Ann’s Favorite Watercolor Supplies
There is an amazing array of products and tools you can buy for use in watercolor painting and a whole lot of places that would like to sell you everything! The following is just a little list of my favorites. Knowing what to buy and what you will enjoy using will save you lots of cash in the long run. Whenever you get the opportunity, try out other peoples stuff before you buy your own..

I prefer a palette with deep wells that are separate from each other and have a central area for mixing. You can buy a palette like this or simply use an ice cube tray along with a plastic plate for mixing. I usually use the Robert Wood palette from Cheap Joe’s.

Too many colors to choose from? Start with the basics.

-alizaron crimson
-cadmium red
-ultramarine blue
-cerulean blue
-indian yellow
-lemon yellow
-paynes gray

Winsor-Newton These are my favorite pigments. They are what is in the palette you have seen me using. Buy the “Artisits Colors” if you can. The ones labeled “Cotman” or “Academy” are student grade and have less pigment but are just fine for beginners.
Yarka This is my favorite travel set. The pans come dry and are replaceable if you run out a particular color. I also recommend this as a great starter set. It is much cheaper than buying individual tubes and using the set will give you a good idea of the colors you like and will eventually want to buy in quantity.
American Journey Cheap Joe’s own brand. They are less expensive than Windsor-Newton but some of the colors are not the same.

Good paper makes a difference. If you have tried painting on the cheaper stuff (Strathmore, Bienfang, Canson etc.) you may find it quite frustrating. Cheap paper is thinner, lower rag content and usually has some sizing on its surface. This means it will not soak up water or paint as readily as better quality paper.

Arches 140lb 22”x30” Bright White is the paper we use in class and my paper of choice. 140lb refers to the weight of a ream of paper. Anything less will tend to buckle when wet. If you can’t stand any ripples at all, buy 300lb. Cold press = lightly textured, Hot Press = smooth
Aquarelle (Arches) makes good watercolor blocks to use for your plein air painting kit.
Winsor & Newton, Lanaquarelle and Fabriano are also higher quality papers.

I actually use very few brushes. My best ones are all made of red sable. Good brushes make a big difference so quality over quantity is key here. The idea is to get a nice soft brush that will hold a lot of water. Brushes meant for oil or acrylic paint will be more difficult to use. The brand of watercolor brush I like it Princeton though may other good brands are out there. No need to buy a set. You can get away with the following.

The sizes I use regularly are
1” Flat
1/2” Flat
#10 Round
small liner brush

Other Supplies
There are a few other things you may want as you are painting. Keeping them handy in a bag or bucket is a good way to ensure you always have what you need.

Spray Bottle
Bucket (for rinsing brushes)
Cup (for clean water)
Paper towels, cloth towel or shop towels.
Hair dryer
Drafting tape
Pebeo brand drawing gum (for masking)
thinner and easier to use than maskoid