Gansai Tambi Watercolor Review, Set Up & How To
UPDATED September 13, 2017
Hello Everyone! I’ve been excited to share this quick video post with you! I’ve finally gotten my 36 color set of Kuretake Gansai Tambi Japanese watercolors, all the way from Japan. It is a brand and product by Zig who so many of us own loved products by. I bought this set because I could not be left out of the fun any longer. Zig have no idea who I am and have not compensated me in any way to share about these. I am in love and just cannot allow myself to not share their amazing qualities with you guys. Have you heard of, or tried them? Let’s all talk in the comments about them!
I cannot say enough exciting things about them. They took several weeks to arrive but are WELL worth the investment and patience to receive them. The Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors are artist grade and will last a very long time in their extra big pans. They are highly pigmented and a little goes a very long way.
Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolor review, set up and how to
As Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors are a bit of an investment, I wanted to share a quick video with you about them. I know many of you have asked for videos about supplies which require an investment. Since releasing this, the individual colors have become available and you can see them below and perhaps try just a color or two to see how you feel about them.
If you have not heard of the Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors, you’ll want to watch my video to learn a bit about them. If you do know about them, I hope you’ll enjoy hearing my thoughts on them. I guess you could call my video a review. Or perhaps an unboxing. Or even an introduction to Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolor. Whatever the case, I hope my video is useful to you.
I have used these beautiful Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors in several videos.
English names for Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolor
As I mentioned in the video, there are several people online claiming you cannot get the English names for these watercolors. Or, that they do not have any at all. But, I have them on the image below which I found after some major searching around. My packaging did not have this image on it. Apparently some do. If you have it, wonderful! If not, I hope you’ll appreciate being able to access their names in English.
You could just copy them while looking at this post. Or, you can hover your mouse over the image, right click and select the option to save the image to your computer and use your own savvy computer skills to get it printed and take it to a convenient location for reference.
The numbers will be on whatever set you buy and you can use this image to help you figure out what your colors are named. I really dislike pointing at a color and calling it something like, “that sort of ocean blue color here”. So, I am grateful to have the English names and be able to share them with you, so you can understand which colors I use in any future videos. I used my super fine lined, 005 black Micron pen to write the English names on the inside of my lid like you saw in the video.
Some thoughts about Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolor
Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors are wildly popular and with good reason. They are particularly exciting to card makers and crafters these days. That being said, it is not a new product fad. Artists have loved this product a long time. The company has been producing quality art supplies for over 100 years and their reputation is important to them.
If you are new to watercolor, I’d suggest you try the smallest set first to see if you enjoy using them and will get your money’s worth over time. If you love them and end up buying the largest set later to get the fuller range of colors, you’ll be able to just use your first set as back up colors you run out of. Since the pans are easily removable, you could switch colors around between the sets, to use up what you’ve started and have extras waiting for you. Just a thought. 🙂
If watercolor is a favorite for you, be sure you have a set! Some colors just aren’t found in other collections and those metallics!?! 🙂
Cake and pan watercolors
Cake or pan watercolors are dry in a little pot area. You can re-hydrate them when you apply a wet brush to the surface. Generally speaking, this type of watercolor will offer less vibrant color than tubed watercolor, if you just dab a wet brush to the dry color and apply to your creative surface.
You can spray the surface of your cake or pan watercolors, with a good mist of water 30-60 minutes or so before you intend to paint. This re-hydrates the watercolor and makes the color you lift, more vibrant on your creative surface. The more re-hydrated, the more vibrant. It’s a way to get more vibrancy from your cheaper brands of watercolor cakes or pans. Use this cheat to get the most out of a cheap set if you just cannot afford a better quality set right now. 🙂
Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors are not like this. I have yet to bother with spraying them to get them re-hydrated. They lift onto a wet brush, just beautifully while still entirely dry. With most metallic and shimmery style watercolors in cake or pan form, like Twinkling H2O’s (which I do enjoy!), it is almost necessary to re-hydrate them before use. Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors on the other hand, have no need. The shimmer in comparison to re-hydrated Twinkling H2O’s versus non-hydrated Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors, is no contest in my mind. Kuretake Gansai Tambi is amazing.
Your thoughts and reviews
Need I say more? Probably not. I’m sure I’ve made my point. Kuretake Gansi Tambi watercolors are a favorite! You can ask questions in the comments below if you have any.
What about you? Have you already gotten some Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors? Can you share your experiences, thoughts or review down in the comments below, for other readers? We’d all love to hear from you!
Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolor
As promised, here are the Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolor sets and individual colors which I’ve featured here. I hope they help you find anything you may want to try out.
