Whether you're new to watercolor + trying to figure out what to use, a seasoned artist hoping to find a new tool, or just looking for a new hobby - this list is perfect for you!
The products on this list will vary from beginner friendly to professional supplies. While I can say from experience that certain professional products produce better results than beginner, there are times when I prefer beginner quality! It all boils down to your personal preference + the look you're going for with your art.
To make your life easier, you will have a direct link to my favorite watercolor + art supplies (so far) on Amazon* + I will include a brief explanation with each item.
Tools that I use to sketch before painting:
- Kneaded Erasers: The best erasers, in my opinion. They work better than regular erasers + don't leave shavings you have to wipe away!
- Pencil Set: This is a great set to start with if you're a beginner. It also comes with a kneaded eraser + sharpeners. I purchased this set back in 2013 + still use it today! (Literally 10 years old + still works great)
- Graphite Sketch Pencils: Ranges from 2H to 6B (how light or dark they are - I encourage you to look this up if you're new to art!). I use H pencils most often, since they are lighter + easier to erase when sketching a painting.
- Long Point Sharpener: You can totally use a normal pencil sharpener, but a long point sharpener gives you a better tip for precision!
- Tackle Box: I organize all of my pencils + erasers in a tackle box - it's cheaper than an art pencil box, in most cases. This one has adjustable compartments so you can organize it however you like!
- 12 Inch Ruler: Set of 2. I always use clear rulers, so it's easier to see other lines I've already drawn.
- 6 Inch Ruler: Set of 2.
- Most Used Brush: I was unable to find a link to the exact brush I use most (Master's Touch Fine Art 2000 Round 6), this brush is a great affordable match! Round 6 is the perfect brush size for me!
- Watercolor Brush Set: This set has all of my most commonly used sizes.
- Detail Brushes: You all know I love my tiny details! Obviously, this requires tiny brushes. :)
- Winsor + Newton Watercolor Paint Tubes: Any Winsor & Newton watercolor paints will be great! I have yet to be disappointed by them + they are easily my favorite.
- Winsor + Newton Watercolor Set: This includes 45 half pan colors. I equally love using both tube + half pans - personally, I think half pans are a great way to start if you're still getting comfortable will how much paint to squeeze out of a tube!
- Winsor + Newton Cotman Indigo: Easily my most used color outside of Ivory Black. It's the perfect navy blue!
- Winsor + Newton Cotman Ivory Black: My second most used color. I love this shade of black because it has a brownish undertone, which I find to look the best once it has dried.
- Yarka St. Petersburg Watercolour Set: Winsor + Newton is my favorite, but I still use this pan almost every time I paint. Like W+N, they are professional paints + work so well!
- Ceramic Paint Palettes: Dinner plates for paint palettes? Yep, they're cheaper! I do not like to use plastic for watercolor because the paint beads up. Ceramic is perfect! You can also find single plates just like these at Walmart.
If you don't want to invest in professional watercolor paints, Masters Touch Watercolors from Hobby Lobby are a great place to start!
I ALWAYS use cold pressed, acid-free paper.
- Strathmore 140lb Watercolor Paper: 140lb is thick + Strathmore (along with the other brand shown on this list) holds the color well. This link is for 9x12 but I use several sizes!
- Canson 140lb Watercolor Paper 9x12: I also use several sizes in this as well.
- Arches Cotton Watercolor Paper 9x12: I don't recommend this is you're a beginner wanting to experiment, just because it's a little on the pricier side. Otherwise, it's wonderful paper!
- Paper Trimmer: What I use to trim the watercolor paper to size.
TOOLS + OTHER ART SUPPLIES
- 20 Piece Brush Set: I wouldn't necessarily recommend these as a favorite if you're a professional, but they are perfect for beginners or intermediate. I actually still use the small brushes in this set sometimes for acrylic!
- Dr. Ph. Martin's Bleedproof White: A must have. This is perfect for adding white detailing to paintings, specifically watercolor!
- Masking Tape: While any masking tape works to hold your painting down, I prefer the ivory color so that it doesn't stand out too much when taking photos while the painting is still taped down! TIP: Stick the tape to your shirt to release some of the stickiness so it's less likely to tip your paper!
- Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground: Perfect for painting on surfaces that aren't made for watercolor (canvas, glass, etc.). I have found that colors aren't as rich as they are on paper, so layers when painting are key!
- The Master's Brush Cleaner: Another must have. This stuff works so well at getting stains out of my brushes! well, most of them! It also helps keep them soft to preserve the quality.
- Micron Waterproof Pen: I use these to sign my artwork! It's archival ink + waterproof. These are also great for linework!
- Travel Paint Palette: These aren't leakproof but are affordable, so put them in a ziploc bag, or let the paint dry before putting it in your bag!
- Airtight Travel Palette: I use an airtight palette for my Live Paintings!
- Portable Brush Holder: Protect your brushes when traveling! There's nothing worse than your favorite brush getting smushed in a ziploc bag.
- Clear Cellophane Sleeves: I use this to protect my artwork + prints. Pack It Chic is my favorite brand so far, as they always seem to be true to size + don't rip as easily as others.
- Epson Perfection V600 Photo Scanner: What I use to scan all of my paintings. Super easy to use + color quality is great!
For paint water + drying my brushes, I use a normal hand towel + a plastic cup, which can be found anywhere! They do get stained by the watercolor, so I don't recommend using anything you're attached to. :)
I'll keep this list updated as I find new things I love, so you're always up-to-date + in-the-loop!
Don't see something on the list you're curious about? Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!
*All links in this blog are affiliate links through Amazon, where I make a small commission when you purchase through my link. I appreciate your support!