The following list is generalized, including both studio class supplies as well as outdoor/plein air suggestions. Feel free to bring your preferred paints and materials. Be familiar and comfortable with your supplies. Call and talk over any ‘mystery’ items.
Watercolor paper: 140 lb. Cold Press Rag/ 0ne sheet per day for plein air workshops/ 100% rag, any brand. Examples: Arches, Kilimanjaro, Winsor Newton, Fabriano, Lanaquarelle and more.
Palette: Your choice, suitable for watercolor. A covered palette is easier to transport.
Brushes: 1” and 2” flats/ sizes #4, 6, 10 or 12, 28 rounds/#1 or 2 rigger and any other favorite brushes….we all have our personal choices. I love the Magic Muslin brush 3/4″, available via Cheap Joes Art Supplies
Backer Board: Any stiff portable surface will suit: masonite, foam core, wood. Cut board to 16 x 23″ for ½ sheet, 12 x 16″ for ¼ sheet, 23 x 31” for full sheet, if preparing your own. For travel, a foam board cut to selected size, covered with clear packing tape, will be featherweight and durable. Make your own!
Easel: for outdoor use, plein air upright painting easel… i.e.: Stanrite 100 (if you can still find one) or French Easel ½ size (full size is too heavy for field work). Light travel easels are good, but make sure you ‘rig up’ a way to hold your palette.
Misc: clips, masking tape, water bottle/plastic for carrying water, water dish, sponge, paper towels……definitely a sketch book for preliminary thinking/composing, pencils, eraser/drawing tools…. For Plein air use: Maybe a folding stool…backpack for carrying gear…suitable footwear for all terrain…and of course, sun block and a visor hat for protection…
Watercolor paints: Artist or Professional grade colors are recommended. Bring your selected light fast colors. Brand names like: Winsor Newton, DaVinci, Daler/Rowney, Daniel Smith, Grumbacher, American Journey, Sennelier are all familiar names. (DaVinci, my choice, offers the best price and I find most colors good quality and permanent). Black and white watercolors are not needed.
White gouache is recommended for opaque use.
My color choices are:
3 Reds: Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Red Rose Deep or Permanent Rose, Scarlet Lake or Cadmium Red Medium
Orange: Cadmium Orange
4 Yellows: Naples Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Light or Lemon Yellow, Gamboge Hue (I love Rowney brand), Raw Sienna
2 Greens: Winsor Green/Blue shade or Phthalo Green, Permanent Sap Green
3 Blues: French Ultramarine or Ultramarine (I prefer Winsor Newton), Cobalt and Cerulean. Optional: Phthalo blue, Indigo, Prussian
2 Browns: Burnt Umber and Burnt Sienna
Local Art Stores carry some items, or use the various 800# catalog stores. Google for website, or call for catalogue. Cheap Joe’s 800-227-2788 or Daniel Smith 800-426-7923 or ASW 800-995-6778 Jerry’s Artarama 800-827-8478….or Dick Blick 800-828-4548. Or any other Art Suppliers found in American Artist or Watercolor ads…Shop around!
The Wilcox Guide to the Best Watercolors is a great reference book for paints…and Betty Edward’s Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is good for us all! Also, Cathy Johnson has a book on Plein Air painting (c/o Northlight Books) I highly recommend them.