prefer, you can order a “Beginner’s
from me for $60
(about 15% off the cost of buying it all yourself),
- 12 sheets (9x12”) of Arches or Fabriano top-quality
- half a tube of each of ten
- a portable folding palette
- four quality synthetic brushes
If you'd like a kit, just let me know. You can pay for the
with the class, via
PayPal (see the Sign-Up
page), Venmo or Zelle,
or you can pay for it in cash at the first class.
NOTE: You can't run out of paint
during class --
refills are included. (Other
doubtless already own, are listed below.)
You *may* want to purchase more paper ($16 per pad) as the
but most students find this kit is enough to
last through six weeks.
your own materials, please refer to the
list below. It may look
overwhelming at first, but one visit to an art store (or half an hour
will take care of everything you need. Detailed information about
materials and art stores follow.
LIST: If you buy your own supplies, copy this list, print it out, and
show it to
PAPER: Buy ONE of
1. One PAD of Arches paper 9x12”
larger.It has a black and green cover. Be
sure to get COLD PRESSED paper. Available online, and at Utrecht and
New York Central Art
Supply, for about $13-15;
recommended. You can always buy a pad from me in the studio for $13.
2. OR: 3 sheets of ARCHES
or FABRIANO brand watercolor
paper, each 30 x 22” or larger (about $5 to $7 per sheet).
of "140-pound, cold press paper"
BLOCK of Arches paper, at least 8x10” (beware: blocks are WAY
more expensive than
pads, hard to use, and not recommended).
**ABSOLUTELY DO NOT** buy"student" or "studio" Strathmore,
Canson, Montvale, or Fabriano pads, or any other cheaper pad that says“ideal
students” -- they're not! You'll be wasting your money and buying
of grief. Trust me -- quality is a must here, and worth the
art store clerk to pick two decent
synthetic brushes for you. Utrecht and Princeton are good, inexpensive
brands. Cost runs $5 to
A 1-inch OR three-quarter-inch wide flat
(pointed) brush (#10 12, or 14; the bristles should be at least 1.25"
to 1.5" long)
Utrecht's own brand has a great kit of 4 watercolor
brushes, including a flat with a Lucite handle. Ask the clerk.
You can also buy a set of 6 Princeton brand brushes
from me for $16.
OPTIONAL USEFUL BRUSHES, $3 to $6 each:
for wetting the
paper: either a clean blusher brush (fairly large, old or new), or a 2"
or 3" wide hake (pronounced
“hockey”) goat hair brush
a small #6 or #5 round pointed
brush for details
a thin “rigger”
or "liner" brush
These student-grade paints
are inexpensive, mostly $3-$4 per tube,
very good quality:
Van Gogh - sold at Dick Blick stores
Grumbacher Academy - check online first
Cotman (Winsor & Newton student grade) - but
avoid their Permanent Rose color
If you care to spend more, the professional-grade
paints offer similar colors and characteristics, but with
lightfastness, intensity, and overall quality. Recommeded brands, from
cheapest to most expensive, are:
M. Graham brand (less expensive but
Daniel Smith brand
on a budget:
but affordable: .............................
M. Graham, Utrecht,
.............................. Winsor &
and the Daniel Smith brands
"Lemon Yellow" or
Light" Van Gogh
or Utrecht brand
Lemon Yellow or
also known as...
Permanent Red Light
colors are available in all paints:
"Quinacridone Rose" Van
All are top quality at a more
reasonable price than W&N.
"Permanent Rose" M. Graham or Winsor
Graham brand is only at Dick Blick art supply, Bond St. off Bway.
Winsor & Newton
Green” any brand
Each brand is slightly different, but
Below are three
Gogh or W&N Cotman
Van Gogh, W&N Cotman, or
Siena” or "Yellow Ochre" Van
Gogh or W&N Cotman
a small plastic
palette with a hinged cover to
hold your paints (mixing dishes are provided in class,
handy to have a covered palette). Small is fine; most art stores
have them for $4 to $6. If you have lots
of room to
work at home, you might want a larger, flat
(many tupes available at
stores, but not essential).
At home you'll need
ITEMS” on the list
below. You can always borrow them from me in class as well. They
are: Paper towels and Kleenex,
a pencil, a ruler, a small plastic spray bottle for water (available in
the studio to borrow, or buy for $2), a few
ordinary plastic supermarket bags, a "kneaded eraser," available
for $1 in the studio or in any art/stationery store. And of course,
your own brushes,
you get more seriously into watercolor, you may want these for later
on; no need to buy them now, though.
A piece of lightweight corrugated
plastic, or a piece of foamcore, or heavy-cardboard mat covered
Contac paper, cut to 9x12" or a bit bigger. If you can't find
this, you can just borrow mine in class.
tape if you want to tape your paper to the board (about $5-7 a
roll, depending on width).
The adhesive will
harm your paper, and it's
re-usable over and over again. An easier way: buy "bulldog clips" to
your paper to the board. Again, this is for later, and I can lend you
all these things in class.
No need to read further.
