using tubes with my younger classes. Tube watercolors would help with the frustration of inadvertent mixing in the trays and by giving greater control and better values. or gmail below.

  • tessymits

    I use prang water colors in the pans. I love using water colors with my students because they are so versatile. After teaching my students how to use them, they last quite a while. I use them in many different lessons but I think that they are great for learning about shades and hues. I would love to see what my students could do with tube watercolors!

  • Michelle

    Awww, I used watercolor in tube when I was little. Now I know how messy to use paint in my classroom, I heavily use tempera cakes or liquid tempera paint tranferred to a ketchup bottle. Gotta save every penny with my limited budget and control the messiness! Would definitely use those tubes in my classroom though.

  • Keri

    I’m a watercolor artist and I loved using the Sakura tube watercolors when I taught high school. I switched to pan watercolors when I began teaching elementary (because that’s what everyone else used). Unfortunately, even the expensive pan watercolors aren’t bright enough. I like liquid watercolors but I’ve found that the cheaper ones that fit in my budget fade over time. I also tried using tempera cakes with watercolor techniques and although the colors were bright, they looked chalky and not as “watercolory” as I wanted. I’d like to try using tube watercolors with my elementary students so I can achieve the long lasting vibrancy of professional watercolors. thanks!

  • Jean

    We use the Crayola watercolor trays – unfortunately crayola no longer makes refills for the ‘squared’ watercolors so we’ve had to order new sets of watercolor trays. The school department decided to go with Prangs – I prefer the Crayola’s because I was able to ‘fold’ the brown papertowels to keep the ‘colors’ from spreading due to too much water. It worked great! But now with prangs, I am finding the paper towels sticking to the paint. I would love to try the liquid watercolors – saves clean up time!

  • Maryjo Pazymino

    I teacher severely emotionally disturbed students, and students with autism (all along the spectrum). One class is even blended – ED, ID and Autism! Needless to say, when my students are exploring different media, our studio and supplies can become super messy in a short period of time. The tube watercolors limit the opportunities for muddying artwork, enabling students to create bright and clean mixes of colors, contributing towards successful experiences in the studio. And that’s what it’s all about — creating a climate of success and happiness in our art studio!

  • Lisa

    I have never used tube watercolors myself – let alone teaching them to my students! I use the Crayola brand, and also have a set of metalic watercolors. They work well enough, but I still have all the problems everyone else has mentioned. I’d LOVE the chance to use the tubes. It’d be a great learning experience for myself as well as my students!

  • Lonna Tucker

    I primarily use liquid watercolors because they are far superior to the pan colors I have used in the past. I would love to try tube watercolors with my classes! I believe they would love the texture and be excited to use authentic artist materials!

  • ArtInsight Teacher

    I have used tube color from Reeves before which also come in a classroom pack. My kids love using them because they’re more vivid than the palette ones and easier to keep the colors pure. I highly recommend trying them and like you said, putting them on a plastic surface and letting them dry is fine. They are easily reconstituted. I’d love to try this new brand and see how they compare.

  • danielle

    we’ve used the dry cakes but would love to have these tubes for the students, what a gift it would be for them.

  • Shelly Hettwer

    I usually use liquid water colors because I feel they have beautiful and bright colors. Like the watercolor tubes you can leave them in a container and if they dry out you just add more water and their back to life! I don’t really have a favorite brand but in the past I have used the Prang brand, which works well. I would love to try the tube watercolors with my students! Sometimes the liquid watercolors can get really messy in the little cups that I have and some students have spilt them all over the table. I think that the tubes would be easier to store and also reduce the spillage! :)

  • Mrs. B

    I use Prang water color packs. Kids love them, but they are a mess to clean up. My kindergarteners forget to wash out the brush before changing colors…a common problem, I’m sure.

  • Lorraine

    I’ve actually used food colouring diluted in water, in fact did just the other day. My fingers still are a little blue in spots! These would fill the bill nicely! I especially love that they can be rehydrated after drying! Fantastic! It will also feel like ‘real artist’ painting if a little can be squirted onto a palette for the child to use :)

  • Jennifer

    I use prang water color packs. Which are easy to hand out.

  • Jackie berry

    I use both liquid water color and palette watercolor. I like letting the kids get the paper very wet and using the liquid water color. I hadn’t thought is using the tubes, but think that will be a great idea for next year. I love water color, and my students have loved all we have done. I know they will be excited about this too!

  • kimberly

    I use Prang and liquid watercolors. I love the vividness of the liquid watercolors, but I would love for them to try tube watercolors.

  • katgirldu

    I usually use liquid watercolors, because I can offer only the colors I want, and they are much brighter. However, I’d love to try tube watercolors, because it would be easier for children to mix colors. With liquid, mixing usually means the entire little cup I’ve given them gets mixed, leaving none of the original color! Also, spillage is definitely an issue!

  • lux_arts

    i prefer tube watercolors, but have resorted to using pans in the classroom for economic reasons. it would be great to have these for my class!

  • Art_GottaLoveIt

    I use prang refillable pan watercolors and liquid watercolors. I have to order extra refills for the blue, green and yellow when it fits into my budget. The pans get very messy. The liquid watercolors are great when I want to restrict color use or provide very intense colors. I would love to give tube watercolor a try in the art room. I agree that using more professional art materials in the art classroom is very beneficial for students

  • Susan Sheldon

    I’ve been using Prang, but ordered some Faber-Castell for this next year that I tried at NAEA that snap and unsnap, so you don’t have to dig tne used pans out with you fingernails. I’ve also used liquid for certain projects, but they spill,stain, and take more prep. I love the idea of tubes!

  • sbrs

    Depending on the project and age of the students, I either use liquid watercolors, which for some reason I can only find online, or the pan watercolors with select colors taken out if needed. I think using tubes would create a better final product as well as less waste and may actually be cheaper in the long run. My students are thrilled when they can use watercolor, I think because they don’t have it at home or in their regular classrooms. Great post!

  • Christy Humpal

    I use mostly Prang or Sax pan watercolors, though I sometimes use liquid watercolor for watercolor wash. I have never tried using tube watercolor with students, it would be a great experience for them!

  • Beth

    I generally use prang master pack watercolors in my classroom. My main issue with these watercolors is, as you mentioned, color intensity and muddied colors – on the artwork and on the paints themselves! I could see tube watercolors being a great answe to both of those issues and would love to try them with my students. One of my schools also has an almost non-existent art budget so I rely on donations which are usually the cheapest watercolors available (even though I request certain brands!).


  • Karen Luellen

    I use Prang watercolor tray sets for true rich colors, but I also use Crayola watercolor tray sets for a more tropical color palette. If I want to use a limited color palette with younger students I cut apart the pieces of cardboard that come with my refill watercolors, then I pop in the colors I want the kids to have. That works great, but there is prep time involved. I also use liquid watercolors, and then mix washes for spritzing or painting. Passing out liquid watercolors can be messy! I haven’t used tube watercolors, but I imagine the students would love it and it would be easy to distribute. The students would have more influence on how light or dark a wash they would like to use and any kind of change in supplies is always exciting!
    Karen Luellen (email:

  • Amanda Wallace

    We usually use the cake pan of watercolors in my art room. I order them every other year to save money . I have never tried the watercolor tubes in the classroom. I think they would benefit my classroom for my students to try something new and because they are individually packed and they won’t contaminate the other colors. I know I get frustrated with the kids by always telling me there is no white and I tell them the colors are dirty and they just need rinsed off. Thanks for all the info above!

  • Nanna Tanier

    I have used Crayola pan watercolors, but have been looking for something else, since the students go through them so quickly. The advantage of the tubes you’ve shown above is clearly the lack of mess and blending or muddying of colors, and the control of the intensity of the color: love it! My students would definitely benefit from having the Sakura tubes in the classroom.

  • Linda Knoll

    I love tube watercolors, but find students use a LOT more of them than the pan colors. I found a set of Crayola watercolors that only has the primary colors (and black and white) which has been really nice. These particular ones have nice bright color. Great for color mixing lessons. But its definitely a good idea to take out the black and white, which are unnecessary. NO BLACK is a rule in my classes.

  • tina

    We’re using liquid watercolors this year for the first time and I’m not convinced yet. Prang pan watercolor is what is used mainly. I use the cheapest I can find for kindergarten and first until they learn not to dig up the paint in one sitting. I’ve never used tube with the students.

  • Kassie

    Hi My name is Kassie. I am brand new to the art educator world and just got hires for my first job. While student teaching I was at a school that had grumbacher tube colors and prang tray sets. Students were introduced to watercolors at first with the prang trays. We then had the advanced students use the amazing tube colors, but for some strange reason once they started their projects, most of them went back to using the prang sets. I think they may have been intimidated by the tube colors.


  • Sandi Jo DeLoge

    I make my own liquid watercolors from old markers. I use prank watercolor sets also. I would like to try tube watercolors just to see how they can work at the elementary level i.e. waste, time to set up etc.

