Video review: Painterly Days… A Colouring Book for Watercolours!

I love watercolouring.  The one thing I miss in colouring books is the ability to use watercolours due to the paper being unable to take wet media.  Then Kristy Rice came along.  Kristy has produced a series of colouring books specifically made for colourists who are curious about trying watercolouring.  And she’s done a brilliant job.  The three volume Painterly Days series is a VERY high quality production tailored specifically to the beginner.

The books are beautifully produced with fold out covers full of useful information to get you started.  The binding is simple glue binding as you would see on a water colour pad making page removal for painting quick and easy.  The paper is lovely, thick and sized!  (Sizing is essential in the production of good watercolour paper as it allows the colour to sit on the surface longer so you can play with it.  It also limits the amount of swelling the paper experiences thereby keeping it nice and  fairly flat to work on.)   The paper is about 160-180 gsm if you are familiar with paper weights.  The pictures are themed to the book.  There is a floral book, a patterned book and a nature book filled with both foliage and animals.  Kristy sent me the third one titled ‘ Painterly days. The Woodland Watercolouring Book For Adults.’ It has owls and frogs!  The other books are: Painterly Days Flowers. The Flower Watercolouring Book For Adults and Painterly Days Pattern. The Pattern Watercolouring Book For Adults

The pictures are drawn loosely, in the way a watercolourist may make a loose sketch of their subject prior to painting.  It is printed with light grey ink which sinks in behind the colours to look like a normal water colour painting when finished.  Each page has the print in both sides so that you can have two attempts at each picture.  Being watercolour paper what you do on one side does not affect the paper on the other side besides a tiny bit of buckling.  I tried this and found I could paint on both sides without any issues.  Kristy lists supplies in the books that she recommends for the beginner: both budget and mid price range.  I tried both Artist Loft Fundamentals that she kindly sent me and my own artist quality Horadam Schminckes.  The Artist loft were good for a play but the pigments, apart from that incredible purple, were a bit light and chalky for my taste and the colours didn’t mix very well.  They would be fine, though, to have a play and you can create a nice piece of work with them.  Personally I would recommend something like the Sakura Koi watercolour travel sets 24 colours for around $20 US on Amazon with their much brighter, less opaque colours, or the Koh-I-Noor Brilliant 24 watercolour set in the cute little wheel travel pack available from Micador.  These are still student grade watercolours  and you’ll pay a bit more for them than the Artist loft set (around $3-$5) But i think you’ll be more pleased with the results in the long run.

In all I believe the Painterly Days is an excellent way to dip your feet into the world of watercolouring and I recommend these books if you want to try something different with your colouring adventures.

(See below the video for links where can purchase these lovely books.)

Amazon links:

Painterly Days Woodland

Painterly Days Flowers

Painterly Days Pattern

There are a lot of options for online retailers selling these books so shop around for the best price and shipping deal.


  1. BigT

    Hi Peta,

    Thank you for the review of this book. I had all three of the painterly days books on my wish list but hesitated to buy them because nobody I know had them so I decided to wait.

    Thanks to your review, I now have all three on order and I’m looking forward to working in them with my favorite Daler Rowney watercolors and my Derwent watercolor pencils, not the Inktense, the regular watercolor ones.

    Thanks again.


  2. Phyllis Stuart

    I can’t wait to try it! Thanks, Peta!

  3. Diane Lloyd

    Thanks for the review Peta. I have a set of watercolour pencils which I am afraid to use in my colouring books so I have now ordered the woodland book. Very excited about the book and the chance to finally play with my pencils. By coincidence I also picked up, just yesterday, a set of the little round stack paints you showed in your video. They were on sale so I thought I’d buy them….I had no idea what I’d use them on though! Lol. But now I do.

    Keep up the good work. Your reviews and tutorials are brilliant.

  4. Reva S.

    Hi Peta, I watched a video about the Painterly days boods last evening and was excited about them and planned to tell you, especially about the paper. But today, there you were with the books and paints and that very interesting brush. Thanks so much for the great video on these books. I did work in watercolors many years ago, but in very diffeent techniques.
    This is all an aside. Because something else happened yesterday, and I feel I really must tell you but do not think it wise to write it publicly. It does not directly affect anyone else, but it is something important. Is there some way you could send me a brief email so I could write back and tell you. When you read it you will understand and I hope it will help correct a problem that may be serious and you should know about. It does not affect anyone of your followers or anything like that directly. I really do not like being so mysterious, but just let me know if you will contact me (I will discard your email address so as not to keep it afterwards.) I think you have my email address but if you need it let me know.
    All the best,

  5. Katrina Turner

    PETA you make things look so easy, I looked at these books a few days ago and decided no I did not need them as I probably have too many colouring books already, then you come along and do this review and guess what, yes I had to buy one of the books.

