My personal preference is for natural hair brushes, Kolinsky sable or red sable. Strathmore series 585 is a good choice for rounds. However, excellent results can be obtained with synthetic fiber brushes which are less expensive, especially in the larger sizes. Purchase the best you can afford, better to have a few very good brushes than many of lesser quality. A few good brushes: A large round, size 8 or larger; a 3/4”-1” flat; a 1&1/2” or 2” flat; a medium round,size 5-7; a Liner, size 3 or 4; and maybe a small round, size 3 or 4.
I like Winsor & Newton 140 lb. Hot Press. However, many artists prefer cold press and recommend it for beginners. Try different papers and see what you like. For the workshop you should have two or more quarter sheets (11” x 15”), larger only if you are an experienced painter, ready to use, i.e. soaked, stretched, fastened (stapled) to your watercolor board, and dried. Watercolor blocks also work well. They eliminate the need to soak & stretch, but are more expensive. I often use the 12” x 16” size. I will demonstrate how to soak, stretch and secure paper to board at the workshop if there are those that desire such a demonstration. If you have some other method which you prefer, please feel free to use that method. An extra piece of w/c paper to use as a touch sheet is often helpful.
There are many different watercolor boards and edge fastening systems or methods available. I prefer to use and recommend a basswood plywood watercolor board, or other board suitable for stapling the paper to with a regular paper stapler. You will need something to prop the edge of the board up about two inches.
Tube type watercolor paints such as Winsor & Newton Artists’ Watercolors, Holbein Watercolors, or Daniel Smith Watercolors. Colors: If you paint, bring what you have found you like to use. The following list is a suggestion; Aureolin; Quinacridone Gold &/or Raw Sienna; Quinacridone Burnt Orange &/or Burnt Sienna; Carmine or Alizarin Crimson; Winsor (Phthalo) Blue; Ultramarine Blue; Cobalt Blue; Cerulean Blue; Winsor (Phthalo) Green; Viridian; Hooker’s Green; Sap Green; Cadmium Yellow Pale; Permanent (Quinacridone) Rose; Mineral Violet or Ultramarine Violet; Brown Madder Alizarin; Purple Madder (Alizarin); Violet Grey; and Light Red. Also, a tube of Permanent White Gouache. It is not necessary to have all the colors listed.
A flat bottom white enamel butchers tray makes the finest palette. Difficult to find. Mine does not have a flat bottom and I find I must use one or more plastic or metal palettes along with it. If you use gouache, you will need a small plastic lid or two to use as a gouache palette.
Water Container(s); A small plastic spray bottle with adjustable nozzle; A 4x6” absorbent sponge & a smaller one; Paper Towels; Sketchbook and Pencils, B & softer or a #2; an Eraser, Art Gum or Kneaded; White Mask Liquid Frisket and junk brushes or something to apply it with.
Any additional supplies you enjoy working with.
So that I can most effectively help you during the workshop, bring along a few examples of your work. Bring the original works if possible.
I will be providing a still life setup as possible subject matter, however, if you would prefer to bring and work from your photos, sketches or other resource material, please feel free to do so. If you choose to work from a photo, use one taken in natural light without a flash!
Mail order art supply catalogs: Jerry’s 1-800-827-8478; Daniel Smith 1-800-426-7923; Cheap Joe’s 1-800-227-2788