  • Brandy Driggers

    I use Prang watercolors but I have been disappointed the last two years. The quality has certainly gone down. I can only guess that Prang has suffered in this economy too.

  • Judy Gerassimoff

    I’ve used the prang pan sets but find they get muddied so fast. Love liquide watercolor and I’d love to try the the tube water color for my kiddos!

  • IeSt

    We use St.Petersburg watercolor pans which are great, but tube watercolors would be a great option for younger kids since keeping their colors clean and avoid muddying is very difficult for them.

  • Rosemary Walsh D’Elia

    I have used pan and liquid watercolors with my little ones, but the liquid is harder to control with great color while the pan is easy to limit but never bright enough for the kids. I would love to experiment with the tubes – I really try to give kids “real” art experiences with real (grown up) supplies and these sure fit the bill!

  • Teresa Mallett

    I just this year started using liquid watercolors although mainly for washes….ocean for sailboat scenes, and background sky for “grumpy cats”. I too limit color choices for my lower grades. With tempera and learning about color mixing I prefer to use turquoise and magenta for my primary blue and red. The colors really pop and aren’t so bla when mixed.
    I have tried cake tempera but find them chalky and dull. I put each cake in a plastic cup (lasts the year) and seldom give black or white unless teaching value as they dirty so easily or ruin their paintings. Maybe I should break loose, but with 700 students and virtually no budget it is difficult!
    I would love to try the Sakura tubes!
    Thank you for the information.

  • Jenny Lee Kern Winfield

    I’m a first year art teacher and have been teaching 9th grade. The 9th grade has it’s own campus. I have such a limited supply and limited budget, that the few supplies I did inherit from the previous teacher were prang cake watercolors that had been used, so many of the colors were non-existant. My students are economically challenged and even the watercolors at the dollar store are too expensive for the 150 + students that I have. I’m returning next year to the same school and would love to have some supplies on hand that they don’t have to buy, and that my limited budget can purchase other neccesities, such as glue, rulers and paper. I’ve spent well over $1000 of my own money on the classroom, but I would like to get away from feeling guilty and buying the supplies for them out of my pocket. Waste is a huge concern, but so is the experience I want these children to take with them when they go to the high school. My home email is my work email is I prefer that you contact me by the home email I get fewer email messages at home and my home spam filter is not as picky as the schools.

  • Karen E

    Wow!!!! This would be fabulous. In my class we your Prang that I can corder through my district warehouse, and I suppliment with liquid water colors for the more intense color.

  • Cynthia Nelson

    I use the prang individual tray packs, because it’s not in the budget for fancier water colors. I would like to try the tube watercolors in the classroom because then it would allow me to give each student a certain amount, the same way I dispense tempera paints. I have also used watercolor pencils, but I felt that the students added too much water to their paper, so their watercolors looked washed out. Because I teach middle school, I’m really open to the idea of having the students use advanced materials.

  • Mallory

    Right now I use Reeves Tubed watercolors for Art 3, Art 4 and my “College Prep kids, and just a trusty ol’ set of Prangs for Art 1 and Art 2. My bigger problem is, I guess not that surprisingly, with my older students who forget to put those tiny lids back on. Kids these days!

  • Marie Levine

    I will be teaching art for the first time this fall, and our art department’s budget is lacking! Currently, they are out of the typical “Prang” trays and have resorted to tempera paint only – watered down of course to mimick watercolors. I would love to start the year using a clear glue to create mountains and mystical clouds and then teach a variety of water color techniques in those clouds. Salt, alcohol, sponges, etc. could add variety to the clouds and teach the techniques all on a painting that they can use for reference later on. I would REALLY appreciate a classroom set of the these watercolor tubes for this project as well as many others. Thanks!

  • Lian Brehm

    I have used Sakura water colors in my own studio and remember them from my childhood, I think I may have gotten my first set at the Japanese pavilion at the NY World’s fair! They don’t look like they have changed their cool tube design much! At school in the art room I have always used Prang sets- I fill the strips with multiples of whatever color combinations we are using. I often supplement with liquid watercolor whenever that works, but it is harder to control the amounts. I’d love to have a class pack of Sakura watercolors for my students to try, I know they would love them! Lian Brehm

  • Cara

    We just use cake watercolors, but it seems like I am always replacing the refills and trying to clean them up. Would like to try something new.

  • A. Matt

    I have been using cakes as well. The biggest problem, especially with the younger students, is the the amount of control they lack at this unexperienced age. Cake watercolors give these students one intensity and wind up becoming muddy and over saturated with water.

    I like tube watercolors but find them too expensive on most art dept budgets, especially to be used for younger students.

  • Angela

    I usually use the regular trays of watercolor. I used tubes of some that I had once, and the kids loved it because of the bright colors!

  • Marianne Griffith

    I use Crayola cake watercolors, but with over 100 students a day-they disappear quickly. I would love to try liquid with my students, although I imagine they disappear into pockets just as fast! :-)

  • Chan Bliss

    For the past few years I have been using Blick liquid watercolors. I have several sets of non-spill containers that I put the paint in. It cleans out of the brushes easier than the cake watercolors and because of that the yellow does not turn green as quickly. I began using liquid after I saw one to many students digging with their brushed in the cake watercolors. Tube watercolors may be the material that allows the students to get rich colors without destroing the paint.

  • Rachel

    I use the regular trays of watercolor. I have to watch my students closely because they like to mix the colors in the actual tray!

  • Carol Wilke

    Thank you for the tips. I love watercolor and the pan ones don’t last! And the colors aren’t as vibrant as I would like.

  • Jacqueline Keough

    We use the Crayola pan watercolors. I’ve found that K-8th grade always have a problem with adding black or brown to the rest of the colors, occasionally ruining the tray. The other issues are getting the paint too wet!

  • Georgia

    This is my first year teaching elementary art. I teach grades K through 5th grade. I have used pan watercolors and tempera paint. I just purchased liquid watercolor. I find the pan watercolors bright and easy to use, but they do get messy and seem to need replacing often I would love to use the tube watercolors.

  • Kyartteacher

    I use Prang water colors in my classroom. I teach middle school art, and have found that guided step paintings are good for this age group. I would love to try pre loading a color palette with the tube water colors and having my students paint from those. What a wonderful time saver and less clean up!!

  • Karen

    I use pan watercolors, but I have many sets, regular, regular minus brown and black and warm and cool sets. My kids are good at not digging into them. I want to try liquid, but I am afraid of them spilling and being wasted on the table. I hope to have enough budget money to order some next year.

  • Karen Rose

    I use Prang which is higher grade than crayola but still not entirely satisfying. I would prefer the tube colors on palettes that can be reused even after dry. As a watercolor artist this is the method I prefer.
    Karen Rose
    Art teacher

  • Sarah Shu

    I use the refillable water color trays – but I take the little holder thingy out of the case so I can lay out an entire class set in a box lid to dry out. I have 200+ students per day, so I rotate a few class sets in order to let the paints dry out a little (cuts down on digging). I popped all the black ovals out though — we use them at times, but not too much. The big watercolor highlight of the year for my students is using the (woooooooo) Prang metallic watercolor paints. I make sure each grade level gets to use these at least once (sometimes it’s just a tiny bit, since I only have one class set). I have K-4 students, so we constantly review the importance of making a little bit of color juice (NO DIGGING)! :)

  • Beverly Richardson

    I have used liquid water colors for the last 2 years at our elementary school, primarily because that was the type left from the previous teacher. I do love how vibrant they can be and how they can be watered down for a nice wash background behind a tempera painting. I use an eight segment container with tops to mix an assortment of colors for students to share. It is difficult for the students and myself to distinguish the colors because as liquid they look similar until they are on the paper. I have ordered some Prang pan watercolors to try next year. I would love letting my older kids experiment with the tube watercolors as that is my favorite way to paint with watercolor. I look forward to trying Fantasia on my own!

  • Stephanie Needham

    Hi, I use Sakura.pallettes in my classroom and this year i will be ordering the larger one because of the choice in colors. I would love to try the tubes because i am interested in teaching my students about mixing colors and the intensity that colors can have by adding more and less water. I think students are able to experiment easily and look forward to the many happy accidents while they work. This year we did a lot of resist painting mixing oil pastels with the water paints. Also Sakura. My emial is I am a K-12 Art teacher on a small island with big ideas. thanks for the opportunity!

  • Lisa Cox

    I use Prang watercolor. I think my students would be able to mix the tube watercolors easier and get a feel for ” real” watercolor painting. The tube water colors are more vibrant than my Prang tray watercolors. I think my students would do well with a preloaded pallet of the tube watercolors. I would start the lesson with a quick color mixing lesson making a color wheel for review and practice with out new medium!

