Sources and supplies for watercolor :

These are what I use, but just my preference. Mostly, be sure you don’t have student grade paints and brushes and that you use good watercolor paper; otherwise you will be frustrated.


2. - Dick Blick also has a brick and Mortar store in Tampa.


4. Also ACE hardware in Dunedin carries some art supplies and they are having a 40% sale right now (5/23/2017).


1. I like DaVinci paint and I think DiVinci Aureolin (yellow) is the most transparent yellow out there.

2. American Journey (which is DaVinci under Cheap Joes label) and I get it in large tubes. (Best value) Don’t bring tiny sample tubes!

3. Holbein …good paint…and I particularly like their Opera.

4. Daniel Smith (I like their Quinacridone burnt orange and Q. Gold, but not necessary…just my preference)

5. Windsor & Newton, good paint

There are others, but I don’t have any experience with them.

6. Richeson’s (only company that manufactures white casein), but you could also use white gauche.

If you are a beginning painter, I suggest you try to stick to a limited palette to force you to learn how to mix colors.

1. Cobalt Blue

2. Quinacridone or permanent Rose

3. Aureolin

Extra tubes, if you like, would be Cerulean blue, Ultramarine blue, Thalo blue (any shade),Thalo green (any shade), quinacridone burnt orange (Cheap Joe’s name for this color is Copper Kettle and it is fine) and quinacridone gold, and white casein or gauche. Opera is a wonderful color if you are doing colorful birds or any creature with color.

Note: You can mix all of the above colors with just those first 3 tubes, except for Opera and Thalo Blue.

Paper : 140 lb watercolor paper…300 lb is wonderful, but twice as expensive.

Good brands…I use Arches, cold pressed, bright white

Also, Kilimanjaro or Fabriano. I have heard that Canson is good, but never used it. There are many other surfaces you can paint on, but learn on paper above first.

Brushes : Watercolor brushes

I like Lowell Cornell synthetic brushes,

1 inch angled flat

#8, #12 round (be sure they have a good pointy tip on them).

#24 round wash (used for large areas, like backgrounds)

#2 rigger

The above are the brushes that I use the most, but occasionally use other sizes. Those above should be good for most paintings. If you have other brushes, use them, but remember…start with larger brushes, large areas and work down to smaller areas and detail with smaller brushes.

A palette:

I use a ceramic palette. They are expensive, but if you continue to paint worth the investment. They are heavy, so they don’t move, have enough wells for pigment and a large open area for mixing. They also clean back to pure white.

Also, a John Pike palette is less expensive, but nice.

Don’t try to mix paint on tiny areas or plastic plates.

Water bucket

Use a big one with a wide mouth. Keeps your water from getting so dirty and the wide mouth lets you swish your brush around without splashing.

Paper towels: VIVA BRAND ONLY!!!

Easel: Any easel that is simple and can be elevated by about 20-30 degrees.

If you can learn to stand and paint, you will have an advantage. I stand on a rubber mat to save my legs, but “getting away from your painting” allows you to see it better and not focus on details. Sometimes I sit when I am toward the end of a painting and doing the details. It also allows you to use more of your arm and not your hand which gives you better control.

I put bed risers under each leg of the table to lift the table so I am not bending over. Or you can elevate your easel on the table.