What Supplies Do You Need To Paint With Watercolors?

Watercoloring is said to be one of the more difficult paint mediums to work with. Unlike acrylics or oil painting, you can’t wait for a layer to dry or scrape off to re-do something you don’t like. Watercolors are even more permanent than markers, as whiteout or acrylics are still an option to make changes.

While watercolors are challenging to master, they aren’t impossible. Here are some of the basic supplies that you’ll need to start on your journey.

Item #1 – Watercolor Brushes
While we recommend getting a watercolor brush set if you are only trying out the medium at the moment and want one brush to go for a #8 round red sable. Overall, synthetic brushes are the best option for watercolors. Slightly larger types of brushes other than the #8 would be helpful for large, flat areas of color. Likewise, smaller brushes are great for fine details within your work.

Item #2 – Watercolor Paint
From cakes to tubes there are a lot of options when it comes to watercolor paints. A basic 12-color set will help you get through most of the paintings that you do at first. If choosing to go the route of watercolor tubed paint, here is a suggested primary palette: Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Cadmium Red Medium, Cadmium Yellow Light, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Hooker’s Green, Phthalocyanine Blue, Phthalocyanine Green. This mixture of cool and warm colors helps to create a bright and balanced palette of colors. Avoid pure white or black watercolor paint when possible unless necessary for your piece.

Item #3 – Watercolor Paper
Any type of watercolor paper that is block, loose paper, or pad of a #140 weight or higher will suffice. You want a heavy paper that can handle warping when damp. Larger sheets are preferable just because it then gives you the later opportunity of cutting them in half to what you need. Paper is also about texture. Try different surfaces to find what looks best to you.

Item #4 – Watercolor Palette
The paint sets out there for watercolors usually have built-in palettes. Depending on how many colors you need, this should be enough space. If you go the route of tube watercolors, any type of flat plastic or metal covered palette will suffice. Cakes are a little bit more difficult, especially if you want to build up and mix colors ahead of time. You’ll need a palette with indentations to be able to hold the different volumes of watered-down paint.