    Lisa Cox/ Art Educator
    Accommodated Learning Academy
    Grapevine, Tx 75068
    3rd- 12th

  • Rachael Larsen

    This year I have been using Prang watercolor sets. My students had watercolors on their class supply list so each student brought their own. I find that my loner watercolor sets do not get as well cared for as individuals, not to mention that students bringing their own created quite a messy situation when left watery. In preparation for this upcoming school year my principal has asked me to get a class-set so the school can delete the watercolor on classroom supply lists. I have not yet decided whether to get a tube set or continue the Prang sets in my room. I love the vibrancy of tube watercolors and the ability to have more control of color choices. I find that students are often frustrated by the lack color choices offered in a 8 color set, and I spent a good amount of time showing my older students how to achieve variety in colors and values from their limited palette. I am strongly leaning in the tube direction for the next year.

  • ckArtTeach

    I am in my 2nd year of teaching art to K-3… learning things about these kiddos everyday… we use prang watercolor sets in our rooms… the older students use the 16 color sets and the litteler ones use the 8 color sets. I would love to venture out and try the liquid watercolors. I have well over 100 students a day and purchasing something that I am not 100% sure about is a risk with our budget. I think my 3rd graders would feel like a “real” artist using something that ONLY they can use…

    the struggle with the sets of H2Ocolors is that they are never the same after the 1st use… not pure colors!

    Thanks for offering this and all of your ideas!


  • Jennifer Bucher

    I have taught both elementary and middle school art for 22 years. I always used pan colors like crayola and prang. Last year I purchased bottles of liquid water students love them! I prefer the neatness and how long they last! I would love to see how the tubes work. In times of budget would be a real treat to explore a new new medium!

  • Linda Nowak

    I currently use Prang or Crayola Oval Pan watercolors–whichever come through with the BOCES bid.

    I too spend time popping out and rearranging to manage color choices for certain projects with the K-2 set. I often will give just one color (oval) on a paper plate, one per child at the table of 4. Students have a hard time managing the amount of water to mix in the pans, there are “scrubbers” and those who use too much water.

    Tubes might be easier to manage and provide more vibrant color. For the olders- 3-6 it would provide a more “grown up” experience. My 6th grade have the opportunity to use “real” watercolor paper, the tube paints would be a great addition to their landscape project. With less than 1500 budgeted for art for 500 students each year, there is no way to provide more interesting supplies.

    In the past 2 years I have been laid off, recalled and then cut to half time. Alll the while, continuing to do more with less.

  • D Hoffman

    I use the good ‘ol crayola 8 color sets. I have refill circles and empty holders for when I want them to focus on a certain color group or family.

  • Joanie Wilcox

    My middle schoolers would love to use tube watercolors! We have some Prang boxed sets, and another brand as well…can’t remember the brand name right now. I HATE to waste paint – and middle schoolers EXCEL at it! This would really help with that issue. I think it would make my kids try to improve the quality of their work as well. A lot of them associate the boxed sets with elementary school and little kids.

    Joanie Wilcox

  • Cathy Carmack

    I teach K-8 and have used palettes and watercolor pencils. I’ve leaned more toward the pencils this year because the kids better understand how to use a pencil, plus I can get a more uniform outcome. The idea of using tube water colors sounds like a better idea.

  • Adrienne

    I have taught middle school (7/8) art for 19 years, and we have always used Prang or Crayola pan watercolors. Last year I ordered Blick liquid watercolors for the first time and really love those as an alternative – the neon colors are very weak and not as vibrant as the “regular” colors. I would be thrilled to win the tube watercolor giveaway! adriennehurtt (AT)

  • Amy Woods

    I use liquid water colors and have loved them. However, they are a bit limited if you are trying to teach watercolor techniques. Since I teach grades 5-8, I haven’t felt that my younger students were ready to explore watercolors in depth (my county doesn’t have elementary art teachers, so my students are a bit behind when they come to me). If I had the tube watercolors I would give my more advanced students an opportunity to try more techniques.

  • Robert Griffith

    I use prang 8ovals. Our goal is to learn patience. Trying to paint without the colors bleeding. I have never tried tubes. I think my 5th and 6th graders would have better control with these. Craftsmanship is key.

  • andrea

    I currently use both liquid watercolors and Prang Pan watercolors sets of 8 and I have refills, it seems that I always running out of yellow, blue and green!!!

    I have the ones that put to much water or not enough and is tricky to get them mix colors without making a big mess or a brown color at the end. I would love to try the tube watercolors with my students I think they will work great to color mixing and value lesson.

  • rebecca

    I admit to ‘saving’ my good pan watercolors for special projects with older students. Even then, I have some that will never prime their colors and will dig and end up with half of the pan of blue for their sky!!! It never fails!!! I have gotten into the habit of grabbing the tempera cakes because it is less expensive to replace the cake. I have always wanted to buy the tube watercolors, but my budget has kept me from purchasing anything but the necessities. A Sakura class set would be a wonderful addition to my classroom!

  • Karen

    I teach K-5 Art in a very large school and all I have for water colors are the pan type, which of course most of which are ruined, or used up! I have no budget for supplies and I guess I will have to spend my own money, or make some with old markers that I saw on Pintrest.

    Tube watercolors would be great as the colors are so much more vibrant than the pan ones. I would love to win the class set!

  • cwitt

    I teach k-4 on a cart. I use crayola pan watercolors because it seems to make for a quick pass-out and clean up. I would love to give my students the priviledge of working with the tube watercolors.

  • Melanie

    Our district has the Prang pan watercolors so that is what I order. But I actually really like liquid watercolors and I have just made my own with any dried out marker I had. Would LOVE to try the tube watercolors!

  • Katherine

    I have used the Prang and Crayola. I was more impressed with Prang’s color intensity, but it is frustrating how messy they get. I can see how the tubes would help with that. my experience is with elementary students.

  • Candace

    I use the Crayola sets and order pan refills. I always thought Prang was weaker as far as color saturation. Now I will order a set for comparison. I use small pieces of real watercolor paper with 3 – 5 and do step by step scenes to show a variety of technique. I basically don’t let them use black or brown, they have to mix their browns and greens. I have never tried using my liquid watercolors with the older kids just the younger ones. I can only afford tubes to be used with Art Club.

  • Ms. Kirstin Odum

    I use two kinds of paints. With my younger students I use the Prang-8 color sets but I’ve started taking out the black paint from the mix. I use this paint with my pre- kindergarten students through 1st grade. I find that they would paint everything dark or black without that.

    For my older students through 5th grade I use the Crayola Educational sets with 16 colors. I love this paint and all the colors but the colors seem to run out very quickly! The kids always complain about the colors look like there have gotten mixed up.

    I try to create an inquiry based environment where students can use different media based on their own exploring and ideas. I think the Sakura Fantasia tube watercolor paint would be a great new media for the students to try!

  • Cherri Cash Rutan

    I use both liquid watercolors and pan. The liquid are so much easier for me to refill and not as messy. The semi-moist watercolors don’t dry out fast enough and they become sticky. However, some of the color look better from the pans like red and black. I have never tried the tube watercolors with my K-6 graders, but I would love to!

  • Hannah Cone

    I teach grades 6-12 at an international school in Bangkok, Thailand. I actually do use watercolor tubes but my biggest challenge is how the students squirt out way too much paint and end up wasting it. I also ask them to save any extra but they often forget and wash out the palettes (they are more used to painting with acrylic). Additionally, the tubes tend to dry out on me, and while the dried watercolors are not useless, they are much more difficult to work with than the wet ones. Sometimes the tubes burst as well and create a mess. Overall, I think my biggest difficulty is organization here and having good cleaning systems in place. hcone @

  • Sarah Hay

    I really like Sargent liquid water colors. They come in squirt bottles for easy dispensing. If you want INTENSE color these are amazing! They come super concentrated so just a few drops added to water does the trick. I prefer to use the lidded plastic cups so I can save what doesn’t get used.
    I would love to try these tube water colors! They look like they would be better for students who don’t enjoy the “looseness” of water colors.

  • Kathy Musick

    I use Prang pan watercolors and I hate the waste and expense when the children dig into the paint. I do go through the primary colors quickly and replace them often. I also use Blick liquid watercolors. I love the vibrant colors! I would love to try the Sakura Fantasia water colors!

  • Ms. Cooper

    I use Prang and Crayola water colors with my K-1 students. Colors just don’t ever seem bright enough. Do liquid water colors pop? I like bright colors and so do my K-1 kids! I would like to be able to treat my young painters to a new experience. We paint at 3 sided easels with tempera and at tables with watercolors. This would truely be a triple threat if we could add yet another painting experience.

  • Kim Stroberg

    I use crayola for the younger kids and the Sakura semi-moist pan watercolors for the older kids. I really like the Sakura brand because they are more vibrandt and they last longer, so they are worth the extra cost.

