When It comes to picking the right art-supply for watercolor, it can be a bit of a jungle in the beginning, so please read this material list carefully to the end. Here I will list some of my favorite material that can be purchased for an affordable price without compromising the quality. I will also recommend some good art-stores in Copenhagen.
If you want to make it easy for yourself, then I have arranged a packet-deal with Kreatima for my watercolor students in Art Escape Studio. All you need to do is visit their art-supply store in Copenhagen and let them know that you are taking a watercolor class with me (Ida Glad), then they will show you a packet that I have put together for you, and you will get 10 % off the purchase.
The packet includes: A quality watercolor paper block, a real hair watercolor paintbrush, an empty watercolor box to fill with colors + the need to have colors for my class from Winsor & Newton and Van Gogh. You can choose from tubes or pans. I recommend getting the tubes and fill your own pans, so you have both.
The “artist quality” watercolors are obviously the best and there is a noticeable difference in the pigmentation. That being said, “student quality” watercolors from a good brand are definitely fine as well for beginners and a lot cheeper, so I would start with them and if you get “hooked” you can always upgrade to a higher quality later.
You can buy watercolor in tubes or in blocks. I find it easier to work with tubes when it comes to mixing but the blocks are easier to carry around, so I would say it’s a matter of personal preference. Some of the best watercolor brands include Winsor & Newton, Schmincke Horadam, Van Gogh or Daniel Smith.
When it comes to picking colors you’ll need some warm and some cold tones. Here is a list of the colors I recommend. They are divided into “need to have” and “nice to have” where the first category refers to the basic colors that you need to have for my class, and the second category refers to some additional colors that are nice to work with and can add more interest to your paintings
THE COLORS THAT i RECOMMEND
Watercolor paper comes in many different types of quality and material. Never choose paper that is less than 300 g. pr. m2, since thinner paper will bend too much when it gets wet. In a nutshell, the terms “hot press” and “cold press” refer to the paper’s surface finish or texture. Cold pressed paper has a slightly bumpy, textured surface and hot pressed paper has a smooth surface finish. There is another category of watercolor paper called rough. This paper has a very pronounced texture.
COTTON OR CELLULOSE?
Watercolor paper is made of either cotton or cellulose or a combination of both. Always chose paper that have some percentage of cotton in it. The higher percentage of cotton the paper has, the better it contains the water and that means longer drying time, which is essential in watercolor painting. So the best choice is of cause 100 % cotton but that is also the most expensive. If you find paper that has 25 or 50 % cotton, that is fine as well. For my class, please chose a paper that measure around 21 cm x 29 cm (A4).
Windsor & Newton has a block with 25 % cotton for a reasonable price, and it’s okey to begin with that, but if you want a higher quality in 100 % cotton, then I’ll recommend Lanaaquerelle. An even higher quality and one of the best brands on the market is Arches. I don’t recommend buying the brand VIKING, as it’s not working very well with tape and masking-fluid.
Good paintbrushes are essential for good results but they can also be a bit expensive. The good thing is that they last a lifetime if you take care of them. You should have different sizes and shapes of brushes and it’s okey to begin with synthetic paintbrushes since they are a lot cheeper. However you should invest in at least one natural hair watercolor paintbrush. The difference between synthetic and natural hair paintbrushes, is that the natural hair paintbrush can contain a lot more water, which is very important in your painting process and they are a lot easier to work with. You can also get paintbrushes that are partly synthetic/ partly natural hair and they are quite good and affordable. The hair that is used for watercolor paintbrushes are typically weasel or squirrel hair
This is one of my favorite paintbrushes to use and it’s not too expensive compared to other brands.
Da Vinci Watercolor Series 418 Petit Gris Pur Paint Brush, Wash/Mop Pure Russian Blue Squirrel.
(Begin with Size 1.)
Besides colors, brushes and paper, there is a few other things you’ll need to bring to class.
1: A paper-block with normal sketching paper, size A4 or smaller. This paper will be used to test our color mixtures, before we paint with them.
2: A bottle of masking-fluid. This is a special type of thick liquid that is used to seal the paper if needed, when painting with watercolor. You can purchase masking-fluid in Art Escape Studios or any art-store.
3. Painting tape
Additional material needed for this class such as; Pencils, erasers, palettes, rulers, drawing boards, paper towel, spray bottles and blow dryers will be provided by me.
WHERE TO GO SHOPPING?
Some of the best art supply stores in Copenhagen Kreatima or Stelling or Tutain og Koch. Or you can order your material online via Amazon. I don’t recommend buying your art supply in hobby-stores such as Panduro and Tiger, as the quality of the material they are selling is not very high.