But if you're interested, here are
details about watercolor
is your single most important
item. Please buy ARCHES brand only! (properly pronounced
“Arsh”, but everone says "arches") Buy the "140-pound,
One 30" x 22"
sheet can be cut into quarters or sixths or eighths, and costs about
least one full sheet,
cut into smaller pieces like eighths or sixths, to the first
class.Protect them flat in
folder, or carry them in a large magazine.
you can buy Arches paper in pads or blocks if you prefer, at least
9”x12”. Note that PADS are much less expensive
than BLOCKS. You can always buy the pads from
me, for about $16 each (depending on how the Euro is doing).
Never, NEVER, NEVERbuy
Strathmore, Fabriano, or Montvale
students” pads—they will doom you
failure and frustration. Trust me on this. Top-quality paper is
your top priority, and well worth the
Arches does not make
"student-grade" paper, so you can't go wrong with it. You can buy
top-quality pads of
Arches for $16 and up at Dick Blick art supplies...but
call first, they're
often out of
stock. (See “where to shop” below) or via Internet. I
always have them in the studio for purchase.
use about 2 sheets per class session. For homework, you can paint on
you like -- but at least 5x7”.
Note: DO NOT use acrylic or oil
brushes -- they are too stiff and not suitable forwatercolor.
Try to buy your brushes in person. Ask a
knowledgeable art store clerk to pick two
decent quality student grade watercolor brushes for you. Expect to
spend $8 to
$19 tops per brush. Princeton brand brushes
have been generally good, and the Utrecht
brand (only at Dick Blick stores) is very good.You can also buy "Creative
Inspiration" brushes in the studio;
excellent quality at a low price., about $15 for 8 brushes.
not invest in
costly sable brushes,even if money is no object. They are
actually much more difficult for a beginner to use.
3. TUBE PAINTS
or use a set of dry cakes of color. I’ve chosen the eight
colors above for best quality and price (mostly under $3/tube). You
probably want to add a few more colors later, but these have been
their superior transparency and non-staining attributes (which means
end up with “mud”).
note that if you purchase a Beginner's
I will refill your paints if you run out during the 6-week class.
paints include: Van Gogh, Winsor & Newton Cotman,
the Blick brand, and the Reeves brand.
Top-quality artist-grade paints
Utrecht Brand: inexpensive but highly rated, a real
bargain. M. Graham brand
is excellent quality and value, with intense color. Daniel Smith paints
(available at Blick and online at www.danielsmith.com)
are highly rated overall, and less expensive than W&N. Winsor
& Newton Professional, most
expensive, but very good.
I’ll supply you with plastic containers for holding water,
plus plastic plates for mixing colors. You can also borrow all the
things below. But for painting at home, it's good to have the following
Your paints, paper, and brushes, plus...
(generic is fine; dont' use paper towels to blot your painting)
Papertowels or a household sponge
to use as a 'mop pad' to control the water in your brush. Bounty’s
good, and Viva works best—it has no texture, just in case you
need to blot your entire painting.
Ordinary pencil, preferably one marked "H" or "HB" instead of "B"
Kneaded eraser, available
in any art store and most stationery stores, is much better than
others, as it
leaves no eraser-bits and won't damage the paper.
small empty spray bottle for
water, available at most drugstores. If you can't find one, I have them
bags -- Several
ordinary clean ones from the supermarket, to safeguard your paints and
probably have most of these around the house, or hit
your 99-Cent store.
WHERE TO SHOP for
Sadly, there is
only one place in the city: Dick
Blick Art Supplies, with four locations in Manhattan.
They carry Van Gogh and M. Graham paints,
recommended Arches pads,but
call first to make sure the
pads are in
Please note: Michael's
carries NO quality watercolor supplies at all.
Dick Blick locations:
- Sixth Ave between 19th and 20th Street - 13th St. between University and
Fifth Aves. 212-777-5353
- 237 W 23rd Street, between 7th and
8th Aves. 212-675-8699
- 1-5 Bond Street,
off Broadway just above Bleecker St.
shipping is extra, so savings may
vary. Get on their email
list, and you get further discounts and
sometimes free shipping.
SURE you have all your supplies, or have ordered a Beginner's Kit,
before class begins.
book is required.
supplies are not cheap, and I don’t want anyone
suffering from sticker shock.
at watercolor images is not only
inspirational, but a great help. Of course Pinterest and Youtube have
take the place of books for images and instruction, and those are the
the studio, you're welcome to browse my many books of course.
Either way, you'll
get a good idea of watercolor's many possibilities.
every beginner book has the same basic technique information,
so if you buy one, choose the book with watercolors in a style
really appeals to you.
My favorite beginner book: Watercolor: No
by Carol Cooper (out of print, but
all these are available on amazon)
Can Paint Watercolors by Alwyn Crawshaw (paperback)
A New Beginning by Anne Lindsay
for the Fun of It: Getting Started by John
Lovett He also has an excellent watercolor website worth
Watercolor Book by David
The one book that contains everything you'll ever need to know,
Sketching Book by John
excellent drawing book:
Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. A deservedly famous
bestseller on how to be
more creative, no matter what your art.