Watercolor Supply List
This supply list is mostly for new to watercolor artists who don’t have the basic watercolor materials. If you already have been painting with watercolor you most likely have accumulated what you need; you are welcome to bring your materials and I’ll evaluate and help you with any new choices.
Paper – Always use professional quality (100% rag, acid free, and pH neutral) paper. Arches 140 lb. CP is considered a golden standard for watercolor. My personal favorite is Fabriano Artistico 140lb. You may work any size you prefer. I demonstrate on ¼ or ½ sheet of paper. You also need some scrape paper to practice exercises, brush handling(newspaper works well for this), and to check color mixes; it could be a sketch book or back side of an older painting.
Brushes -You need some rounds and some flat brushes. Natural hair brushes such as Kolinski Sable are excellent tools for the watercolorist. There are also some very fine synthetics that perform well. I can also recommend Robert Simmons brushes (White Sable) as they perform well and are cost effective. For a bit more money, look for a natural/synthetic blend.
Recommended basic brushes:
1″ flat Sky Scraper #755 Robert Simmons white sable
#4, #8, #12 round brushes
Optional: 1 1/2″ or 2″ flat wash brushes White Sable #278W Robert Simmons is great.
Brushes may be synthetic, blends, or sables – buy the best you can afford.
Palette – A large covered palette such as John Pike, Robert E Wood, Sta-Wet palette, or Stephen Quiller pallet.
Support Board – I work flat on a table and rarely clip the paper to a board. Tile board, plexi, foam core or gator board may be cut to paper size 12×16” for ¼ sheet of paper, or 16×23” for ½ sheet of paper. The board helps support the paper when wet, and the paper can be stapled to a board (gator board is the best for it) to stretch and keep it flat. If you choose to work with blocks of paper instead of loose sheets there is no need to use support board.
Paint – Artistic grade watercolor pigments from reputable brands will last longer and will serve you better then student grade ones. There are many beautifully manufactured colors nowadays to choose from: Winsor Newton, Daniel Smith, Maimeri Blue, Holbein, Old Holland, Rembrandt, Steve Quiller (Richeson), and so on. If you happen to already own a student grade set, by no means you could try using it for a while before making decision to switch. In terms of colors, you should have a warm and a cool color for each primary color, plus few extras such as may be green or sienna colors. Use the colors and brands you prefer if you are already painting.
Here is example of my palette: Cadmium Yellow Lemon, Permanent Yellow Deep, Orange Lake, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Tiziano Red, Primary Red-Magenta, Verzino (quinacridone violet), Permanent Green yellow, Green Blue, Primary Blue (cyan), Cobalt Blue Light, Ultramarine Blue deep, Permanent Violet Bluish, Transparent Mars Brown – all Maimeri Blue colors.
Miscellaneous items – #2HB pencil, kneaded eraser, facial tissues (plain, without fragrance or additives), spray bottle, water jars.
Additional miscellaneous items for later use: masking fluid, rubber cement pick up (for removing masking fluid), artistic masking tape, palette knife, a natural cosmetic sponge or an elephant ear sponge.
If you need to substitute, have questions, or need clarifications on materials, please call me at 425-985-0924 so I can help you and you don’t waste time and money buying unnecessary art materials.