Tuesday's Tip: My Watercolor Tools

People often ask me what supplies they need to start painting with watercolors. So I thought I'd give you a list of the supplies I use, and where you can purchase them.
*Supplies marked with an asterisk are basic essentials - you can add more as you go along.

no. 3 pointed round
*no. 6 pointed round
no. 8 pointed round
*no. 10 pointed round
*no. 2 rigger
*no. 2 fan (this is an oil brush)
*1/2" wash
3/4" wash
1", 1.5", 2" Hake wash

I really like THIS brand of watercolor brushes.

*Watercolor Paints

Currently on my palette, I have the following paints from the following companies:

Alizarin Crimson
Rose Madder
Thalo Crimson
Cadmium Red Light Hue
Cadmium Yellow Pale Hue
Cadmium Yellow Deep Hue
Yellow Ochre Hue
Raw Sienna
Burnt Sienna
Burnt Umber
Payne's Gray
Sap Green
Thalo Blue
Ultramarine Blue

Transparent Yellow Oxide
Quinacridone Gold
Quinacridone Burnt Orange
Green Gold
Undersea Green
Cobalt Teal
Prussian Blue
Cobalt Violet Deep

Winsor & Newton
Quinacridone Magenta
Cobalt Blue Hue
Ultra Violet

Arches 140# CP 100% Cotton Rag

I've been using a John Pike Palette...

 but I'm in the process of transferring to a Cheap Joe's Piggy Back Palette
because it holds more colors and has deeper wells...

This is probably my favorite feature about watercolors - you can keep the paint out in your palette all the time, and you just have to squirt it with water to reactivate it! No drying out and becoming useless - love it.
Odds and Ends
Art Masking Fluid
*Salt - yep, ordinary salt (creates neat textures & "stars/snowflakes" on wet paint)
*A wide-bottom/wide-mouthed jar or dish for water
*Kitchen sponge - a NEW one
*Unscented/non-lotion tissue or toilet paper
Paper towels
Kitchen towel (place under mounting board for washes and things)
*Spray bottle with very fine mist for water - those sample-sized body spray bottles work well
*#2 Pencil
*Kneaded eraser (lightens pencil lines)
Sharpie (to outline sketches for easier tracing onto WC paper)
Heat gun or hair dryer
*Stylus, toothpicks, sharp plastic (for etching into the paper)
*Old credit or shopping card (for scraping off dried salt)
*Masking tape
*Mounting board - something flat and waterproof

You can find many of these products (unless otherwise linked) at:
I am an affiliate of Blick Art Materials.
However, I am recommending these products because I like them and use them myself.


  1. Beth, I really enjoyed this post. I'm sorry it took me so long to tell you that! Artsy people seem to always enjoy looking at other artsy people's stuff!

  2. Thanks, Katy! Glad you enjoyed it... Yes, I always enjoy seeing what other artists are doing and what they use too!


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