Beginning Watercolor Set-Up
We love our watercolor classes and have had some great instructors. We’ve distilled down the number of supply lists we’ve seen over time to this selection. This is by no means the only way to go and may not fit any specific list, but having these items will allow you to take part in virtually any online or local watercolor class. The “Plus” set is a large-sized version of this set.
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1 – 5 Set M Graham watercolors. M. Graham watercolors are brilliant, highly pigmented and suitable for all traditional techniques with beautiful, even washes and no hard outlines. Made with exceptional amounts of pigment in an old fashioned binding medium of pure gum arabic and natural blackberry honey. Set includes Ultramarine Blue, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Sap Green, Burnt Sienna and Azo Yellow.
1 – M Graham Paynes Grey 14ml tube. We like the extra savings when buying a set, and enjoy the color selections. That being said, we like to get a good grey in your hands early in your learning process. You can sketch, practice washes and laydowns and learn how to create shading and tonal excitement using only a grey.
1 – Daniel Smith 66 color dot card. I know we’ve broken the first rule of retail and mixed brands. “Phooey” we say; this is a cool little item. In this set you have 6 large tubes of colors, and with these you can mix so many secondary colors. Some days though, you just want to try a teal, a different orange and an odd metallic color. For only pennies, this dot card will give you splashes of 66 colors so you can try them before you invest in an entire tube. When you want to order full tubes, you can choose Daniel Smith colors (different watercolor brands all mix together) or find the closest substitution in your favorite brand!
1 – Richeson Folding Palette. We use this palette in our beginning watercolor classes. It can hold 18 different colors, has a mixing space and a holding area for brushes. If you already have a larger palette, no problem, this is one of the best travel palette options out there. We suggest squeezing out some of the tubed colors and creating a pan palette (beginners sometimes use watercolors too thick early on) by re-wetting the dried watercolors.
1 – 9”X12” Arches Pad. 12 sheets Cold-Press. There are cheaper papers out there, but we have found Arches, being internally and externally sized, gives the best overall results. Even as a beginner, why work with a paper that might pill or “grab” your color and dull your results; using cheaper papers may save a little money but ultimately not be worth it.
1 – PB9144 Brush Set. A nice, affordable set that can take its licks. Set includes: Round #1 & Round #4 (pointed for detail and varying line widths), Shader #6 (medium-sized with a sharper line),Wash 3/8″
Wash 1″ (for applying larger areas of color).
1 – #8 Simply Simmons Brush. This is the workhorse of our watercolor world. A nice medium-large size, we suggest using one of the Princeton rounds (either the 1 or 4) to apply your masking fluid, and use this great brush for your everyday color application.
1 – Pebeo 45ml Masking Fluid & 1 – RC Pick-Up. Help keep the white of your paper white. Any areas that you want to keep bright white, paint on masking fluid, let it dry, and paint on and/or around. Once you’ve applied your color, peel up (using your Rubber-Cement pick-up) the rubber-based material to reveal the pristine white paper surface below. Block out large areas, lines or any shape that you want!
1 – pkg Transfer Paper. To help you transfer images and designs that you want to paint, use graphite paper. Much like carbon paper of old, stack your design, transfer paper and watercolor paper and trace over the pattern to transfer. This is water-soluble so lines fade. 4 – 9”x12”sheets and they are reusable!
1 – .08 LePen Technical. Black ink, permanent when dry. You can ink over dried watercolors or draw your lines and fill in with color. Also available in 4 or 8 pen sets.
1 – 3B Generals pencil. A soft graphite pencil to lay out guidelines or sketch with.
1 – Oops Eraser. Another little hidden gem; who doesn’t need a large eraser somedays? From our history, this eraser does the best of any to erase the graphite lines from watercolor paper, even lines from underneath painted watercolors. Also cool since it is an eraser that says “Oops”!