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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.
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.
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:
Hansa Yellow medium
Opaque White Gouache
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
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