Yes, you are reading right my Creative friend! This is the ultimate guide of watercolor supplies you'll ever need to read if you are a beginner in this medium.
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When I was a beginner myself, I looked around the web for a watercolor supplies list that would help buy everything I needed to start painting with watercolors. I found amazing guides out there, but as I started reading a couple of them, they got me all confused and a bit frustrated because I didn't know which watercolor supplies I truly needed to get me started and in the right way. Picture this, you are looking at a gorgeous watercolor painting on Pinterest, and start thinking "I want to do something like that!", you get all excited and start typing on Google "How To Paint With Watercolors", you get all sorts of resources and information, but when you get to the supplies part and start to compare it against each other, you see that the recommended supplies differ from list to list, and at that point you start to think "I just want to paint" (insert help voice) because that to you is a bunch of lingo that you just can't understand.
"Because I was there too & get how you feel I created I created this watercolor supplies list"
When you are a beginner, you want to find information on the subject that is as straight forward as possible, so that you can start building a great foundation from the beginning. Ultimately that will help you be a more skilled watercolor artist in no time, and it will also prevent you from getting frustrated with the medium. The watercolor supplies guide I put together not only tells you what you need, it also explains you why you needed compared to other options, so without further ado, let's explore the list.
WATERCOLOR SUPPLIES GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS
As a watercolor beginner you will need the following supplies:
WATER + CUP
It may sound silly but here's where it all starts.
Why you need it? Well you need a cup filled with water to wet and dilute the paint if you feel like the color is too intense and to clean your brush from time to time.
Where you can find it? You can find it in your home, any cup or mug will do, just make sure you don't need it for anything else as it will stain with pretty colors.
It is crucial that you purchase paper that it is specific for watercolors, with no less than 140 lb /300 gsm, don't panic all that information is listed in the packaging. The paper comes in cold press, meaning that the paper has a bit of texture with "tooth" and it also comes hot press, meaning that it has a smoother surface with less "tooth". The most commonly used is cold pressed, if you need a little help deciding.
Recommended Paper: If you are looking for an affordable quality paper I recommend the Canson XL, it costs around $8 and it comes with 30 sheets.
Where you can find it? You can find this or any other paper of your preference at your local art store. I purchase most of my supplies at Michael's because they have discount coupons all year and at Amazon, because they have good prices all the time.
WATERCOLORS + PALETTE
Watercolors come in various forms the two most common ones are: pans, this means that your watercolors are dry in small rectangles, and in tubes, meaning that the watercolor is in its creamy form, ready to be squeezed from the tube. They are also divided into two categories: Artist Grade, meaning they have more pigment levels and Student Grade, meaning they are less pigmented. I recommend using pans, you can buy separate pans or a set of half or full pans. To use this type of paints, all you have to do is wet the paint with your brush and use it straight from the pan, or if you want more organic effects, you can mix in a palette your own colors. The palette is where you can mix your colors, it comes in different shapes and sizes, depending on your needs or preference.
Recommended Paints: When I started with watercolors I used the Crayola ones, they are affordable, they cost around $3 and they are great option to paint simple backgrounds, you can even blend colors with a few of them, like blue and purple. But if you want to achieve more results with less effort and if you see yourself as a more serious artist I recommend purchasing the Winsor & Newton Cotman 12 half pan set, these on sale can cost around $17. This set comes with all the basic colors you need to create almost any piece.
Where you can find it? You can find the Crayola ones at your local school supply, dollar store or mega store. The Winsor & Newton can be found at a great price at Amazon and at Michael's with a discount coupon. The palettes can be found at any of the stores listed above, but most sets comes with one.
They come in different shapes and sizes. The most common brushes are the following: Flat, these are great for painting backgrounds (washes). Round, these are the ones that are, round with a point tip. Liner, these are the ones used to paint intricate details and fine lines. They also come in a variety of sizes, the larger the number the bigger the brush and viceversa. For example, a liner brush 00 it's super thin, great for fine lines, on the contrary a 10 round brush, could be used to paint larger objects, galaxies or landscapes, and a flat 1" brush can be used to paint a large background.
Recommended Brushes: I recommend using synthetic brushes, they are more affordable and durable. As for sizes, it all depend on what scale you will be working. I recommend that you take a trip to your preferred store and visually check which will be better for the paper sizes you will be working. As for brands I use the Simply Simmons Watercolor Brushes, they are affordable, they cost around $10 for a pack of 4 and their quality is great. But you can start with any brand you feel comfortable with.
Where you can find it? You can find the brushes at any art store or even mega store. The Simply Simmons can be found at Michael's and Amazon for a lower price.
I hope this guide will help you identify the supplies you need to start in this watercolor journey. I have a free e-course coming up on "How to Paint with Watercolors", be sure to stay tuned. Happy creating!
HI, IM JENNIFER
I'm here to inspire you to be a more creative person and explore you art side with watercolors, acrylics, gouache & more
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