Welcome and thank you for joining me for my free watercolor series. This week is all about supplies! I absolutely love art supplies especially watercolor! Below I will tell you what I have learned and let you know some of my favorites.
You can buy synthetic or natural hair brushes. The natural hair brushes are pricey but they hold so much more water and are of higher quality which means the bristles won't fall out and get into your painting.
I absolutely love Silver Black Velvet brushes! They are well worth their price. They are a mix of natural squirrel hair and synthetic filament.
When I was starting out I used watercolor brushes from my local craft store. I would always go for the professional artist level brushes. My favorites were the Protege green handled gold talkon and the Masters Touch black handled watercolor brushes. I still use these brushes!
Watercolor paper comes in different weights 90lb, 140lb and 300 lb (140lb and higher is recommended to cut back on buckling). In addition, watercolor paper has a few different surfaces: hot press (smooth), cold press (medium), soft press (in-between hot and cold), and rough. I recommend trying a few to see what you like the best. I find cold press to be the most forgiving in that you can work with the paint longer and pick up paint to "erase" a little more. Hot press is great for detailed work and is very easy to scan because it doesn't have much texture. I also love Fabriano's soft press paper, it is a mix between hot and cold press and feels really soft. Fabriano Artistico is the only maker of soft press at this time.
I have heard many watercolor artists state the importance of good paper for great results. I have experimented with a few papers and always come back to Arches and Fabriano Artistico watercolor blocks 140lb. I like the watercolor blocks because you don't need to stretch the paper since the block holds the paper down on all sides. Many artists also like the Strathmore 500 series paper which is very affordable (I have yet to try it but I will report back).
I really recommend starting with artist grade paints their colors are unmatched in vibrancy. I love Winsor and Newton, Holbein, Daniel Smith and Schmincke. You really only need 3 - 6 colors to get started (a cool and warm of each of the primary colors). Reds: Cadmium Red Medium, Alizarin CrimsonYellows: Cadmium Yellow Light, Cadmium Yellow MediumBlues: Ultramarine Blue, Pthalo Blue
You will be able to mix so many gorgeous colors which is half the fun of watercolor! Some of my favorite colors are Opera Rose, Helio Turquoise and Pyrole Red.
Here is another great resource for starting out in watercolors.
In addition to paints, brushes and paper you will also need some paper towel, a pencil, a gum eraser and a couple jars of water.
I hope you found some of these tips useful. Gather up your supplies and come back next Saturday and we will start painting!
I would love to hear from you! What are you favorite watercolor supplies? Have you ever painted with watercolor?
***The above are only pointers. I really recommend going with what you are drawn to!