  • Lynn Morin

    We’ve used pan watercolors in the past, this year we’re going to use Blick liquid watercolors. What I try to impress upon my students regarding watercolors that they are transparent and to work from light to dark, adding layers, and also the beauty of being able to go back into the color when it is dry with a wet brush and pull the color out and around. It is appealing to be able to control the amount and separation of color with the tubes.

  • Leah

    I currently use pan watercolors with the usual downsides- muddied colors, running out of just one or two colors, kids thinking the color is gone if the oval isn’t totally full…
    Next year I was going to try liquid watercolors, but I’m always up for trying something new!

  • Shari

    I use prang watercolors with my elementary students. They always try to dig their brush in the paint to get it darker not using enough water. I hate taking out the empty ovals out because they get so slimy!

  • Valerie Ivy

    I use prang semi-moist pans. It’s not my favorite they tend to crack, and fade as they dry. We more frequently use tempra cakes, super easy. My older kiddies love to use crayola watercolor pencils. They enjoy the extra control that the pencil provides. They also seem to understand how to make the colors darker or lighter better with the H20 pencils. We also use spray water bottles with a little liquid water color for adding color and interesting texture to backgrounds. I don’t have a class set of these just the three primaries that I set at small table with a deep try. They can go to the table and put the paper in the tray.
    My biggest struggle with paint is the use of black and brown. I hate telling them they “can’t” use it, but they tend to go way overboard with it.

  • Myra Taylor

    I have a really small budget for two schools, so, I use Crayola watercolor, with 8 colors. The colors are nice and bright but it doesn’t go such a long way. One watercolor packet is good for one or maybe 2 projects only and with 400+ kids, it’s not really very ideal. I tried the 6 color pan, it’s within my budget but the colors are not so bright at all. If I win the Sakura class pack, I can finally test several lessons I have created, such as Hanami festival, Kokeshi Origami dolls, and many more!

  • Erin Green

    I switched to liquid watercolor two years ago and love them!!

  • Karen Rufino

    I use pan watercolors; great for easy distribution, but get ‘muddied’ quickly. I have tried many systems to avoid this, but, given time constraints, I just end up having students clean them as needed. Students love having their own set to use during class. They are also more inclined to share with someone if needed when they each have a tray in front of them. Sometimes we use liquid watercolors, but I am still figuring out techniques for this. I do love the brightness of liquid watercolors; especially the hot-pinks and oranges! Given the easy set-up and clean-up of watercolors, these tubes are very intriguing!

  • Jodi Youngman

    I currently use pan watercolors and create liquid watercolors by soaking dried out markers in containers of water. It works great for vibrant colors, but get stringy and thick over time which make them hard to store. I’d love to try tube watercolors as I’ve never really used them so it would be fun to learn about them!

  • carmen

    Currently use pan watercolors but now trying liquid. I haven’t explored enough to make a judgement, but like with all supplies the fun is in the experimenting!

  • DarkstoneArt

    I have a limited budget for my many students so I usually go for the cheap and basic. We use pan watercolors and experience the usual frustrations of the diggers and scrubbers, as well as those who flood the pan and muddy the whole set. I would love to work with something offering more control. I remember using Sakura tube colors in my own student days and would be thrilled for the chance to try them with my own students!

  • Vicky Siegel

    What a great idea to use tube watercolors! I am planning on having my 4th graders paint a monochromatic flower painting next year. The Sakura Tubes would be much easier than having all of the oval pan watercolors available.

  • Dion

    I am new to teaching after school enrichment classes after teaching elementary school for years. I focus on art, something it seems we didn’t have much time for in the regular classroom. I discovered watercolor tube paints this year. I never knew they existed until I went to replace some of my pans sets. I bought inexpensive store brand tubes. I LOVE them!! The enormous variety of colors and the ability to mix them is so exciting. We did an art history study of Van Gogh, O’Keeffe, and Kandinsky. The “Starry Night”, “Poppies”, and “Concentric Circles” became the highlight of our annual art show at school. I still use pans to do complete background washes and resists but for the finer works we love the watercolor tubes. Another reason I love them is to me, it seems the go a lot farther . Just a dab will do ya. I already have the next watercolor art history class on the schedule for next year: Monet, Klimt, Mondrian. Can’t wait! I’d love a fine set of watercolors for my students to use.

  • Jen H.

    I prefer using Prang semi-moist with my students. The biggest problem I have with them is the kids getting them too wet and dripping across the room at clean-up. They also like to tell me they are empty when the center is clear even thought there is a lot left in the corners.

  • Terri Johnson Crawford

    I would love to have a nice set for my high school art 2 classes, we use small cups and pencils from whichever catalogue offers the best price for class packs. This looks like easy clean up too, I hate getting them to clean off the palatte.

  • Jamie Pettit

    I use the Grumbacher See for Yourself water colors, but I am looking for a new brand because it is hard to find the refills for these now. These sound great!

  • Nancy Backus

    We use Blick liquid watercolors. Nice and bright but someone always has a spill. The new tube colors look easy to control amount and no spilling. Thanks for all the info you give us.

  • carolina

    I use crayola watercolors. The problem is that the kids get them to wet plus they always think they are all gone when the middle part is whithe but they still have lots left in there! The tubes seem pretty easy to clean…. much easier than the palette!

  • Angela Harris

    I use the Prang semi-moist and the Blick liquid watercolors. The Prang aren’t quite bright enough and the liquid spill. I love the tube watercolors. That is definitely what I use for my own work.

  • Barbara

    I use Craylola… But love Sakura products for myself. I believe it will benefit my students because they can experiment with what type is best for them…

  • Audrey

    This sounds like a great idea. I usually use semi-moist pans by Prang or Crayola. A problem is how wet they get, and the lack of brilliant color. This looks like a reasonably priced alternative. Thanks for the tip.

  • Tara Hookano

    i inherited both dick blick liquid watercolors and prang palettes at the school where i work. i prefer the liquid watercolors…they are so bright and vibrant. the kiddoes have come a long way in understanding how they work and are very excited when i show up with the paint. i store the paint in small plastic salsa cups with lids i buy at smart and final. i can refresh and refill each cup quite easily and they nest really well in the plastic 6 or 8 compartment trays. spills do occasionally happen…it’s the nature of the beast and a lesson for the child on how to clean up and not panic ;-)

    my budget is almost non-existent and i would have been hamstrung had i not done a fundraiser with square 1 art this year. as i don’t have the means to experiment with new product, feedback like this is most useful in helping me decide where to put my funds. a classpack of watercolors in tubes would be amazing!

    thanks so much for providing this forum…

  • Ann Sealey

    Love these! Drove about 8 miles to buy a set I found from someone selling on craigslist… threw out all of the watercolor panset paints (of course, I saved the palette boxes) after watching my students paint milky paintings with whatever was at my school when I took over this year from the former art teacher. My students would be so surprised to see what real watercolor painting looks and feels like! Thank you Sakura for making such a superior product available to the lucky young artists who win this contest!!!

  • laura

    what a lovely giveaway. I love my own kohl watercolour pots but agree that tubes are easier in many situations. I think it is also about the pigments though, getting those beautiful brights, makes the price totally worth it.

  • Eleanor Allen

    We use prang 8 colors in the classroom. I save old watercolor pans each year in each color to soak in a container if I need liquid watercolor a la Kathy Barbro. I can control the intensity of the color needed and saves money. Would love for my 4-5 classes the opportunity to use a variation of the watercolor medium in tubes. I start in Kindergarten teaching basics of watercolor with procedures in wet brush – dry brush techniques and how to control the medium.

    Thank you for providing this opportunity to experience this alternative.

  • tracie

    Love tube watercolors but I have thought them to be too expensive to for the classroom, especially with our shrinking budget of late. It’s difficult to buy enough of something new all at once for our entire student population because of cost. I use watercolors regularly on paper and clay and kids loves the techniques you can show them, especially salt, even the older kids think it’s magic! I’d love to show my kids something new.

  • deb

    I love how watercolor looks in the art room but I cringe at the sight of dirty yellows and oranges in the pan sets we use. I inherited the sets when I started teaching 19 years ago and have been refilling them ever since! Way to stretch a budget! I think I might seriously give this a try and evern make some paper pallettes complete with finger holes for their introduction next year. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Tami Rose

    I most recently used Prang metallic watercolor. Our band teacher gave me some old instruments to use for a contour line drawing exercise one year. I loved the drawings and saved enough money to purchase the metallic watercolors that I incorporated into the lesson this year.

  • Bonnie McDaniel

    Teaching students to keep the yellow bright and not brown is a struggle. I used to pop out all the colors and have students chose out a couple at a time. This helped keep colors clean. I use Crayola watercolors. I have often wondered about tube watercolors, but because of price mainly, I stayed with the cake. I have seen various ideas for using tube watercolor. I would love to try them out with my middle school artists.

  • Marcia Beckett

    I would love to win! We use Artista watercolor pans and Prang metallic paints.