Links lead to my own sites, or my affiliate partners, DaySpring, Scrapbook.com, Amazon.com, Simon Says Stamp, Michaels, Amazon.co.uk and Joy Clair. I occasionally also link to other helpful sites whom I am not affiliated with. When you find products which I’ve recommended through my affiliate partners, this ministry is supported. This has no effect on you and helps impact lives through this ministry. You may view my disclosure for more info on how this works. Thank you. I so appreciate your support, which helps me support your creative journey with God!
Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolor sets
Most of the time I try out a product in a smaller range to decide if I will like them, before purchasing a larger set. On this occasion, I knew I love all forms of watercolor, had watched nearly every review I could find and was settled that I would love them. I was right.
In the largest set with the metallic colors, the Gold (often referred to as bronze), Bluish Gold (often referred to as gold) and Silver (sometimes referred to as “that pearl color”), are just amazing. The vibrancy of the all the colors is wonderful. As with all of the Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors, they lift with little effort at all.
What do I mean by “lift”? Simply put, when you put a wet brush onto the surface of the watercolor, how much pigment gets lifted off the surface, onto your brush? Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors lift great. That means there is plenty of pigment on your brush with little effort to get it there. No scrubbing your brush on the surface trying to get extra pigment and no adding layer upon layer of color, just to get any joy out of the vibrancy your project has.
Check out all these individual colors. Beautiful!
Gansai Tambi pearl and starry watercolor
My favorite part of getting the largest set Kuretake offer, (the 36 colors), are those beautiful metallics. They only came in this biggest set which is why I chose to invest in the full set. But, since originally sharing this post, they have released two dedicated pearlescent gansai tambi watercolor sets with even more.
You are loved. x
*Links take you to my affiliate partners, DaySpring, Scrapbook.com, Amazon.com, Simon Says Stamp, Michaels, Amazon.co.uk and Joy Clair. And, occasionally to other shops whom I am not an affiliate of. When you find deals which I’ve recommended through my affiliate partners, I get supported. This has no effect on you and makes a real difference for me. You may view my affiliate and product disclosure for more info on how this works. Thank you, I so appreciate your support, which helps me support your creative journey with God!
May 3, 2015 @ 4:25 pm
I just wanted you to know how much I have been enjoying your posts/tutorials. I know these are a labor of love and a response to God’s call. Your encouragement in this community of creativity in God is invaluable to me.
Rebekah R Jones
May 5, 2015 @ 10:49 pm
Oh thank you Terri. I do work really hard and love what I do. You are so sweet. Thanks for sharing.
Magda Lena Designs
May 4, 2015 @ 5:20 pm
Thank you for this review. I also use Kuretake Gansai and I love them! I am in the process of learning watercolors and I really like that there are so many colors in the set (I have the 36 pans set). What I like about the paints is also the size of the pans itself – they are big enough for large size brushes, without getting paint in the neighboring pans.
Rebekah R Jones
May 5, 2015 @ 10:50 pm
Thanks for sharing! That is very true. Great sized pans! 🙂
May 5, 2015 @ 1:21 am
Great review, I like the video too. I love working with water colors but have always stayed firm with the brand I like, but now I have to give these a try. Just handed my husband my birthday gift list (its in Oct so he has time, lol).
Rebekah R Jones
May 5, 2015 @ 11:19 pm
Happy early birthday Mari! 🙂
May 5, 2015 @ 1:55 pm
I have the set of 24 and love them. I didn’t even realize that they are popular, I don’t even remember why I bought them, probably saw them used in a video somewhere. They are so much better than any other watercolor brands I have tried (several). I am not great at watercoloring, though, so would love to see some video tutorials on how to use them.
Rebekah R Jones
May 5, 2015 @ 11:19 pm
I’ve tried a lot of brands too and have to agree. Just wonderful. I’ll look forward to sharing some tutorials! 🙂
Jun 21, 2015 @ 10:22 pm
Thanks so much for finding the names. I have used them in my swatch book.
Oct 12, 2015 @ 3:05 am
I was looking for a review on Gansai Tambi particularly about its opacity since I prefer a set that would not overlap black outlines so I am glad you pointed it out in the last part of the video. That was my only apprehension in buying Gansai Tambi. The other brands are way more expensive so I’m glad that this brand which is more affordable can actually be transparent enough like the others. How about the finish? Is it glossy or matte finish? Thanks for your generosity 🙂
By the way, I appreciate your call to be an artist for God. It’s always a joy to find fellow Christian artists out there 🙂
Rebekah R Jones
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:14 pm
Hi Faye, Thanks for your comments. These Gansai Tambi watercolors dry with a more matte finish but are not at all chalky, as some more student grade alternatives would be.
Dec 12, 2015 @ 10:47 pm
Do you happen to know if you can replace colors in a set once they are used up?
Rebekah R Jones
Dec 14, 2015 @ 4:35 pm
Sadly you cannot other than to buy a new set to replace with as you go. I am not worried about it personally since the paint is so pigmented, it’ll be a long time before I can run out of even my favorite colors.
