This is a list of my favorite watercolor supplies.  This list changes, as I am always exp!oring new ways of working and love, love, love to play with paint and art materials!

I have provided links in this list to help you order more easily.  Click on the letters highlighted in blue to shop online at Amazon and have the supplies delivered to your door.  I attach these links for your convenience as part of the Amazon Associates Program. Your purchase via these links does not impact your price. It does help support my studio and my efforts to be a resource for inspiration and advice for you on your artistic journey.  ❤️ 🎨The following list is pretty comprehensive.  I have a simplified supply list for Beginners which you can access here: Beginner’s Supply List- Watercolor

Palette

You’ll want something to organize your paints when you squeeze them out of the tube. Palettes are convenient and make transporting your paints easier. My favorite palette in the studio is Cheap Joe’s Piggyback Palette.

Paints

Always use Artist quality watercolors!  They will yield the most beautiful results. Student grade paints will be cheaper, and the price will seem SO ATTRACTIVE, but results will always be duller and “less than” luminous. I do not recommend using them, and cringe when I see students use them in class.

My favorite Artist quality brands of watercolor are Winsor Newton and Holbein, but I use  different brands for different colors.  So long as you use Artist Quality with any of the following brands, you will be fine.

YOU DON’T NEED EVERY COLOR

In fact when you are beginning to paint in watercolor, I’d suggest purchasing the 3-reds, 4-blues, and 4-yellows I have listed them below as “must haves”

  • Note:
    DS= Daniel Smith
    AJ= American Journey (Cheap Joe’s Brand)
    WN= Winsor Newton
    HWC= Holbein
    MG= M Graham

Here’s a great introductory kit from Daniel Smith that has 2 reds, 2 blues, and 2 yellows:

Daniel Smith Extra Fine Essentials Introductory Watercolor, 6 Tubes, 5ml Currently $34.74 on Amazon Prime

Reds

Must haves: 

Fun to Have:

Blues

Must haves: 

Fun to Have:

Greens

Not necessary but Fun to Have: 

Yellows

Must haves: 

Fun to Have:

Oranges: Fun to Have

Violets:  Fun to Have

Miscellaneous Colors:

  • Lunar Black (DS)- I love the granularity of this color, which allows it to mix with other colors and let them shine through.  I use it only occasionally, but it’s fun to have.
  • White gouache or Titanium white– These are fun opaque colors to have for glazing, recapturing white or tinting colors. 
  • Gesso (acrylic) white, black or gold– fun to have for surface preparation

Brushes- These are my must have brushes 

If you’re just starting out, don’t bother purchasing any of the expensive brushes that are out there.  Use these reliable and sturdy brushes till you’re sure you want to invest in the more expensive variety.

Paper

Always work on the best paper that can handle what you want to do.  Arches 140 lb is the paper I recommend for most projects in class.  When in the studio with me I provide Arches 140 lb. paper at my cost- $1.75 per quarter sheet ($7/full sheet)

Beginners often will do well painting on a watercolor block.  These come in a variety of sizes and keep the paper flat as you work and as it dries. Size 9×12 Size 12 x 16 , Size 7.9 x 7.9 , Size 10 x 14, Size 18 x 24

If you order paper, then I suggest starting with Cold press 140 lb Arches smooth or rough.  You may order full sheets and tear them to size.  You have a choice of bright white or natural white (better for portraits and figures).

Miscellaneous “Must Have’s”

Fun to Have Extra’s: 

  • Sharpie Marker- black
  • Elegant Writer Calligraphy Marker in Black (I have these in the studio if you wish to get them during class)
  • Stabilo Black Woody Crayon– this useful little guy is great for creating a quick study in black and gray on location.  Later on, you can watercolor over it to capture more colors and detail.
  • Notebook and paper – You may want to bring one to classes with me for gathering handouts and taking notes.  You could also use your sketch pad for this purpose
  • Newsprint pad for your use at home. I provide free newsprint for your use in the studio during classes.
  • Tracing Paper large sheets- for your use at home.   I provide free tracing paper for your use in the studio during classes.
  • Wax Free Transfer paper— for your use at home.   I provide free transfer paper for your use in the studio during classes.
  • Sparkly Iridescent Watercolor palette- I love to travel with this little palette and add a little “bling” to my sketches: Paul Rubens Iridescent Watercolor Palette 24 colors

For collage: