|Christine Lashley watercolor palette
|Note: substitute Hookers Green for Viridian, Burnt Siena for Cad Yel.
Here is the latest supply list, with many notes on how to choose supplies. It's a long list,
but try to read through it! I promise it will answer most questions; and perhaps some answers to questions you didn't even
know to ask.
ABOUT YOUR MATERIALS: These items are recommended. Buy the best you can afford. I know
supplies are expensive, but better quality materials mean better results.
Try to order supplies ahead via mail order. A local craft store often charges 50-75% more than mail order suppliers. If you
have limited funds here is the order in which to spend your money: 1) paper (see below), 2) brushes, 3) paint. Advanced students
can bring favorite supplies. For example, if you prefer painting with flat brushes versus rounds that is fine. For beginners:
think quality over quantity. Watercolor paints and brushes will last a long time and it's better to get a small amount of
quality items (and add to your stash later when your budget allows) instead of a pile of student grade stuff that you will
want to 'upgrade' later. For those who 'just want to try out' watercolor to see if it's fun, then yes, go ahead and get the
student-grade materials. This will be more economical. But don't think 'I'll get the good stuff when I'm better,' no, no,
no! You deserve it now and the good stuff will help you get better faster.
PALETTE - The Mijello Fusion is a plastic palette that can be folded up (see
photo). You can get this online. For beginners a larger palette with a lid can be good such as the John Pike palette, but
this is very cumbersome to tote to class. If you travel or ever want to paint on location the Mijello is best. Palettes should
be carried flat to and from class, so fresh paint does not ooze where it should not be. The Mijello states that it is air-tight,
but experience has taught me to put it in a large ziploc anyway.
WATERCOLOR PAPER - 140 lb. sheets or blocks. Cold press is the most popular
finish but you may use hot press or rough to experiment with or if you prefer. Size should be at least 9" x 12." Look for
the tag line: "100% cotton or rag content." Student-grade is OK for color swatch practice or those on a strict budget.
However, your results will be so much better with good paper. You really get what you pay for! With quality paper you can
use the back of the sheet as well. Loose sheets are more economical than blocks, but need to be taped to a waterproof board
with tape that will not ruin the paper when removed (white artist’s tape is a good choice). Watercolor blocks are prestretched
and ready to go as-is. A good size: 9 x 12" watercolor block, 140 # cold press. There are many good brands of paper. I like
Arches and Fabriano. Note: paper manufacturers are now making 'traditional' or 'natural white' and 'bright white'. Either
is fine. I prefer traditional.
SKETCHBOOK - Any generic sketchbook is fine for quick
studies/notes. 60# paper. Stillman & Birn make a great sketchbook for water-media. I get the Alpha series Red Label book
in 5x7" hardback. The paper is great to sketch on, heavily sized so color flows well, and watercolor can lift out... very
BRUSHES - Synthetic, sable (or a blend) watercolor brushes. Larger is better! Suggested
assorted sizes: No. 12, a No. 8 or 10, round. Important!!! A dozen brushes are NOT needed. Don't get seduced
by a big 'jumbo pack' of brushes for a cheap price, these are inferior quality. Instead, put your money into a few good brushes...
or just one! If you can only afford one good brush, buy a #10 sable round watercolor brush. If that is too much (about
$40) my second choice for one brush would be a #12 synthetic brush (about $10-15). Choose round brushes that form a good point
and spring back to shape when wet.
The best brushes are pure kolinsky sable ('red sable' is good too, but lesser quality).
Sable brushes can be VERY expensive. "Escoda" Tajmyr (red handle, series 1212) brushes are very good quality, pure Kolinsky
sable, at an excellent price (see link for art sources). Budget synthetic choices are Sapphire Robert Simmons
brushes. Don't fall for gimmick colored brushes (black), manufactures dye the bristle, these are usually synthetic or cheaper
Note: New brushes often have a hard glue-like protective coat on the hairs. This comes
off with plain running water (gently squish the brush as the water runs, you can't get rid of it by just swishing in a bucket).
Often there is also a plastic protective tube. Do NOT force your brush back into this tube after you take it out, it can ruin
the hairs on your brush.
Get a brush carrier to protect your brushes. Simple bamboo
roll-up style, or other case. Don't get a floppy cloth case, you need a stiff case.
is a USA shortage on sable brushes. Kolinsky sable brushes can be purchased from Jackson's in the UK, often they have cheaper
prices for brushes.
OTHER - Small natural sponge, and paper towels. Pencil and soft white eraser. Sketch
pad of 60 or 80 lb. white paper (8 x 11 is fine) for quick watercolor studies, pencil sketches and notes. Large container
for water. Tape and board if using paper sheets. Carry case to protect your brushes.
PAINTS - I buy tubes of moist watercolor paint. There are two kinds of paint, 'professional'
or 'artist' grade and 'student' grade. (For example Winsor & Newton’s student grade paint is called “Cottman”).
