I am always interested in arts and crafts products as I have some very creative children who enjoy getting crafty. I was offered an Aquarelle set by Ravensburger to try out for UK Mums.tv and was impressed with the fact that it had just won the Best New Toy at the London Toy Fair 2012 in the creative category.
We received a mini set in a cute cat design to try out. It comprises of a pre-printed mini canvas 8.5 x 12cm, a palette, paint brush, dropper and three primary coloured bottles of watercolour paint. A colour chart in the instruction leaflet tells you how to use the paint plus water to make any colour you like to use on the picture.
The design on the canvas looks a lot like a painting by numbers, except there are no numbers! Young artists can be as creative as they like making the picture using whatever colours they wish. They can experiment and personalize the picture however they choose, which gives them much more freedom in their creativity. The watercolour technique is easy to pick up and children can start painting straight away.
The most ingenious thing about the Aquarelle is the fact that the design on the canvas is created using colour repellent lines. They stay visible even when painted over retaining the detail of the picture even if you go over the line. The super fine paint brush makes fine detail quite easy to achieve, and the special lines really do help achieve an impressive finish. The paint is very thin and ink-like and goes on the canvas really well. It mixes well to make a whole range of shades to get the desired result. Sometimes, the more complicated painting kits can lead to frustration as young children attempt to recreate the intricate design as per the instructions. Aquarelle avoids this problem. The cute picture is brought to life with the colours and looks really impressive from the start with each finished piece being a unique work of art.
Aquarelle is aimed at children aged 8-13 and is definitely one of the best sets of this kind we have ever used for ease of use, creativity and end result. The kits are available as Mini, Midi and Maxi sizes with themes such as cats, dolphins or world cities. The watercolour paints are much more user friendly than the heavier oil based paints and give a much nicer finish. Move over Painting By Numbers, Aquarelle is here!