Some of My Current Favorite Painting Supplies!
These are just some of the things I currently use and love!
When I first started watercolor, I started out with a little travel sized watercolor paint set from Winsor & Newton with student grade paint. That worked perfectly for starting out and learning how to use watercolor! It even includes a small, collapsible paintbrush. Plus it was compact and easy to bring with me places if I wanted to travel-- I still use it and re-fill with new paint from tubes.
Winsor & Newton Cotman Sketcher's Pocket Box - Set of 12 Half Pans
Later on, when I needed a few re-fills of colors and decided that I wanted to get more into watercolor- I started investing in higher qualities of paint. Like the Winsor & Newton's Professional Watercolours as well as trying out different brands of paint too to see what my favorites are! Currently, I'm using a mixture of some of my student grade paints (still from the original palette), my professional watercolours from Winsor & Newton which I'm switching over to, and some honey based paints from l'Aquarelle French Artists Watercolor which I love! I also bought a larger palette which I put my own paints on (allow them to dry overnight) and it's my main paint palette now!
For kids or begginers to start out, I've found that the simple watercolor sets at the craft store or even a store like Fred Meyer (Kroger) work great to start out with-- they are not a huge investment so you can try and decide if it's something you want to get into before investing more! Fred Meyer has a simple set of watercolors similar to these on Amazon which can work great for kids or just to start out with!
Simple palettes can also be found at the craft store, online, or Hobby Lobby and are nice for mixing paints!
I started out with normal paper- I had no idea there was such a thing as watercolor paper until a friend and fellow watercolor artist told me! I ended up getting exactly what she told me she used and for now have kind of stayed in that area paper wise, but have tried a few different brand. Eventually I'd like to work with some other types of paper. I use Cold Pressed paper with the weight of either 90 or 140 pounds (usually 140 pound)-- basically whatever is easy to get at the craft store and cost effective! Fred Meyer craft section, Walmart Craft section, Target Craft section, Hobby Lobby, BLICK Art Supplies, and Amazon are great places to look for paper. Some of my favorite brands are Strathmore, Canson, and Master's Touch both Premium and Basic.
Starthmore would probably be my go to right now because that's what's been available at my stores. They have some small sizes of watercolor paper that is cost effective and available at most superstore craft sections. They also have a visual watercolor journal of either 90 pound paper or 140 pound which is nice cause it keeps your work in journal form! The visual watercolor journal/ or mixed media journal from Strathmore I've found at art supply stores, Hobby Lobby, and Amazon.
Canson is also easy to find in craft sections of store, Hobby Lobby, and Amazon. They are similar to Stathmore and have multiple sized options as well as pads and wire bound options.
Master's Touch watercolor paper I've been enjoying lately. I love the feel of their basic watercolor paper and their premium paper is also nice. I've only found it through Hobby Lobby though. However it goes on 50% off sales a lot and if I'm near a Hobby Lobby-- I usually will get Master's Touch to have some on hand cause those sales are great!
There are so MANY different types of brushes out there!! Important aspects of a basic watercolor brush is to have something that holds water well and springs back to it's original shape. I went to BLICK Arts Supply and asked lots of questions, felt different types of brushes, and compared lots of prices until I found the one I wanted! Right now I'm really liking my round size 6 Raphael brush which is my first "brush investment" and my most expensive brush though it's on the less expensive side of watercolor brushes. Right now I'm using all synthetic brushes, but I have dreams of getting a natural fiber brush at some point! I mostly paint with my size 6 as my main size, size 3 for smaller details, and size 12 for larger things-- all round style.
Master's Touch (again available through Hobby Lobby) has some nice brushes that are cost effective! Really though any beginning watercolor brush will work fine!
I also like to have paper towels and some paper scarps for testing colors on hand and water of course is needed-- I have a collapsible water container jar that I bought for easy storage and traveling with watercolor, but any type of cup works great! I also like to use basic pencils and a med point sharpie or waterproof 0.8 tipped pen.
This list will probably be constantly growing as I try new paints, papers, brushes etc! The important thing is to find what you like, experiment, be creative, and have fun!!