We only need five colors for all our exercises (trust me!):
- Opera Rose or Permanent Rose
- French Ultramarine Blue
- Burnt Sienna
- New Gamboge Yellow
- Pthalo Blue or Winsor Blue (green shade).
We recommend ARTIST or PROFESSIONAL grade (not 'student' or 'academic') paint in 15 ml or 37 ml tubes. 'Artist grade' colors have more and better quality pigments. Winsor & Newton paint is always a good choice. Buy transparent watercolors, not gouache.
We will discuss best choices in the first class, so you can wait to buy brushes. You can paint well with only two brushes, but these need to be good quality watercolor brushes. (Sable is best, golden taklon also works well and costs less.) The ability to retain their shape and hold a point are the most important characteristics to look for.
We recommend two brushes to start:
- #10 or #12 round brush
- 3/4 or 1-inch flat wash brush
140 lb cold press watercolor paper meets all our needs. You can get this in a convenient tablet that will keep your work organized. Buy a good grade tablet:
- Strathmore Visual Journal, 140 lb Watercolor, 9x 12 in. A bargain.
- Strathmore 400 Series Watercolor Pad 9 in. x 12 in. spiral pad with brown cover (not the yellow 300 Series)
Additional tools are helpful. Basics to get you started:
- Watercolor palette for mixing colors: white butchers tray (think 'Wegmans') or several small, white dishes, or a portable artists palette (we'll discuss palettes in the first class)
- 2H sketching pencil
- Kneaded rubber eraser
- Plastic water containers (2). Not glass! Cottage cheese or yogurt containers are excellent.
- Roll of paper towels. 'Viva' brand is good because it doesn't have pattern or texture.
- 3x5 inch sponge
- Low tack masking tape, 1-inch wide. (Green 'frog' tape is great.)
Where to Buy
It's easiest to find what you really need at a fair price if you go to a dedicated art supply store such as (a) Rochester Art Supply on West Main Street in Rochester, (b) the Art Store in Southtown Plaza, Henrietta, or (c) the Art Stop in Penfield. They will be glad to help you. Be sure to ask about student discounts! In addition, there are excellent on line such suppliers as Dick Blick, Cheap Joes, and Jerrysartarama.com.