I suggest ordering materials from cheapjoes.com , dickblick.com, or jerrysartarama.com online when there is a sale. KarlynHolman.com also is a great source for art materials. Amazon.com is also carrying supplies now. The following list is pretty comprehensive. These materials will allow you to do any of my lessons, however you don’t need everything for each class. I provide this list, because I am asked all the time about my preferences. Here they are! I hope it helps you paint your next masterpiece. =)

Palette

You’ll want something to organize your paints when you squeeze them out of the tube. Palettes are convenient and make transporting your paints easy. My favorite palette in the studio is Cheap Joe’s Piggyback Palette.

Paints

Always use Artist quality watercolors!  They will yield the most beautiful results. Student grade paints will be cheaper, and will seem SO ATTRACTIVE, but results will always be duller and “less than” luminous. I do not recommend using them, and cringe when I see students use them in class.

My favorite Artist quality brands of watercolor are Winsor Newton and Holbein, but you can see that I use different brands for different colors.  So long as you use Artist Quality with any of the following brands, you will be fine.

YOU DON’T NEED EVERY COLOR

In fact when you are beginning to paint in watercolor, I’d suggest purchasing the 3-reds, 4-blues, and 4-yellows I have listed below as “must haves”

Note:
DS= Daniel Smith
AJ= American Journey (Cheap Joe’s Brand)
WN= Winsor Newton
HWC= Holbein
MG= M Graham

Here’s a great introductory kit from Daniel Smith that has 2 reds, 2 blues, and 2 yellows:

Daniel Smith Extra Fine Essentials Introductory Watercolor, 6 Tubes, 5ml Currently $23.44 on Amazon Prime

Reds

Must haves: 

Fun to Have:

Blues

Must haves: 

Fun to Have:

Greens

Not necessary but Fun to Have: 

Yellows

Must haves: 

Fun to Have:

Oranges: Fun to Have

Violets:  Fun to Have

Miscellaneous Colors:

  • Lunar Black (DS)- I love the granularity of this color, which allows it to mix with other colors and let them shine through.  I use it only occasionally, but it’s fun to have.
  • White gouache or Titanium white– These are fun opaque colors to have for glazing, recapturing white or tinting colors. 
  • Gesso (acrylic) white, black or gold– fun to have for surface preparation

Brushes- These are my must have brushes 

If you’re just starting out, don’t bother purchasing any of the expensive brushes that are out there.  Use these reliable and sturdy brushes till you’re sure you want to invest in the more expensive variety.

Paper

Always work on the best paper that can handle what you want to do.  Arches 140 lb is the paper I recommend for most projects in class.  When in the studio with me I provide Arches 140 lb. paper at my cost- $1.75 per quarter sheet ($7/full sheet)

Beginners often will do well painting on a watercolor block.  These come in a variety of sizes and keep the paper flat as you work and as it dries. Size 9×12 Size 12 x 16 , Size 7.9 x 7.9 , Size 10 x 14, Size 18 x 24

If you order paper, then I suggest starting with Cold press 140 lb Arches smooth or rough.  You may order full sheets and tear them to size.  You have a choice of bright white or natural white (better for portraits and figures).

Miscellaneous “Must Have’s”

  • Pencils for drawing 2B or HB- I like the Papermate automatic pencils
  • Pebeo Drawing Gum (masking fluid)
  • White archival pens- Uniball white gel pen and Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen are my favorites
  • Generals Gummy eraser
  • Oops! Eraser
  • Magic erasers- cleaning sponges
  • Clips- 4 bulldog type
  • Masking Tape 2″ wide tan colored
  • Flexible Straws
  • a straight edge safety razor blade or box cutter
  • Sketch pad for sketching or taking notes doing value studies- My favorite Aquabee Superdeluxe 9X12 pad and Moleskine Watercolor pads in any size that’s convenient for you.
  • To create an incline: You’ll need a Hard smooth plywood board or Gatorboard to support your paper: you may use mine while in class at my studio (To create your own boards here are some dimensions: 22 X 32 for full sheet, 16-17 X 22-23 for half-sheet, 12-13 x 16-17 for quarter sheet size paintings)

Fun to Have Extra’s: 

  • Sharpie Marker- black
  • Elegant Writer Calligraphy Marker in Black (I have these in the studio if you wish to get them during class)
  • Notebook and paper – You may want to bring one to classes with me for gathering handouts and taking notes.  You could also use your sketch pad for this purpose
  • Newsprint pad for your use at home. I provide free newsprint for your use in the studio during classes.
  • Tracing Paper large sheets- for your use at home.   I provide free tracing paper for your use in the studio during classes.
  • Wax Free Transfer paper– for your use at home.   I provide free transfer paper for your use in the studio during classes.

For collage:

  • Acrylic Matte Medium or Yes! Glue
  • Brayer- hard 2.5 inch or Bone folding tool can also be used for braying