Student grade is fine for experimenting or to start out, but to get great results you should use professional paints - they
contain more pure, saturated color and less filler. (Winsor Newton's Cottman line, and also Grumbacher make decent student
grade paint, avoid cheap paint such as 'Koi' or 'Reeves' sets). Suggested palette is in Winsor & Newton Artist's colors
(except my prefference of Holbein's Peacock Blue, and 2 Qor colors). Buy colors with a (*) if you can only afford
a limited palette. Purchasing larger tubes (14, or 37 ml) is much more economical per use, however, it is better to buy
small tubes of Artist-grade paint than big tubes of student-grade paint. Your tubes will last for years, so consider
this an investment. Paint never goes 'bad,' even old vintage tubes are useable.
not all colors are the same across brands. For example, a basic color such as Burnt Umber may look and paint differently depending
Yellow: *Winsor Yellow, *Indian Yellow (Qor)
Red: *Pyroll Red Light
(Qor), (or WN Winsor Red); *Permanent Alizarin Crimson
Blue: *Cobalt Blue; *French Ultramarine Blue (not 'Deep'
version); Cerulean Blue; Peacock Blue (Holbein) (or WN's Winsor Blue Green Shade... same as Phthalo Blue in other brands)
Green: Hooker’s Green
Brown: *Burnt Umber; Burnt Siena, (optional if you like neutrals:
Other: *Permanent Rose; Cobalt Violet; Cobalt Turquoise Light; Winsor Violet; Holbein Titanium White Gouache;
Go To: Fresh Style Watercolor - Sample Dick Blick Shopping Cart
Supply List for "Plein-air Fresh Style Watercolor Classes"
PLEIN-AIR SUPPLIES: These items are suggestions and in addition
to my main list that discusses paint colors, paper quality, and brushes. You do not need the whole list for the plein-air
class. The bare minimum would be a watercolor palette, water cup, brushes, paper, and perhaps a small blanket for sitting
on the ground plus a bag for your supplies. You are encouraged to bring your favorite supplies.
You have choices based on how you like to paint. For those who like tiny sketches in journals and small items that are not
heavy to carry when traveling, the half-pan sets available are very handy.
Medium: Mijello Fusion (formerly called: Homee)
Watercolor Palettes. Compact, yet versatile. Buy the 5.5x10.5” small size. Source: Jerry's Artarama. Catalog # 72048.
Tiny: Winsor & Newton Artists' Field Box Set. Half-Pans. (12 colors is fine) The Cottman student
grade 12 set is surprisingly good for the price. Or get an empty tin and fill with tube color.
should be protected in a case. Or, a great solution is to buy travel brushes that fold up into their own case.
Travel Brushes: I recommend Escoda Kolinsky-Tajmyr Pocket Round Series 1214 (size 8, 10, or 12). Rosemary Brushes make excellent
sable pocket travel brushes as well. (I have the R3, it is my favorite travel brush).
There is a USA shortage of sable brushes. Kolinsky
sable brushes can be ordered from Jackson's in the UK.
EASELS: An easel is optional equipment when painting
outdoors, but can be very handy. Winsor Newton makes a metal watercolor easel that is economical (it's called Bristol), but
it does not have a tray. Some trays are sold separatly. More options: a small table for supplies, or to hold your palette.
The Bristol can do oil and watercolor (with paper mounted on a block or board). A French easel can be used but can be bulky
and heavy to carry, and the angle is better suited to oils. I do not recommend travel with a French Easel (such as for a workshop)
as it's too cumbersome but it could be OK for my local Plein Air class. Other options: painting on your lap while sitting
down on a folding stool or chair, using two chairs (one for yourself, one as a 'table' for your art, or painting on a blanket
while sitting on the ground.
My easel is the En
Plein Air Pro, Traveler, for painting watercolor on location. I've used this for years, it comes with a backpack
and a tray/tripod combo that is easy to set up. I just love it! It is very light to carry. Note the 'Advanced' easel is heavier,
comes in a duffle bag, and includes a large palette in the tray.
CART: A luggage-trolley or folding cart for supplies can be handy.
Sampsonite makes a good travel cart and this can be purchased for about $30 on Amazon.
Tips: A hat protects from sun and bugs. Avoid painting
with sunglasses on if possible, or your colors and value will be off - usually too dark. Wear neutral clothes. Bright colors
(like red) can reflect onto the paper and create a weird glow. White can attract bugs. Avoid perfume or scented products as
it attracts bugs.
|My Plein Air Pro Easel "Traveler"
|with EasyL Umbrella attached
- A luggage trolley with a bungee cord works well to transport gear if heavy
- Tote bag
for art. Try to save a screw cap plastic jug from a juice container or water bottle
- Cup for water
- Snacks and
water for you
- Bug spray
- Umbrella for sun or sprinkle of rain
- Small camping table (optional)
- Hat for
shade and to cut glare
Go To: Fresh Style Watercolor - Sample Dick Blick Shopping Cart