  • Vicky

    I always used Crayola or Prang watercolors for my elementary students. Recently, with middle and high school I began using Reeves tube watercolors. This worked quite well for them, and they liked that they were using something more professional. Also, the results were greatly improved with their art work.


  • Cindy

    I always buy the Reeves tubes class set. I really have to instruct my ninth graders on their use of them though, they use pan paint at the middle school level.

  • Mrs.C

    I always use Crayola 16 color trays . This year i bought and used some liquid watercolors also. I found pros and cons for both. Interested in these tube watercolors….

  • Tish

    What! watercolor paints!
    I can only use separated tempra blocks and a spray bottle with my K-2 kiddos.
    It would be awesome to give them a chance at the real thing with pieces af watercolor paper!

  • Tina Renee Jenkins-De Hart

    I have used various brands of water color trays some being brighter than others. The biggest problem I have had is the mixing of colors on the tray. I also tend to use a lot of blue so I have lots of trays with all the blue and most of the green used up. I think the tubes are a great idea to keep colors from being mixed, limit the amount of color used, and have brighter color when painting.

  • tscootch

    This year I began teaching high school and elementary art, and the only watercolors available were pan colors. I brought in my own professional tube colors for the advanced high school students, but never considered another way for the elementary children. They got frustrated by the muddied hues and dirty colors in the pans, so I began rinsing them after each use. This was a waste of paint and time. These watercolor tubes sound like a great alternative!

  • C. Ibarra

    I use Prang or Crayola watercolor pans. While these can be used to create beautiful little artworks, I have noticed that upper elementary and Middle school students step their work up a notch when they feel they are using “professional” quality art media. I also think it would encourage my middle school students to use the paint for painting, not for just filling in their pencil drawings. The issue is being able to afford these wonderful products for the students to try.

  • MDGibbs

    I used my personal watercolors this year for my art classes, I bought Grumbacher tubes and circular palettes to squeeze the paints into and let it dry. That way the students get to use good, intense watercolors instead of the pale and watery ones such as Crayola, or other “school grade” ones. It worked well and lasted most of the year, before having to be replaced. It was expensive to introduce, and our school did not have the funds to purchase the paints, so I bought them and donated them to the cause of art for all my students. I can hardly wait to try these new watercolors that you wrote about!

  • Brenda

    Being that I was the 5th art teacher in as many years there were so many odds and ends. Every teacher ordered new supplies regardless of what was already there. Mainly I had Prang and Crayola though. There was so much waste in the past that I was given no budget to work with this year. I would say my two biggest complaints would be mixing colors and intensity. This is my third year teaching at this location and I brought in my own personal stash of liquid watercolors this year. I was amazed at what the children did. It added a whole new aspect to my classroom. It is amazing how one new supply integrated properly can really bring out some inner creativeness that is usually hidden in students. Working with such an intensely at-risk group, every success changes how these students view the world. My classroom has become their one safe place to thrive so even though trying new products costs me it would cost them more in the long run had I not tried. As teachers we are world changers for a few and I am sure we are all deserving of supplies to help us create that magic. Thank you for this opportunity!

  • Amanda Swift

    I love water colors! I have found that Prang water colors are vibrant and fun because they sell a mullti pack with metallic and glitter colors on top of the traditional color selection. I use water colors with preK though 8th grade. Although I enjoy Prang, I have found that stiff bristle paint brushes are really the only way to get the paint on the paper. The paint can also get extremely sticky. I would benefit greatly from tube water colors because, the students love experimenting with various intensities of color. Watercolor tube paint is also versatile because it can be squeezed out ahead of time and even dry before it is used. This would be a fun way to distribute paints for all grades. I also think the colors would be much more rich and not fade.

    Thanks for the opportunity to share!

  • Clare Butler

    I have always used Crayola watercolors. The kind where you can change the pans of color. The kids love watercolor. However during my demonstration I need to clarify “this is a paint brush, not a screw driver and this is paint, not a screw”. Because watercolors are so transparent the kids often dig, twist, and turn their brushes in the pans of color! Tube watercolors could be the solution to this problem!!

  • Kelsey

    This is my first year teaching and I’m still going over my supply list and deciding what I want to use my budget on, but right now I’m planning on using liquid water colors. It will allow me to the freedom to decide beforehand how much water to add for my younger kiddos and I won’t have to worry about trying to make students share the plastic trays. As a first year teacher, it would be so fantastic to win this contest! Thanks for the opportunity! (

  • SusanW

    My tube watercolors are all dried out in my art cabinet. So, I cut open the tubes and put the dried pellets in watercolor brush-pens and let them reactivate. It was an economical way to save tube watercolors and the brush pens are easy to use.

  • Carol

    I already use tube watercolor, but it is quite an expense every year. We always seem to run out of the primary colors! It is totally worth it to use the tube color because of the possibilities of mixing and brighter pigment on paper. (

  • Susan Massucci

    I teach art to grades 1-12. While I have done numerous projects with acrylic paint (on canvas, paper, 3-D, etc.), I have not done watercolor projects due to budget, yet – but I have plans to soon.
    I am not opposed to pan paints, but tube paints are easier to use. I am also a firm believer that quality materials create less frustrations with kids and inexperienced artists. Ultimately, better materials create better end results and happy kids who feel proud of their accomplishments.
    Some my upper level students have done pen and ink work with simple washes. We used watered down acrylic paint, but it as any artist who knows the difference between acrylic and watercolor – it does not compare.
    I would be so excited to have the opportunity to share these paints with my students!
    Thank you for the giveaway :)

  • Rebecca Aranyi

    I have used the classic watercolor trays (crayola, prang, etc.) for some time. Last year I used the concentrated liquid watercolors and the middle school students loved them. I like the idea of these tubes too.

  • Lella

    Please don’t laugh. Budget is tight here in Thailand. In the classroom we don’t have all those yummy, beautiful, bright watercolors, we use food coloring instead.

    We use the 1 liter glass bottles, one for each color. They are so heavy for me to carry around from one class to the next! Plus all the plastic glasses we use as containers to mix the colors and a jar of 5 liter water.

    I teach Art to 600 students a week (K.- G.1) and we all LOVE, LOVE, LOVE creating. We use whatever is available. Mixed media anyone? :)

    Benefits of using watercolors tubes? Lasting quality work, very practical to use, minimal color preparation time, cleaner work station, very easy to carry around from one class to the other.

    Would LOVE my students to get the entire quality class pack and have the chance to win “that” art competition.

    We LOVE Art for Life

  • Gloria Van Duzer

    I have used the tray watercolors in the past. Last year, however, I experimented with the liquid watercolors. The colors really pop. Looks like next year I will be experimenting with tube watercolors… when this happens.

  • Erica

    I’ve been using Prang, I’ve found them to be the best so far. I’ve tried liquid watercolors that everyone raves about, and they are pretty good, but just so…wet. I was starting to think maybe I needed better watercolor paper but maybe tube watercolors is what I need!

  • Ms. H

    I have not been able to use the tube watercolor in my class, as of yet. I have usually used Prang trays, and end up popping the black out to avoid the muddiness the students love to create, lol. For certain projects, I have ended up using a lot of prep time popping all the colors out, and separating them into groups. I think the tubes would assist in this, and give them a new experience in the art room!

  • Mary Pritchard

    Tube watercolors look great. I have used traditional tray watercolors from PRANG and liquid watercolors (from Discount School Supply)

  • Carmela

    I enjoy teaching elementary students how to paint with watercolors. The box paints run out quickly. I have used the liquid watercolor paints and yet to try the tube watercolors in the classroom because they are not on out school district supply list.
    The colors look great. I would use the tube paints for teaching technique and well as project painting.

  • Madeline

    I’m a second year art teacher and try to constantly embrace trying new suggestions in my classroom! Right now I’m using Crayola watercolors and some liquid watercolors. Depending on the project, they both usually serve their purpose. When parts of my Crayola trays get used up, I have some student helpers cut apart the remaining full plastic wells and sort into bags by color….this way I can dispense by specific color if I need to. Not the most time efficient option though :) I would love the chance to try out tube watercolors with the kids. It would allow them to experiment with the intensity of the colors and make specific color dispensing less time consuming on my end. Thank you for the opportunity to try these out! (

  • Taylor Franklin

    I use NASCO brand tempera cakes for my K-2 students

  • Kathryn Petri

    Mrs. P

    I have used Prang oval watercolor trays most of my teaching career, and prefer them for economical watercolors. The refills make it very practical for an elementary classroom. I’ve also tried Crayola, but prefer the Prang. I have tried bottled liquid “sparkle” watercolors, which the elementary students loved. I was surprised how far the paint actually went. I used far less than I expected, probably because I added water when I placed the paint in plastic bowls for the tables to share.

    At the high school level, I have used both the Prang trays for beginners, and liquid watercolor tubes for Advanced painting classes. The tubes tended to dry up and were in the metal flexible tubes. The Sakura plastic tubes look like a great way to avoid the “cracking/breaking” tubes that happen when students aren’t careful about how they squeeze and roll the tubes. I would love to try them out!

