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Favorite Art Supplies

A new favorite brush

Thanks to my friend Dan, I learned about Mimik brushes. They are wonderful because of their affordability and snap. They also carry a decent amount of water. I rely on them primarily for painting when good control and detail is needed. Available at Jerry's Artarama.

Paper

You can get away with skimping on all watercolor supplies, except paper. Good quality paper will make a huge difference in what you can achieve with watercolors. 100% cotton rag cold press paper is my favorite. Click here for a Winsor Newton video demonstrating the advantages of good paper.

Up until recently I have used Winsor Newton Artist Watercolour paper in loose sheets. It was unavailable for a few years, so after testing out about 30 different samples of paper, I settled on Lanaquarelle cold press for its bright white color, texture, and sizing.

Winsor & Newton has a new version of watercolor paper in loose sheets. I tested it out and was not as happy with it as I was in the past. The main difference is that the watercolor doesn't seem to flow as well, and the colors seem faded after they dry. Perhaps these problems can be addressed by using some of the watercolor mediums that Winsor & Newton offers.

Paints

I rely on mostly Winsor Newton watercolor paints, with a few exceptions. I also enjoy the Daniel Smith paints for special effects. Below is the list of paints I use the most:

Winsor Newton:

Cobalt Blue

French Untramarine

Cobalt Turquoise

Winsor Blue

Winsor Green

Green Gold

Permanent Rose

Rose Madder

Scarlet Lake

Opera

Qinacridone Gold

Transparent Yellow

Winsor Orange

Daniel Smith

Moonglow

Lunar Black

Lunar Earth

Hansa Yellow medium

Opaque White Gouache

Favorite Gouache

Gouache is more opaque than Chinese White. My favorite is Daler Rowney Permanent Designer Gouache. The opacity and texture are superior to others I have tried.

Paint Brushes

My favorite paintbrush is a NEW paintbrush. A favorite eventually becomes a least favorite as it loses its point. There are many Da Vinci brushes that I really like:

 

Round Pure Kolinsky Red Sable
CosmoTop Spin Flat Wash
Cosmotop Spin Travel Round
Russian Blue Squirrel

428 Artissimo Paint Brus

 

I've also been using cheap brushes from Joanne's, found near the decorating paints. These are great for small details when you don't care so much about how much paint is loaded into the fibers. They serve well for accuracy and having a sharp, manageable point.

I love my Neptune wash brush for laying down an even coat of clear water before I begin, or putting in a big loose wash on a large piece of paper.

It's good to have an arsenal of natural fibers (for the purpose of holding a lot of water in the brush for gestural, loose brushwork) and synthetic fibers (to have snap and control).

Also, it's great to have all manner of shapes and sizes, from teeny tiny to massive: from small points, small flats, to large round and large wash brushes.

 

Small flat brushes are wonderful for architectural details such as windows, and large flats are essential for glazing.

I have some stiff, cheap brushes that I reserve fro gouache or what I call "rough work". like dry brush and scrubbing.

For a short video about Winsor & Newton's Series 7 Brush, click here

Mat board

The color and texture of the Bainbridge Alphamats are lovely next to original watercolor paintings, as well as prints. They have good conservation qualities. French White looks especially good.

SolarFast Dyes

These come in many different colors and are wonderful to work with. Possibilities seem endless!

Video: Winsor and Newton Christopher Le Brun talks about painting with watercolors

Christopher Le Brun explains what is so special about watercolors.

A review of texture techniques by Dr. Oto Kano

Demonstration of a number of ways to achieve various techniques.

Winsor and Newton on PINK

A discussion of the history of the color Pink:  PINK

 

See how the pink watercolors compare side by side Pink Watercolors by Winsor and Newton

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