Dec 31, 2017 @ 12:18 pm
You can but separate colors to replace used ones from EllenHutson or Simon Says I tend to use a lot of colors when I watercolor (saturation) so I needed replacement in 6 months Sandy Lane
Rebekah R Jones
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:23 pm
Actually Sondra, I take that back. What I said, was once the truth but I’ve just seen Jackson’s Art in the UK, now have them individually and that may mean others like Dick Blick, may also now carry them. 🙂
Jul 21, 2017 @ 12:36 am
I have also seen Simon Says Stamp with refills for sale too! 🙂
Dec 31, 2015 @ 7:19 pm
I just received my Kissho gainsay watercolor paint set of 72!!!!! IM SO EXCITED. I am wondering if you found english names for those? I have looked and looked which is how I found you and thank you so much for posting this video of the 32 set.
Dec 31, 2015 @ 7:21 pm
typo fix: Kissho Gansai
Jan 16, 2016 @ 9:00 pm
Hi Rebekah! Thanks so much for this post. Just wondering how much a set like this costs in the art stores you frequent, because the stores in my country (Malaysia) doesn’t have anything like this. 🙁
Jan 21, 2016 @ 3:17 am
Hi Audrey… Actually you can have them from cziplee bangsar
Jul 14, 2016 @ 4:30 pm
Some malaysian online stores that carry kuretake gansai:
They’re way cheaper on ebay though so I suggest you get it from ebay if you can wait 2 weeks for it to arrive.
Jan 21, 2016 @ 11:34 am
I wondered if you had seen the Kissho Gansai Tambi ? I got these instead of the Kuretake (on Amazon) as they had 72 colors including more Metallics/pearls and neon! I love them 🙂
Jan 28, 2016 @ 8:04 pm
Thanks for this! I have just started my first art journal and have been putting up with a basic cheap 12 pan of watercolours. I was wanting to spend my Christmas money on some nice paints and didn’t know which to get! This video really helped and I have now ordered from Amazon. I get them on Saturday! Eek!
Mar 20, 2016 @ 6:45 am
Hi Rebekah what Watercolor paper do you use with these paints?
Mar 24, 2016 @ 10:57 am
I have read recently that you can now buy open stock of the Gansi Tambi and replace each color seperately and not have to buy a whole set. So that’s another plus
Apr 26, 2016 @ 9:15 pm
I went the other way around. I bought the 36 set first and then looked for reviews. But I don’t regret that. I really like the way the colours ‘behave’. They are highly pigmented and really do not need a spray of water to get them going. Mixing the ‘silver’ with other colours to make them pearlescent is a good idea.
Jun 30, 2016 @ 7:18 pm
Aug 13, 2016 @ 8:49 pm
Your review and demo convinced me to buy the larger set that you have. I did link from your blog page for the purchase.
Oct 18, 2016 @ 2:57 am
thank you for taking the time to do all this work in finding and posting the english names ,
Dec 19, 2016 @ 7:38 pm
I bought a set of these recently and have found that they are flaking in the pan after use (after they dry out again). Also, if I let them dry in my palette, they just turn into big flakes which makes them impossible to transport. Have you had this issue? I’m wondering if I got a bad batch or something.
Feb 14, 2017 @ 5:12 pm
Thanks so much for the color chart. I just opened my set of 36 to find everything but the color number in Japanese! So I was thrilled to be able to put names to my color.
In finding this post, I also found your wonderful review of these watercolors. I also did lots of research before buying these, and now can’t wait to dip my brush and find out for myself! Also glad to hear I can buy individual pan replacements! Now off to search that. Thanks again! Happy painting!
May 14, 2017 @ 6:47 pm
Just to let you know, I just got my 36 set and started to use them on the painterly days books by Kristy Rice. ( a mothers day gift from the most wonderful children in the whole wide world). I luv, luv, luv, the colors and the fact that I only need a wet brush to pick up the color. I have used your chart (Thank You) and for a beginner both the colors and the books and so wonderful.
May 28, 2017 @ 1:40 pm
Thank you for tracking down that color chart! I can’t stand not knowing the name of my colors when I’m making a color chart.
Rebekah R Jones
Jun 1, 2017 @ 8:50 am
Happy to! I needed it myself too. 😉
Jan 31, 2018 @ 7:42 pm
Another thank-you for the color names! I will be adding them to the color chip chart I painted up, as so many of the pans look the same.
Discovery: The “Starry” palette seems to have a different binder, so you can (carefully) use them on top of other colors without too much smudging–much more so than the metallics that come with the sets.
Jun 9, 2019 @ 1:54 am
Thanks for sharing all this. I had bought these awhile back, but haven’t used them yet.
Going to now.