Creative Projects / MY ART STUFF / Too Nice to Use Stuff

Too Nice to Use: Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colours

watercolors useAs you’ve probably seen in my past posts, I am a hoarder of art stuff – sketchbooks, notebooks, pens, pencils, paints, inks, and nibs. (Scrapbook stuff not yet included in the list). I’ve accumulated these stuff over the years through purchases here and abroad or gifts from family members.

There are stuff I use right away and there are stuff that I set aside not because I regret getting them but more because they’re “too nice to use”. These are typically the more expensive stuff and / or those that I acquired abroad because:

(1) I may ruin it or

(2) I’m not sure if I will be able to get my hands on the same item again

I do have untouched stuff that I’ve had more than a year that are still in storage. From time to time, I do get to take some of them out to check out again but I put them back in storage. Others, well I forget about them. Tsk… tsk…

It was towards end of last year when I was re-organizing my stuff that I re-discovered my “too nice to use” stuff.  It was also about this time that my friend Van, a minimalist and blogger (shedmom), and I had a discussion over one her posts about hoarding and my missing inner minimalist (who I still cannot find by the way). I decided then to put more effort into trying out to my “too nice to use” stuff.

This is the first of a continuing series of my works using my stuff that were set aside and maybe forgotten.

For this post, I’m featuring my Winsor & Newton Cotman WaterColours Pocket PLUS  (12 colors).


This set was a present from my sisters from their trip to Japan last year. I believe I’ve seen similar sets in Fully Booked already. Over the past few months, my Koh-I-Noor Watercolor wheel has been my favorite go-to all around set primarily for the brilliance of colors and portability. However, this Cotman Water Colours, at the moment, is becoming a close second. It is very small, thus portable. I don’t know how to best describe the quality of the colors. They are not as brilliant or bright as my Koh-I-Noor. Instead, they are lighter and for me, dreamier. They are more suited for my “more serious and whimsical” paintings. I am able to better control the colors in maintaining the transparency of the painting.


Whenever you have a new paint set you’re breaking in, I suggest you make a color chart so you know how the color looks on paper

Before I show you some samples using this set, let me share with you the brushes I used, also part of my “too nice to use”. The Raphael Kaerell round brush #14 dates back to the time I was taking art lessons more than five years ago. So I’ve used it extensively several years ago but I haven’t used this brush because I felt that I could only use this for “real paintings”. I’ve been using waterbrushes instead ever since I discovered them about a couple of years ago. The Daler-Rowney Sapphire #2 is one of my purchases last September in Art Friend, Singapore. By the way, this set actually included a brush which, strangely enough I did not use. I can’t explain why not though.


The subjects are some of the flowers from my husband’s Valentine’s gift to me. More than a photo, I wanted to make a memory of my beloved’s present with some paintings. The Koh-I-Noor colors are just too bright for these so it was a perfect opportunity to try out my new set.

These were painted on my Maruman Art Spiral F4 sketchbook. It’s a well-used favorite and it is my 4th of the same brand. I bought these sketchbooks in Singapore. I’ve seen them in Kinokuniya Stationery Section, Stationery Superstore and NBC.

rose 1rose 2 pink flowers

I’m happy with how they turned out – the paintings and the paint.

That’s minus one from my “too nice to use” art stuff. No regrets. I think I’m ready to try out some more.

How about you? Do you also have your own “too nice to use” stuff?


10 thoughts on “Too Nice to Use: Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colours

    • Thank you! You said it. It took awhile to learn that lesson. Sometimes, admittedly, there’s a feeling that one needs to “deserve” the good stuff but then one cannot improve or at the very least learn if we don’t use our tools

  1. Pingback: All Alone in Shangri-La Mactan | bananabellieboo

  2. I think you have long ago earned the right to use Winsor & Newton, so just keep using it! 🙂 I have only a handful of Cotman in tubes and two half pans. Yes, I believe they also fall in my “too nice to use” category for art supplies. will also have to add my 24 set Derwent Inktense pencils.

    • Ahhh… I still have some watercolor tubes that are still untouched and in the “too nice to use category”. I think they’re going to be the next to be experimented on. I’d like to see how the Inktense pencils are used!

      • Have yet to scour the nearest Fully Booked branch (ATC) for brushes and other art supplies. I did get 2 good brushes from Deovir last December – a #8 sable brush and a #10 Momiji. Thinking of getting a #4 sable brush. Huhuhu. I’m a hopeless paintbrush neurotic.

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