Materials and Supplies
A sturdy portable, or backpack sized easel for painting. It should be light enough that you can take it for a long walk, and idealy fit into your bag or backpack. Artwork Essentials has a good carry-on type bag. See also: The Ultimate Backpack.
We can also recommend these two outstanding products:
The Blick tilt-head watercolor easel made by Julian, click here.
To hold your palette on your tripod/easel, we recommend the Max the Easel Butler,
sold in our store. It is one of those essential tools which makes so much sense!
If you don't have a tripod or easel, Dick Blick sells a nice one made by Guerilla Painter and includes a rock bag with it, click here.
If you already have a lightweight photo tripod, you can buy this attachment to hold your watercolor board or block, click here.
Absolutely necessary in bright outdoor light. Again, there are many makes and prices. I have tried most of them and now use the EasyL - it has it all and is very sturdy, nearly unbreakable.
When you use an umbrella, it is a very good idea to have a stone bag to provide the ballast needed to keep your tripod steady in the wind, and also store loose items in. Artwork Essentials makes one of the best.
A watercolor block, no larger than 12 x 16” - Arches Cold Pressed is best. I prefer you use a block for this class. It is just easier and faster. Dick Blick has good prices on these.
A watercolor field journal. There are many kinds, just make sure the paper is professional quality. I typically use a rather large one (11 x 14") made by Canson which is hard-covered spiral bound in a landscape format. You may want to choose a smaller type for travel. Cold press or rough paper is best.
Loose watercolor paper, 22.5 x 30.5,” Arches, Strathmore, Saunders, etc., 300#
Gator Board (1/2 - 3/4") to mount approx. 12" x 16" (1/4 sheet) cut paper onto. Dick Blick.
Artist masking tape or large bulldog clips for mounting
If you have experience painting plein air with watercolor, you may use whatever you are comfortable with. If not, purchase either our recommended aluminum or plastic folding palette (hand-held), OR a large plastic studio palette - I recommend the Masterson model for its size, weight and durability. Do not bother with the many other large lightweight and flimsy plastic studio palettes - they will blow away.
Holbein aluminum folding palette, click here
Masterson studio palette, click here
Note: plastic palettes will have to be "seasoned" before use - just scour the mixing area with a little Ajax abrasive cleanser or fine steel wool first).
If you are plannining to just journal/sketch and not create paintings per se, you may choose to use a professional-grade hard pan set. We recommend either Sennelier, or Schminke or Winsor Newton types for this.
You can now find some very good synthetic blend watercolor brushes at many of the on-line art suppliers, such as Dick Blick, Daniel Smith, Utrecht, etc.
1/4”, 1/2”, 1”, synthetic blends - Loew-Cornell makes great ones, also, Princeton
Art and Robert Simmons
1” Oval Sky Wash synthetic
#12, #14 - Loew-Cornell Ultra Rounds 7020.
One #20 Richeson synthetic pointed Round
One liner, for fine lines, #0 or #2
If you can afford it, also get a pure Kolinsky Sable brush #10 or #12:
Dick Blick Master Kolinsky sables, click here.
DaVinci Maestro Full Belly Series 11, professional, click here.
Rosemary and Co., professional, click here.
Consider these brushes an investment which should last for years.
Buy the absolute best: DaVinci, Schminke, Holbein, Sennelier, etc, in the largest tubes you can afford. Note: DaVinci is our favorite and their tubes are sold in 37ml size! These 12 colors will offer you a full spectrum from which to mix.
Cadmium Yellow Lemon, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Naples Yellow, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Quinacridone Rose, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red, Prussian Blue, Cerulean Blue, Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Blue.
Optional Colors: Lavender (Holbein), Horizon Blue (Holbein)
Pencil - H or HB
Kneaded eraser (grey)
Large (1 qt.) water container - look for a collapsible one, or cut the top off a water bottle on site.
Roll of paper towels - Viva is best.
Small sketch book
View Finder: Either the View Catcher, which you can buy from our Store, or the EasyL model from Artwork Essentials. com