You don’t have to spend a fortune to paint with watercolor, but certain basic equipment will make your life much easier. It is obvious that we need paper, brushes, and watercolors, but what do we have to pay attention to and what other supplies can we use for our watercolor paintings?
Watercolor paper is indispensable if you want to paint with watercolors. Printer and drawing paper are not suitable for absorbing water: The paper will flake and dissolve or at best dry wavy and distort your painting.
With the right paper, we not only save ourselves a lot of trouble, we can also try out all kinds of watercolor techniques with it. The investment in a watercolor block is definitely worth it!
With watercolor paper, we distinguish between rough and smooth paper. While smooth paper allows very precise brush strokes and absolute control over color gradients, the rough paper is better suited for landscape paintings in a typical watercolor style.
When it comes to brushes, the question often arises as to whether natural or synthetic bristles are better. Nowadays, there is no reason to buy brushes made of natural bristles anymore, because synthetic bristles are in no way inferior in quality.
The different hardnesses of pencils are the different sizes of brushes: You don’t need them all to paint good paintings, but a balanced variety will help you to paint even better paintings. With a brush size between 8 and 10, you usually do nothing wrong, because you can make thin strokes as well as fill medium-sized areas with watercolors. If you want to make very fine strokes, you should choose the brush size 0. For very large areas you can use anything from 20 and above.
Even though watercolors are water-soluble, we should always clean our brushes after painting.
For a start, you don’t have to buy a whole watercolor kit. It is better to start with the three basic colors red, yellow, and blue because this way we learn to mix colors right from the beginning. In addition, three paint tubes or paint pots are much cheaper than a whole kit.
By the way, the price differences between the various manufacturers are mostly due to the pigment density of the watercolors. Expensive watercolor paints are usually more heavily pigmented and will last much longer. With cheap watercolor paints, it is the exact opposite. If you are not sure whether watercolor painting is the right thing for you, you can certainly invest in the cheaper option.
To mix watercolors you can buy an extra mixing bowl or use an old plate. Many watercolor kits even offer areas for mixing in their lid.
In addition to paint pots and paint tubes, there are also watercolor pencils. Not only do they look like colored pencils, but you can also use them as colored pencils! Except that you can go over their strokes with a wet brush and the color will dissolve on paper just like regular watercolor.
With the basic equipment of brush, watercolor paper, and paint we can already start painting. But other supplies can make our paintings look even more interesting.
Tape is perfect if we want to frame our watercolor painting. However, it should be one that can be easily removed from the paper and does not destroy it during the process.
Ink and watercolors harmonize perfectly with each other. There is no white watercolor, so you simply leave spots blank when painting. However, if we want to paint, for example, white hair on a dark background, simply leaving the areas blank becomes an almost impossible task.
Both white and black ink can be used to create super interesting accents in a watercolor painting. It is definitely worth giving it a try if you enjoy painting with watercolors.