  • Mrs. Hebig

    I like Prang Oval 8 watercolors, because of the intense color and the ability to replace individual colors. But replacing the colors and keeping the trays and colors clean is labor intensive. The Sakura watercolors look like a great way to be able to use just the colors you need and avoid some of the mess. I like the plastic tubes with the color coded tops which would make it simple for even the youngest students to have success.

  • Anne Marie Bailey

    I teach middle school, 6th-8th grade and we use tempera cakes. We have a very limited art budget so they don’t get to try new things very often. This would be wonderful!

  • Alexis Lebowitz

    I am currently looking for new watercolors to use in my room. I had a budget of $0 last year – so I have to select my supplies carefully! Next year I am requesting a $1,000 budget but will probably only get half that. Currently I am using leftover 16 and 8 color trays (not crayola but some off-brand) that I found in a box when I first came to the school this year (the student’s had not had an art teacher for the past 4 years). These trays will be used by the end of the school year in a month, so I LOVE the chance to use Sakura’s Fantasia tube watercolors and put them on my purchase list!

  • michelle brown

    I use prang watercolors sets for the Lower School students and Tube watercolors with the Middle Schoolers. I am often frustrated with the quality of the Prangs, though they are better and most economical that others experimented with in the past. These Sakura tube colors are intriguing as they can be used to further instill responsible responsibility in the art studio. I have found that with the younger students especially, if you tell them “these are really paints that professional artists use,” they work with much more care and respect towards their art and supplies.

  • Heidi Graves

    I’ve used the pans, liquid and the tubes. So far my favorite is the liquid because with the pans the kids don’t use enough water, the tubes I always mixed it with water for them (guess I’ll try letting them put it on their brush and add the amount of water they want). Liquid just seemed very vibrant compared to the others.

  • Michele Pietrzak

    I used liquid watercolors last year and found them to be very nice and vibrant, but easy to cross-contaminate in the palette. I have wanted to use tube watercolors with the kids in my class but want a nice quality to help ensure they get a good result. Also, I would have to be more brave about letting them get comfortable with mixing the water in, a very good and important step in any artist’s life, but less easy with a classroom full of kids. I want to try, I do, I do.

  • The art lady

    I use the strip type typically and have used the liquid also. But I would LOVE to allow my students to explore tube water colors. With four hundred students and a very small budget…..winning the chance would be awesome! Miracles happen!

  • Shannon Salinas

    This next school year will be my first year of teaching Art. I am super excited. So far I’ve only found Prang and Crayola watercolors in the classroom. I would love to get a new set of tube watercolors to try out in the classroom.

  • Andrea Wilson

    This is an interesting idea…I’ve never considered it in my elementary classroom. This past year I used regular semi moist water colors and hated them so much due to the mixing of colors, my students inability to not scoop out the paint, and the way the popular colors like blue and red disappear within the first few weeks of school! I ended up using watered down tempera paint and dealing with finding ways to cover my containers so they last through the week and then spending hours washing out the bowls when the project was finished. I’d love to give this product a try with my classes-it seems like a problem solver!

  • Clara Crosby

    I use the refillable 8 oval pans from Crayola. I like the bright colors and the ease in changing them…the upper grades do this themselves. The only troubles I have is teaching students not to dig into the paint, but to be gentle. I would like to try the tubes, especially for watercolor wash techniques. I teach 550 k-5 students in Indianapolis, IN

  • Ms. D

    I teach art to over 500 students K-8 and use crayola pan watercolor and would love to have tube watercolors in my classroom! We always struggle with our colors not being intense and cooperative to the techniques that I am demonstrating and tube colors would solve this problem! I teach wax resist and salt on watercolor and my middle school students would be thrilled to have these paints and possibilities in the studio. Thank you for the opportunity of possibly bringing these vibrant colors to my students, I would mix them into an O’Keeffe or Picasso project.

  • Debbie Coble

    I teach approx. 1200 students in 3 schools with very limited funds. I have only used 8 and 16 color Crayola pans, but I think it would be nice to try the tubes. The problem I have with the pans is that some colors run out before others or students dig in the pans.

  • Christine

    I usually order the 8 color trays from Prang. They have worked really well in the past, but i always seem to run out of a few colors. To get the most out of the trays, I buy refills of the most used colors and replace them when needed. I would like to give my older students the experience of working with tube watercolor. I think it is a great way to introduce new techniques and materials. Thank you for this opportunity

  • Ashley B

    I use pan watercolors for my Art 1 students. I always hate when they run out of one color in the tray. Suddenly it becomes almost useless and they search other pans for that color, which seems to suddenly become hard to find, as other students are out too. Especially problematic if they’re all doing a similar color scheme. Tubes would cut down on the time we waste opening up other trays that might have that color.

  • CWhite

    All 7 of my classes love to go outside by our school’s duck pond and sketch. This month, classes go outside for 1/2 period to sketch, then come back inside to water color their sketches. We are using Crayola 8 trays as I have to furnish nearly every material except newsprint for this year’s students. Our budget for this next year will be getting more basics, but nothing like tube paints. I used them in college, and loved them. So, I would really love for my students to experience quality supplies and see the difference it makes.

  • Laura Gomez Ickes

    I love using “artist quality” materials with kids when I can-they appreciate them and feel respected as artists themselves. These would be great for limiting palettes for color mixing and experimentation–I can see organizing them by individual, primary, warm and cool colors depending on the lesson! It would also be fun to invent a lesson for the “leftover” colors so none are wasted!

  • Gena Bauer Smith

    I use Prang because of the bright clear colors. This works best for middle and high school though. I like to use Crayola Educational watercolors because of the strong pigment, but they do leave a chalky quality. I would love to try these Fantasia watercolors. Thanks so much for the opportunity!

  • art4him07

    At school I use Crayola trays. I feel more comfortable with these as I am less experienced with “High Style” water colors. At Home I bought some some Sakura (sp) tubes and had some Winsor Newton water colors in tubes. It I take a class, perhaps I will feel more confident using them all regularly; for now I love acrylics!

  • Holly

    I have only used Prang pan set watercolors before in my classroom, but am looking at trying tube watercolors with my high school students for the first time. Pan sets never seem to have the exact look that I hope for my students to accomplish and I would like to compare the two types of watercolors.

  • Lee Tyler Darter

    I use watercolor crayons. You can take them anywhere even if you do not have water, just add water later. The kids think they are magic! I would love to try tube watercolors.

  • Beth Thompson

    I have been able to use pan (Prang), liquid (Blick), and tube (Van Gogh) and love the variety of techniques and results that the students get to experience. Each medium seems to have its positives and negatives – using the tube paints with 6-8th grades, we rarely wash off our palettes except when the colors turn into mucky-yuck. A little bit of water brings the dried-out tube paints back to life and the student like that they do not have to remix all their colors in order to continue their projects. I am the only one who refills paint wells and am strict about keeping the colors in the wells pure.

  • Angela Karamian

    I use the Crayola color trays and I have personally bought liquid watercolors. I like the liquid watercolors much better than the trays. The colors in the trays become contaminated very quickly and the students tend to create dark colors. I would like to try the watercolors in a tube to see if I am able to get more pure and intense colors.

  • Mc Corsini

    I use Prang watercolor tray and liquid watercolors. I like the vibrancy of both. I have taught my students how to rinse their brushes between colors to keep their colors pure. I would love to try the tube watercolors with my middle school students.

  • Daniele

    I have used Crayola and Prang, and I too pop specific colors out of the trays when needed or to avoid unwanted color mixing- very time consuming and cumbersome! This set looks beautiful! The colors are dynamic! I had never thought of using this form of watercolor with the little ones because of the expense, but you are right! Wouldn’t their results be fabulous!!!

  • Corinne

    I use the Prang watercolor trays because I can fill individual colors separately. The trays always end up being a real mess and need to be cleaned often. I like the idea of the tubes and I see the advantage of less waste. I have used tubes myself and really like them. I would love to try them with students but have a very limited budget.

  • Katie C in Houston

    I use liquid colorsto teach washes, and pan watercolors for oter projects. I find these intriguing!

  • Jennifer Christiansen

    I inherited Prang watercolors and am having a hard time teaching the kids how to control their color, they either don’t use enough water or too much and can’t seem to find consistency. I would love to try these instead.

  • Carol

    I use Prang pan watercolors with the black removed. When I need to limit the color palate, I use the plastic with the 3 ovals that the refills come in. I can have all warm or all cool colors and can change them out easily. Recently I tried the liquid watercolors and loved the vibrant colors and ease of use but first and second graders quickly contaminated the colors even with many reminders to wash the brushes between colors. I’d love to try tube watercolors with my students.

  • Kim

    I use mainly Crayola 12 8 color trays. I have also used some liquid water colors. I have also made my own water colors by taking apart dried up markers and soaked them in some water. These were a great way to recycle the old markers and the colors were beautiful.

