Contrary to misconceptions, the only difference between tube paint and pan paint is that tube paints has viscosity to allow it to be squeezed out of the tube while the pan paint ranges from moist to dry, other than that, and except for brands, they are basically the same and will display no visual difference except when using the dry brush application. Dry brushing requires that you get the paint from the tube and apply it to paper as obviously that is hard to do when using dry pan paint. When mixing watercolor paints, whether using the tube or from the pan, to obtain the densest color is to get it straight out from its container undiluted with water. On the other hand, to get the lightest color value is to saturate it with more water.

In mixing watercolor paints the key point is that the denser the paint used over large surfaces, the more the tendency of the paint to dry dull. Very dense paints will tend to have a leathery appearance that unless it is the actual purpose, this "bronzing " of the paint will lose the luminescent quality that are typical only to watercolor paintings. Likewise too saturated paints will get the paper very wet that again if that is actually not the purpose, controlling the paint on very wet paper will take more skill than is normally required.

While all saturation levels are used for watercolor, the normal mix applied ranges from a part of paint to ten parts of water. To prevent bronzing yet have that sharp look and retain the paints luminescence, the mixture will typically start at two parts of water to every part of the paint. A mixture of about six parts of water to a part of paint will still get a saturated color. After this, saturation levels are achieved depending on the value and color temperature that is desired. To get delicate pastels to subtle tints, more water is mixed.

When mixing watercolor paints, preserve the "raw" paints as much as possible and never allow it to be muddied by another color. To prevent this, pick a desired amount of paint with a clean brush from the paint well and put this on the mixing area. Before picking up another color insure that the brush used is not tainted with another color. Muddied paint when allowed to dry will make it a little difficult later on to pick pure colors.

There are different ways of mixing watercolor paints. One is to completely mix it on the palette for a desired or a matching color, it could also be mixed by loading the brush with a color or color combinations and applying it directly on paper, dropping colors into a wet surface is another method, and the use of glazing technique is also another method of mixing watercolor paints.

Watercolor paints also have the tendency to acquire mold when stored but not allowed to dry completely after using. It is then desirable to get only desired amounts during mixing colors as watercolors specially the bluish variations will have the tendency to produce an uneven and flaky texture when left to dry and rewetted.