I am no professional painter by any stretch of the imagination but my sister Lindsay is an amazing painter and she got me started in the world of watercolor painting last year. Since I am a beginner and she is more experienced than I we thought we would do a high and low budget option of all the supplies you need to get started with water color painting!
I will be sharing what I use – my supplies are a little less expensive, but it does need to be stressed that when it comes to watercolor painting, you should always, always, always use the best supplies you can afford. Paint, paper and brushes really do make a difference.
Lindsay says to keep in mind that if you buy cheap paint and paper, and a pack of 10 brushes for $10, don’t be surprised if your painting has washed out color that soaks through the paper, and bits of hair are left everywhere from the low quality brushes. You may leave your first attempt at painting hating the experience and claiming that “its just not for you” but in reality you were set up for failure because of your supplies.
You can immediately progress by simply using better supplies.
With this said even though we will be sharing both high & low options our low options are still going to produce satisfying results. If your budget allows, jump straight to the high end supplies, however if it doesn’t or you really aren’t sure if you will enjoy painting, choose the low end option knowing that if you love watercolors after a couple months you can always upgrade to better supplies.
Budget friendly yet great quality watercolor supplies:
Brushes – Winsor & Newton Cotman series 111 round in sizes #4, #6, #8
Paint palette – Airtight Water Color Palette
As shown in the photos I have taken my tubed paint and transferred it to a paint palette. If going this route squeeze some of your paint into the palette. It will dry and then can be revived with water when you are ready to paint. I prefer this because it uses less paint and gives me more control over color mixing, than if the paint is wet from the tube.
High End professional watercolor supplies, for the pro and beginner alike:
Brushes – Escoda Paint brushes #12, Escoda artist short handle travel #6,#8,#10, Princeton Art & Brush Co round brushes #10 or #12 for covering a large area and a #6 for a middle size. If you would like to paint small detail use a #2.
Lindsay also strongly suggests that you throw that black and white paint out of your sets as you shouldn’t be using either shade in your painting. The black will deaden your color, and in her words the white is pretty pointless … noted (as the writer wishes you couldn’t see that she has obviously used her white paint in her paint palette).
You can make a very dark shade by mixing your darkest blue and darkest brown colors together with very little water. You can get greys & browns by mixing together complimentary colors, red mixed with green, orange mixed with blue and purple mixed with yellow. To lighten your colors add water and dab your brush after loading with paint on a paper towel. There are of course many color mixing tutorials on Youtube that you can reference for more detail.