  • Ms M

    I use Prang half pan, simply because that is what was here. I buy refills every year. I also have trouble with students not knowing how to control the water they add to get the intensity they want.

  • Barb Zach

    I teach K through 4th grade and use watercolors alot. I used Crayola 8 colors trays with the pans that pop out. I replace them as needed. As the year goes on though, they get messy. I would love to use tube watercolors as they seem to be more economical in the long and more enjoyable for the kids.

  • Mary L.

    I am considering switching to tube watercolors. My students currently use pan watercolors. I love to add a bit of soap to the watercolors and have my students paint on acetate to create mono prints. I would love to try this method with the tube watercolors!

  • Amanda Anderson

    I mainly use 16 count Prang pan water colors and this year I started using some of the liquid water colors which I really enjoyed. I started buying just the individual colors needed for the pan sets. With the extra plastic trays I was able to make sets of warm and cool color strips for specific projects. I don’t have much experience using tube water colors and would love to experience them with my students.

  • Wendi B

    This would be such a great deal for me, I teach pre-k and the liquid water colors I use now are so messy…. this is a great idea!

  • Deborah Lieberman

    For a few years I purchased water colors in tubes for my students. But due to budget cuts which provide me with little to no budget we. Have been using either crayola or prange that are in the little trays. Kids love to paint no matter what . But you can see the frustraition when they try to produce rich colors. We were lucky that several years back an art store donated some pretty nice water colors , the kids really enjoyed them. I totally agree with you. The process is much richer when you have quality materials. Thanks for the great articles.

  • LaceyM

    I’ve always used Prang oval trays and have had wonderful success. However I’ve always been tempted to try liquid or tubes but fear of waste what little budget money we have. Now I’m even more tempted to try them. If budget allows, they’ll certainly be on the list for next year.

  • Heather Shockley

    I use Reeves water color trays and then have prang refillable squares that can be inserted into the palette. The issue I have is the lack of intensity of the color, students being able to mix colors without making muddy, low intensity color, quick and effecient distribution and also, the biggie, budget. My budget is has been reduced each year making the purchase of paint less and less. I have approximately $250-$500(on a good day–so that I am “equal” in budget with classroom teachers budget for materials of instruction) for 350 students to supply materials for an entire school year. Of course the art room is not just the art room, its a student supply area as well– Have a book report? “Go as Mr./Mrs. int he art room for some paper and paint to complete your project.”

    The Sakura Fantasia class pack would benefit my room because it would create a more effiecient distribution of materials, it would allow me to have more access to better quality paint for the next school year being as my budget is steadily diminishing, the paint quality would allow for many different techniques that my students don’t get access to with watercolor since it is in a liquid for instead of a pan, and it would allow for more accessible stroage.
    ~Heather Shockey Warwick Elementary at

  • Joseph Smeraldi

    I teach elementary school Visual Arts at a charter school in the the Bronx. Our supply budget is limited and I usually switch between ordering and using liquid tempera and the cake style Crayola 8 or 16 color trays. I teach color theory with tempera because they’re conducive to mixing but when we switch back to water color, students don’t really get to “show what they know” because the media isn’t as color mixing friendly. A set of these liquid watercolors would be a great addition to our supply closet because they’ll allow our students the opportunity to gain greater control over their ability to mix colors and help them to hone their ability to visualize the possible color choices that they have at their disposal.

    • Joseph Smeraldi

      …disposal in the visual arts studio. Good luck everyone!

  • Brigid

    I use Crayola water color trays (don’t last long since the cakes are small), Yarka trays (so pigmented that students have difficulty getting nice transparency), and liquid watercolors (spill all the time, even if I place in trays). I think the Sakura tubes sound like the perfect solution.

  • ebash8

    I use crayola trays but am disappointed at how fast they run out with my student projects. I would love to try liquid or tube watercolors in my classroom but budgets have kept me from doing so. Excited about the givaway!

  • lwierzba

    I have used both the prang basic 8 palettes and tube colors. With the Art 1 students, I have them learn to do a grid enlargement of a resource, then layer light washes and a dark dry brush second coat for each individual watercolor. They start with yellow (paint the whole thing as if a sepia tone photo only in yellow unless there are bright cools anywhere). When dry, I have them go on to add an orange layer, then red, next cross the color wheel to green, on to blue then to violet. Each time, if a color is to stay the previous color they no longer add a layer. Finally, they can add brown and black if needed. The dark areas are much richer and students often find they don’t need much black. My struggle with the palettes is that sometimes students do not properly clean brushes between each layer and so their colors end up transferring to the palette. Tube colors would allow them to get the pure color each time.

  • AndreaMcMillan

    I use Prang water color and Liquid water color. I really cant stand the Prang. THe kids always use every color and things get muddy. Liquid is fun but precarious because its liquid and I dispense it and usually end up with rainbow hands by the end of the day. Tube water color may be the answer!!


    Wow! I love tube watercolors – I recall using them in high school and I instantly fell in love. When I came to the middle school level, I continued my love by purchasing them for my 6th graders who focus a lot on the techniques associated with watercolor. Unfortunately, budgets are budgets and I am very limited with what I have. I also use palettes to discuss and work with color mixing in younger grades. Next year, through some outside encouragement, I am going to try liquid watercolors (which I have used personally) with my students so that I can have a very rounded sense of teaching watercolors.

  • patti

    I have used Crayola, the color is ok but the trays get so messy and are quickly used up by younger students. They could make some amazing ART with Fantasia® Watercolors from Sakura. Good luck every one, I am keeping my fingers crossed:)

  • Jenny Haddock

    I use Prand 8 color trays. The students think they are empty as soon as they see the bottom of the tray. I have to convince them there is much more paint than they realize. I have been trying to get the courage to try liquid watercolors. I bought some blue for underwater paintings and skies. I love how easy they are to store in containers, and how the color stays true.

  • Swhite

    I use a variety of watercolor in my classroom. Pan and liquid and I am going to try to make my own liquid out of markers this summer. The liquid has the best color, but I like to use the pan to teach the younger students the proper ways to use a brush and how to create values with their watercolor.

  • Cindy D.

    I currently use Prang watercolor trays which tend to work ok if the students have a lot of time to practice with them and get used to controlling the amount of water to paint ratio to get the results they want. After reading about these watercolor tubes, I’m anxious to give them a try because they seem like the students will have an easier time controlling the paint without the colors bleeding too much into one another as they are working on their projects.

  • Ingrid

    Wow! These look wonderful. My biggest issue with pans is that I am always running out of blue and black, and they contaminate the yellows and whites if they are in there. Also, students sometimes forget reminders to take care of them and occasionally jam a paintbrush deep into a pan, creating a divot. :-(
    The liquid colors I tried this year are beautiful and brilliant bt I wouldn’t trust the bottles with the kids; even being really careful, *I* dripped liquid ink-style watercolors everywhere. Those bottles are really drippy. This classpack looks like a fantastic option! Fingers crossed!!!!

  • Katy T

    I use dry tempera cakes. Recently my 6th grade students drew these beautiful still life drawings and sadly, the paint made them less successful. The paint looked faded after the students meticulously added layer after layer. After their hardwork and obvious skill, the outcome was less than exciting

  • Sam s

    I’ve used liquid water colors and 8 color cake water colors but never these tubes. I’m really curious about them. I would love to experiment with them and see what the students could create. I love how tempera mixes and hate how limiting watercolor is for mixing. But I LOVE showing the kids how to get effects with watercolor with things like salt and sand.

  • Tara Challenger

    For the very first time this school year I had used the Reeves brand Watercolor tube classpack. I went with this brand because I was trying to be frugal with my budget and order something that I could afford. I also wanted to try using tube watercolors with middle school.
    I agree with the comments made in the post about allowing children to use products that are thought of as “adult” products. The 6th graders really enjoyed using the tubes. It made them feel more professional. It gave them greater control over how to mix colors and to play with opacity. Working with a dab of color on the pallette prevented colors from becoming muddy. If the color dried up of the weekend it was easily be revived with adding water.
    It was very important to monitor how much paint they used. I placed only a limited amount of tubes out for use and STRESSED to only use a small dab of color. I also gave the kids watercolor pencils to experiment with. They enjoyed using those as well.
    The project I developed for this lesson was to create a POP-OUT watercolor effect. The students each chose a career for their cartoon character. They first brainstormed ideas for their character by coming up clothing they would wear, props and accessaries they would use at their job, and personality traits associated with that type of person.
    The pop-out effect was created by creating certain pieces that were painted on separate watercolor paper and then cut-out. They were attached to the background using piece of foam board to give it a raised effect. Black sharpie marker was also used in order to outline and define areas.
    This project was very fun and there were so many creative ideas.
    I would love for my students to have the pportunity to try using the Fantasia watercolors. We have a very large school and it is a challenge to order quality products because of a limited budget to order supplies. Every little extra bit helps!

