WATERCOLOR SKETCH & ART JOURNAL SUPPLY LIST

Please note, this is a suggested supply list only. Bring what you have and what you think you will use in the future. Minimal supplies are needed to begin.

PAINTS - I use both tube paints and pan paints. Get what you can afford and what you think you will use. If you think you will mostly be using watercolors for art journaling a small set like the Koi travel pan set at Dick Blick is perfect and very reasonably priced.  These come in a boxed set of 12 or 24 colors. They are compact and travel well. I use the one below by Van Gogh that is also compact and even came with a collapsable brush that fits in the middle. The W & N Pan travel set in the middle is nice for more serious travel painting but much bulkier and heavier. The Holbein container to the far right, comes empty and you put your own tube colors in it. I use this one for both for travel and studio painting. 

If you are looking to do more studio painting and really want to explore the medium, invest in good tube paints. I use a variety of Windsor and Newton, Holbein and an occasional Schmincke color - like olive green which I can't live without. You may already have your favorites. It's hard to stick to one brand because even the same colors from different manufactures perform differently. The best advice I can give is buy the small tubes and experiment until you know what you like. Stay away from student grade paints as they will surely disappoint the serious student who wants to get the most out of this medium.

• BRUSHES

Good watercolor brushes are super expensive. I used to only use Windsor & Newton Series 7 Kolinsky sable brushes and always purchased them at a store where I could look them over and pick the one that had the most spring and came to the best point. I still prefer to buy them at a store rather than on-line for this reason, but of late, I am not sure the series 7 brushes run as consistent as they used to and I've been perfectly satisfied with several other brands. A good brush has good spring and the ability to hold it's shape and most importantly, come to a good point. Expensive ones hold true to these qualities the longest. You do get what you pay for. That being said, a quality pure red sable brush is a good alternative to the more expensive Kolinsky, with similar performance and durability. My advice, get the best you can afford. A blend of synthetic and sable is less expensive and also a fine alternative - easier on your budget.

If you can only afford one good brush, whatever brand you choose, get a #8. For my style of illustrating and journal sketching, you don't need anything larger than this. I rarely use anything smaller.

For travel brushes and quick sketching in your journal, anything works. Also, I love these Niji water brushes. Get one of these for sure - medium or large. Dick Blick

• PENS & PENCILS

Below are my preferences but anything goes. Bring what you want and whatever you want to try out. I prefer a mechanical pencil over one you need to sharpen. It works best for light sketching that you might want to erase later. I also carry a dip pen which somehow didn't make it to the picture. A variety of ball point pens purchased in the office supply store are also great for sketching and are handy to keep in your purse with a little sketchbook for quick studies out and about. Tombow art pens are fun because they are water soluble so if you go over them with a little water, you instantly get a wash or a tone. One pencil that I'd like you to be sure to bring is a black water-soluble pencil like the Derwent watercolor pencil below. You are welcome to bring a whole set of colored water soluble pencils but for sure, if you bring just one, bring the black.

 

• PAPER

Paper is definitely a something to consider with watercolor. It is part of the medium - a very important part. I prefer rough or cold press surface but I have also worked on plate bristol and illustration board. Sheets of paper are expensive and not necessary for my class but you are welcome to bring them and try them if you choose.

For my WATERCOLOR SKETCHING CLASS a pad of watercolor paper or mixed media paper will do just fine. Either the Canson Mixed Media or Watercolor pads are good. Michael's carries them...use your coupon! 

SKETCH BOOKS

A have a varied collection of sketchbooks, each with their own pros and cons. Spiral bound, hard cover, soft cover, landscape, portrait...I really can't recommend anything in particular here, just whatever size and format you are comfortable with. Nothing too large. Do get one with sturdy paper that's either for mixed media, wet media or specifically for watercolor. 

These are wonderful little books- great paper and a little pocket in the back for tucking in a leaf or a ticket stub. The medium size in either landscape or portrait is fine. I have the little square one too that I really like.  You can get these at Dick Blick. Here is a great REVIEW I found by Parka Blogs on the many brands of popular sketchbooks. 

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Any Questions? Contact me