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Supplies for Watercolor painting

June 22, 2016


This is a watercolor sketch of some of the tools and supplies i use for my watercolor paintings.

The palette shown above is an old plastic palette filled with tube paints from different brands of watercolor; Van Gogh, Reeves and Cotman paints. When using this palette, I mix my paints with water on a few white dinner plates which are dedicated for this purpose.
Colors in this palette are :

  • Cadmium Yellow
  • Camium Lemon
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Golden
  • Indian Red
  • Cadmium Red
  • Red Ochre
  • English Red
  • Carmine
  • Madder Lake red light
  • Raw Sienna
  • Ultramarine
  • Blue
  • Cobalt Blue
  • Indigo
  • Violet
  • Emerald
  • Yellow Green
  • Green
  • Olive Green
  • Burnt Umber
  • Mars Brown
  • Sepia
  • Neutral Black
Here is a palette recently added to my collection. It is Winsor & Newton Cotman; The Compact Set:

watercolor palette
watercolor palette

When choosing paper, I usually pick blocks of 140 lb (300 g) weight and cold press. These have medium texture or tooth that is enough to hold the paint and to resist scraping, erasing and multiple washes. Unlike rough papers that are good form bold strokes and result in a grainy effect, the slightly textured surface of the cold press paper is a good option for painting details. 

Most of my paintings start with a pencil sketch. I use soft eraser or regular white eraser to modify and change my drawing to a point that i am happy with it. I normally draw all the primary features and some of the details before moving to lay the first wash of paint.
My brushes are synthetic brushes of different sizes from small size of #2 to #11 with a couple of 1" square brush. Small brushes are useful for fine details and more controlled application verses big brushes that are great for bolder strokes and finishing a painting in a shorter period of time. I normally use big brushes for wetting a big area of paper for painting sky or backgrounds.

Towels are a must when painting with watercolor. paper towels are easy to fold or shape into a cone for drying a small section. You don't need to use a new paper towel every time you start a painting, I just let them dry and use them many many times :)

It doesn't matter what supply you use, it is more important to get used to them and to know what each one is capable of doing.

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