Materials List for Watercolor Workshops

In response to the request to post a materials list for my workshops, here it is:

MATERIALS & SUPPLIES FOR WATERCOLOR WORKSHOP:

  • pencils, erasers, & sketchbook (or white printer paper for sketching ideas and doing practice studies)
  • 1/2 sheet of watercolor paper- 140# cold press cut to measure 15” x 22” (I recommend Arches brand because it has superior sizing which allows water and paint to flow on the surface without the paper fibers swelling)
  • metal yardstick (for tearing paper into smaller sizes. I will be discussing how different formats change the focus of a composition.)
  • tube watercolors in basic triad- (At the very minimum, you will need a red, a yellow, & a blue. Transparent colors will yield better results than opaque colors for this workshop. I would suggest at least 6 colors, a cool and a warm of each primary. Colors I use: Permanent Rose- cool red; Windsor Red- warm red; Cobalt Blue- almost pure blue, leans cool, good for skies; Windsor Blue Green Shade- warmish blue, mixes well with yellow for pure greens; Hansa Yellow- almost pure yellow, mixes well for oranges and greens; Raw Sienna- transparent earth yellow, somewhat neutralized, warmish. I also like to have Burnt Sienna on my palette.)
  • palette (for holding pigments and mixing paint;you could use a ceramic or plastic white plate from the dollar store.)
  • variety of paintbrushes (At the very minimum, you will need a small round brush for details; 1/2” flat brush for drawing, blocking, lifting, and dry-brush techniques; & large round brush for washes- at least #10 size. I use these 6 brushes: round brushes- #2, #6, #12; flat brushes- 1/2”, 1” 2” size chart: link for watercolor brush size chart You can find inexpensive watercolor brush sets at JoAnn’s craft stores.)
  • water containers (at least two- one for washing brushes, and one for pure water which you will use for washes and color mixing. Minimum size for the washing container is 2 quarts; anything smaller gets too polluted too quickly, & you will be constantly stopping to change water. Good size for the pure water container is at least 1 pint.)
  • spray bottle for water (handy, but not critical. I like to spritz my palette to keep the pigments fresh. You can also get effects with a spray bottle, so feel free to explore this option.)
  • sponges (at least two- I can’t paint without 3. I also like to have a few rags close at hand made from old towels about 6” x 8”. Some people like to use paper towels, but I find the clutter of used paper towels too messy, as well as not environmentally sustainable.)
  • backing board and mounting materials (I use plywood pieces that have been varnished. For smaller compositions, I don’t bother to stretch and staple my paper. Instead, I use masking tape to mount dry watercolor paper to the board. Other options- MDF or other composition board from Home Depot, a thick grade of foam core, or in a pinch- very heavy cardboard.
  • Besides staples and masking tape, you can also mount paper to your board with spring clips.)
  • easel (or you can paint flat on a table.)
  •  liquid mask (At the very minimum, get liquid mask and a small round cheap brush. I prefer to use a mask pen for most of my work. Daniel Smith is my preference because it come with 5 nibs, and they are easiest to clean. http://www.dickblick.com/products/daniel-smith- masking-fluid/ I also use Grafix masking fluid for for applying mask with a brush and to refill the Daniel Smith pen. http://www.dickblick.com/products/grafix-incredible-white- mask-liquid-frisket/ Also look for a rubber cement pickup for removing mask, available through Blick.)
  • masking tools- you need dedicated tools that you will use only for masking, (including a separate water container, rags, and a cheap, small brush. Never mix your masking tools with your painting tools. For applying mask with a brush, you will also need liquid soap. Lately I have been using a small bar of hotel soap, which I reapply often to keep my application brush free of mask.)
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