  • Debbie G

    We have been using the Prang basics in my high school art classes. By the end of each semester they are a mess – even with the care of cleaning all supplies they end up mixing and drying and of course when water spills over these small circles it pools and leaves a gross mess around the edges and in each pod. I am moving to elementary next year and would love to try the tubes! My goal is to be super organized and efficient with supplies and I really think these would help- the teacher is basically in control of how much gets used which is nice and I think this product could also give the student more ideas on the amount of water to use when they see it as a chunk of active watercolor rather than a dried little circle. I’m excited to try! And super excited to move into elementary art!

  • tigersage

    The last time I used a liquid based watercolor I was in college. I have been teaching K-12 art for 13 years and recently took one for the team and moved to K-6 elementary (I was the only one with prior experience and quite frankly the others were frightened, which I’ve since learned why – it’s hard!) I have been cursing all year at the watercolor trays – they are messy, dirty, dug into and for some odd reason students like to open and close them until they find the “perfect” tray. I’ve spent weeks – separating them and now just had out individual palettes of color, they must use it completely before they receive a new one – I feel like a police
    officer in my classes. I would really enjoy trying something new and a liquid watercolor would give me that freedom to focus on the “how to’s” of watercolor
    techniques. Instead of the “no digging, only tickle, there is still pigment in that palette and you ruined the feral!” Thanks for reminding me that this option is available…now to check prices. Because unfortunatly in this day and age it’s all about the budget – and thankfully we still have one.

  • Mrs. D

    I use a variety of watercolor products that students bring from their supply list. I would love to teach with a uniform set of watercolor product, especially one that would help with mixing colors to produce an accurate color wheel experience.

  • hollyteach

    I always order the prang watercolors for my students. I teach pre-k through 8th. With such a range of ages, it would be nice to have a more “grown up” alternative for my middle school kids. They moan and groan when I pull out the watercolors. Maybe this would be just what I need to get them excited about ages again!

    • hollyteach

      Watercolors, not ages!

  • Mrs. H.

    I use Prang or Crayola 8 or 16 color trays. I have dabbled with liquid watercolors as well. These tubes are interesting….I have never used them before.

  • Joyce

    I love watercolors! Have never tried tube watercolors with my classes and would love to. Jessica how about a video of you demonstrating how you use them in a lesson.

  • Teresa D. Euken

    I like Crayola 8 or 16 color trays that the kids bring with their general classroom supplies and also order the individual colors when needed. Unfortunately, sometimes students bring some really nasty brands that simply don’t work very well. I have never tried the watercolor tubes and would love to check them out.

  • Luanne

    I am currently completely my first year of teaching art at a pre-k through fifth grade elementary school, located in a very poor, high crime, urban district. My students love art however, they have not mastered washing their brush before loading it with a new color. Consequently, the tempera cakes, water color palates, and liquid water colors I purchased become very muddy. Painting is what my students enjoy the most and is very therapeutic for them. So, paint in tubes could be the answer!

  • Carla Johnson Nations

    I use liquid watercolor in my classroom for convenience. I think the tubes would be good for my advanced students who could set up a palette and mix better than liquid. I’m always interested in new options for my students.

  • Kristen

    I use Prang watercolors in my classroom but this will be the last year of using them! I dislike them and to add to it, they sent me glitter and shimmer watercolors when I ordered originals. Not really appropriate for high school level. I struggle with what to upgrade to and was interested in trying out tube watercolors for next year if they are do-able budget wise. Winning this would be a great chance to try them out and hopefully get a good start at a change over to tube watercolors! I think the tube watercolors would last a lot longer, as long as the amount used is monitored. I feel like the tray cake style is used up by my students after one project.

  • hillary h

    I teach special ed deaf and hard of hearing middle school students, and one of my classes is an art class. It’s great to expose them to different mediums, and different forms of the same medium would be even better. I currently have to teach with whatever supplies are in the staff room- because my budget goes to the 4 other subjects I teach which are IEP goal areas (English, social studies, science and math)- so adding these water color tubes to my class would be amazing!

  • Ms. Gina

    This year I have used watercolor crayons at my school since I didn’t not have a sink. They were okay. The colors did not spread as nice as I thought. I also used the standard watercolor sets but always found myself cleaning up after the student from getting the paints all black. Watercolor tubes would probably help eliminate the mixing of black into the other colors by students.

  • Renee Collins

    I use a variety of water-based media, but haven’t tried tube watercolors with the kids. I have seen the paint with water pages idea before and love it! The only thing that makes me wary is that kids tend to squeeze out a ton of paint which can’t go back in the tube! You can always have more, and a little goes a long way! Good luck everyone!

  • Tobie

    I use prang color trays. I also have Sax liquid watercolor and a 6 pack of their liquid glitter watercolor which was amazing ,I saved those for special project you really could not dilute them to much.

  • Jessica Davis

    I just got finished cursing at my watercolor trays not more than 10 minutes ago! I am so tired of the mess and the popping of refills in and out. These look amazing! Thanks, Jess! I hope I win! ( fingers crossed!)

  • Linda

    I love having my students use watercolors! I’ve always wanted to try tube and liquid watercolors with my kiddos, but haven’t ever taken the jump. I know just the projects we’d use them with!

  • Holly Wert

    generic brand trays…uck!

  • Candace Miller

    I use Prang watercolor trays. The main problem is that the trays easily get super dirty and mixed, then NO ONE wants to use them! I have cleaned them before but that is a huge hassle! I would love to try tube watercolors but I’m not sure if I can budget them in.

  • Melissa

    We use the prang 8 color trays and we do a lot of blending and crayon wax resist projects

  • Vonnie

    I’ve gone from icky to Prang. I really like the oval watercolors and now my students know how to replace them. I also have some liquid watercolors that I use because they are really much brighter and I mix them ahead of time – students just take their pictures to the colors they want for their washes. I’ve also used dried up markers in water containers as watercolors (in the name of being ‘green’!) I’ve love to try the tubes!

  • Mary Hennessy

    I have been using liquid watercolor this year. The students and I like them! In my 10 years of teaching art I have used the pan type and watercolor pencils. I haven’t tried the tube watercolors as yet. I like having options for my different age groups to try (K-6). One of the things my students and I really like is that the liquid comes in gold and silver! We use those to brighten up our dragon pictures and our mummy cases.

  • Victoria

    I love tube water colors for and would love to share this experience with my students! They are always way more expensive than cake watercolors but the vibrant colors are wonderful. I would love to have these for my students.

  • Lil

    I teach art to Pre-K through grade 8 in my school. I’ve been frustrated with pan type watercolors for many reasons. The colors are not vibrant, blue seems to be used up before all the others, the colors get mixed together in a muddy mess and they take forever to dry up before I store them! Liquid watercolors are great but expensive….and distribution is a time concern. Also, whenever I put them into small cups they can easily spill! Ugh…these tube watercolors sound like a perfect solution! Please count me into the mix…

  • Kari

    I use prang half pans of watercolors. I like that they are not bone dry, but are a little sticky instead so kids can use them with very little water for vibrant results if they choose to do so. Unfortunately, they don’t always dry when stored with the lid closed, and we are forever running out of yellow and white, which would easily be eliminated with tube watercolors.

  • bwhite

    in my classroom i have used trays of dried watercolor you activate with water. after multiple uses the paint in the tray cracks and then leaves small pieces of the paint on your artwork. i have been wanting to try tube watercolor for my classroom for a while, but being at a low income school the money is hard to come by to replace materials.
    Brian white

  • Ms. S

    I teach high school drawing and painting. I use Prang watercolor sets because I like the vibrancy of the colors. It is hard when certain colors run out because my students won’t use that whole set even if there are full colors left. They love watercolor painting so it would be great to have some more supplies. We are a Title I school and I don’t get any money for supplies except for a fee from each student (which many can’t afford).
    Kari Searls

  • mrspicasso26

    I love using liquid watercolor For the convenience, but I struggle with Feeling guilty about not teaching kids how to use traditional water. So, I try to balance the two. Watercolor is my favorite medium, so these will come in very handy for my classes,

  • RWS

    I inherited dozens and dozens of partially used up watercolor pans, both Crayola and Sax (which have 8 pop out ovals and are similar in vibrancy to the Prang). It’s taken a year of experimentation but I finally threw away all of the Crayola (too wimpy) and I popped out all of the black ovals and replaced them with turquoise Prang ovals. This gives the kids a full range of blues for skies and water, and the black paint doesn’t muddy everything up. The tricky thing is getting the kids to really saturate their brushes with pigment to get a vibrant color. They have to use the white of the paper for white and mix darks by experimenting. I replace the colors as they are used up with individuals ovals and it seems to finally be working. Tubes might be the next step for my older classes (6-8).

  • Debra Morgan

    I am a watercolor artist and love watercolors a lot.

  • Yy

    Ah, too bad I missed it :(