Modified version of review originally submitted at Jerry’s Artarama Art Supplies.
I bought myself the 24-colour set as an early Christmas present and it has been one of my best purchases. The variety of bright and vivid colours means that I can mix any colour I want, and the waterbrush is a great innovation, removing the need to carry big jars of water or long brushes. The detachable mixing palette can be attached to the box on either side or at the front, allowing for easy access no matter how you hold it. You can also keep a pencil stub and eraser in the brush compartment if you like to draw outlines before laying down colour.
Here is a colour chart I did for the Sakura Koi set in my Moleskine watercolour journal.
The pans aren’t replaceable, but once you’ve used up all the colours, you could easily remove the little plastic tray and insert pan colours in the brand of your choice, or simply pour a little tube colour into the empty colour slots.
I mainly use this at home but often take it along when I visit my nan or go to uni; keeping a pocket-sized pad of watercolour paper with it lets you paint anywhere (the smallish brush size means you can’t really paint bigger than this unless you do bring another larger/wash brush). The 24-colour set is a little big to go in a pocket, but since I keep mine in a bag most of the time anyway, I decided to trade off compact size for more colours, and it is still quite small compared to other paint boxes. Also available are an 18-colour set or the truly pocket-sized 12-colour set.
Whether you’re a novice watercolourist or an experienced artist who wants something portable for the field, this set will not disappoint.
Here is a small picture I painted of a rainbow lorikeet in the Sakura Koi Water Colours (the real one isn’t this dark; my scanner is a bit rubbish):
It should be noted that these are marketed as student grade paints (though they are in the top range of student grade, in my opinion) and so far I have not been able to find mention of their lightfast ratings. Therefore it would be best to avoid displaying anything painted with the Koi set in areas of sunlight for long periods of time.