    One of my goals in life is to be able to paint, to paint a picture that i can be proud of and thanks to you putting in the time and effort with this review I feel like I might actually be able to achieve this.

    I thank you, although my purse does not, for this wonderful review,

    1. Tracy

      Hahahahaha, Katrina, I feel the same way about Peta making it look so easy! I really enjoyed this video and will get one of the books to try. My fear is that this may be like algebra – something that looks fairly easy when the teacher does it, but is a whole different story when it’s just me on my own lol. I think I just need to accept that I might paint up a whole book and not REALLY like a picture until near the end because there *is* a learning curve to get around 🙂

  6. Samantha G.

    I sometimes feel you are looking over my shoulder. A few days before your post I was at a Michaels and saw some Artist Loft pearlized watercolor paints. After you used them on the green haired goddess, I got them and a set of 36 of the regular Artist Loft watercolors too. Thank you so much for showing me how to use them here! I will have to get one of these books now, too!!

    1. Katrina Turner

      Can we blame PETA for the purchases?

  7. Debbie

    Peta, I am so excited that you posted this video! I love to watercolor with watercolor pencils and have wanted to try water color with pans. I had been looking at the book that you reviewed for awhile. When I saw that you received the book I ordered it, anticipating you would have a demonstration video. I appreciate the video sooooooo much! I would like to purchase the artist pans that you used, can you give me the name of the set you used? Again, thank you so much for sharing your talent, I am learning so much from you.

    1. Chaypeta (Post author)

      Hi Debbie. I used Horadam Schmincke Artist watercolours. My husband bought them for me for Christmas… I’m afraid they are very expensive. Other good alternatives that aren’t as expensive are Derwent Cotmans which are very good student grade watercolours. For something around $25 (Australian) the Koh-I-Noor brilliant watercolour set in the stackable wheel pallet is a lot of fun with lovely bright colours and no chalkiness.

      1. Debbie

        Thank you so much for the information. Happy Coloring!

  8. Daniele

    These books are wonderful! I tried to read the writing on that slanted brush and I could not find it on line to purchase. Could you give me the exact name and kind of brush it was that Kristi sent you. Thank you for all your lessons. Everyday I check to see if you have anything new to show us. I just learn so much from you!

    1. Chaypeta (Post author)

      certainly. I kept calling it a blade brush but it’s actually a ‘Dagger’ brush. It’s one of her favourites to use… and I can understand why. I haven’t stopped using it. 🙂 The information printed on the brush is: 1/8″ Dagger mini majestic Royal & Langnickel 4200G. It’s a really very useful brush.

      1. Saya

        Hi Peta. I would like to buy these brush but Im from Spain and I couldnt not to find online or not. Cam you help me?

        1. Chaypeta (Post author)

          Hi saya. Here is one seller i found on a quick google search You’ll have to scroll down the list til you get to the ‘dagger’ brush.

  9. Tracy

    Peta, you are a fantastic enabler (I admit that I’m VERY OPEN to being enabled artistically since I’m a WANNABE artist and just enjoy messing around with all the art “toys”). I just got the flowers book, a couple brushes and a set of Cotmans and am excited to play (after I do my nightly yard weeding after which I surely will have earned some time to play). Kristy’s book is really quite wonderful – very high quality

    I have a total noob question if you have time to answer. I got the Cotman Water Colours Plainting Plus set which has 24 half pans. But there is space in the palette (palette? tray?) inside where 8 more half pans can be added. However, I see that there are 4 half pans at a time inside a little tray/holder that is then inserted into the bigger…tray. See? My art vocabulary is sorely lacking! I was going to order just a couple more half pans to put in, but I cannot for the life of me find here to get the things that hold the half pans. Am I explaining this in a way that at all makes sense? I was hoping to add a really good pink and another brown and then maybe a couple others (mostly the PINK), but I can also use my Inktense pencils – I was pleased to see those on Kristi’s list of her favorite supplies 🙂

    Boy, and you are not kidding about the Schmincke investment! That was quite a fabulous Christmas gift from your hubby!

  10. Elizabeth O'Connor

    Hi Peta.
    I was looking at the schmincke akademie W/C set, what are these like in comparison to other W/C sets?

    Also i have the inktense blocks, do you think these would be ok?

    Love your amazing work!



Leave a Reply to Saya Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *