tried and true watercolor art supplies
These watercolor art supplies work for me. They will work for you, too.
Amazon affiliates earn from sales with no cost to you. Learn More
what is the best watercolor paint?
There are numerous watercolor paint companies, but I use Winsor & Newton paints almost exclusively.
- Winsor & Newton paint is a very reputable English company that has been the standard of quality paints since the 1800s.
tube watercolors versus pan watercolors
Tube watercolors are semi-liquid packaged in tubes.
Use them by adding a little water for painting. Add a lot more water and you can paint
washes on large areas. They are good for both small and large
Tube watercolors make it easy to
get the bright juicy colors in your paintings.
Pan watercolors are dried into small cubes.
They require a lot of water
to reactive the color for painting. Adding all the water dilutes the
color. They are handy for travel, painting outdoors and other small
Winsor & Newton professional watercolor pan set of twenty-four beautiful colors.
artist quality paints and student paints
Artist quality paints have more concentrated, intense color.
They contain more color pigments, so they cost more to produce.
However they will produce more paintings from one container compared to student paints.
Student watercolor paints contain less pigment. They are less expensive and they are a great way to start painting and hold down the
- Winsor & Newton 'Cotman' paints contain the most pigment of all student paints.
A nice set of twelve Cotman tube watercolors, plus a brush.
Fourteen Cotman pan watercolors in a pocket size box, easy to transport.
what can we paint watercolor on?
Watercolor paintings are traditionally done on watercolor paper.
There are more choices for watercolor art supplies. We can use canvas or hard-boards made specifically for watercolors.
what paper do we use for watercolors?
There are many good brands of watercolor paper. Arches paper has an excellent reputation.
Watercolor papers come in Hot Press, Cold Press and Rough Press.
Watercolor on Arches paper
- Cold Press is the most used paper. Its texture pulls the paint off the brush onto the paper.
Paint slides around on hot press paper. Rough press paper doesn't let the paint move very well.
Watercolor paper comes in 90, 140 or 300 pound weights. That is the weight of 500 sheets of paper. It is also sold in 22"x30" sheets, tablets or rolls.
The 140# paper is most commonly used weight. It must have its edges fastened down (stretched) to prevent warping when we paint.
Watercolor paper in blocks have the edges fastened together to keep it from warping when you paint on it.
The 'ad' 300# watercolor paper is thicker and it will stay flat when you paint on it.
Watercolor paintings on paper must be matted and framed under glass to protect the painting.
what is aquabord?
Aquabord is my favorite watercolor support. Why do I paint Aquabord?
Aquabord is my favorite watercolor surface.
Ampersand's Claybord and Aquabord are excellent archival supports for modern watercolor painting. These hardboards are covered with pH neutral kaolin clay.
Claybord is smooth like hot press watercolor paper. Aquabord has a texture similar to cold press paper.
The dried watercolor are sprayed with
'ad' UV resistant Krylon spray. The painting may be framed without glass.
Oh, the beauty and ease of modern watercolor art supplies!
can we paint watercolor on canvas?
Another surface for watercolor painting is the modern watercolor canvas made by Fredrix. Double check and make sure the canvas is labeled for watercolors.
Before painting, wet the canvas with plenty of water with a large brush to break the surface tension of the canvas.
Let the extra water evaporate before painting. Then we are able to control the paint when it's applied.
The dried canvas watercolor painting needs to be sprayed with a fixative to protect the paint. Use the same Krylon UV resistant spray used on Aquabord and Claybord watercolor paintings.
Canvas watercolor paintings are framed without glass and they are so light-weight.
Modern technology is wonderful. It has given artists such a great variety of watercolor art supplies!
what are the best brushes for watercolor?
Watercolor brushes are soft. They are made of natural hairs such as sable or synthetic fibers or a mixture of the two.
The watercolor brush you use for painting is largely a matter of
personal preference. The favorite brush of one artist may be considered
useless by another.
how may brushes do you need?
- It's amazing what you can do with just one brush.
When I started painting watercolors someone gave me a couple of Loew-Cornell angular shaders.
That is all I painted with for about the first year of watercolor painting. The tip of the angle was good for fine details. And the flat side covered more area.
Painted with a Loew-Cornell shader.
Painted with 1/2" and 3/4" shaders.
what brushes do i use today?
After painting with angular brushes for a while, I purchased expensive sable watercolor brushes.
Quality sable brushes are an excellent investment for a serious artist. They will last for years.
Here is a less expensive set of sable brushes than what I purchased.
I have never used these brushes, but they have very good reviews.
what is a good quality brush on a budget?
A good quality synthetic brush will work just fine and significantly hold down the cost of watercolor art supplies.
Every artist has their own favorites. Many artists paint almost exclusively with round brushes.
We can paint almost anything from details to washes with a good round brush.
A 'ad' synthetic #10 round brush is good for all around painting.
Other watercolor artists do their watercolors with flat brushes.
Flats are good for painting buildings and other straight lines. We can also use the corner of flats for details. 'ad' A good quality synthetic 1/2" flat brush.
There is no need to spend a lot of money on watercolor art supplies to
start. Get some painting experience and see what you like the best.
your watercolor art supplies checklist
- Your choice of watercolor paint
- Something to paint on - paper, canvas or Aquabord
- A good brush
- A 'ad' covered palette to keep your paints fresh
- Drawing materials and 'ad' graphite transfer paper
- A water container and paper towels for clean-up
- Optional - 'ad' Masking Fluid
get your supplies
These are the watercolor art supplies I have used over the years.
I have always lived in small town areas where they don't have art supply stores. So for years my art materials came from catalogues.
now-a-days we can shop on line - how handy is that!