March 2023 Watercolor Workshop at Ruby Flora
Thank you so much for joining me for some watercolor fun at Ruby Flora! I hope you enjoyed painting with friends--old and new--surrounded by beautiful, lush greenery at Lindsey's wonderful shop. I've listed the materials that we used during the workshop as well as some of my other favorite watercolor supplies. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out!
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All three are student grade paints and are very affordable for sets that include an array of colors.
Canson XL is considered a student grade paper, and it's one of the most affordable watercolor papers on the market.
Royal & Langnickel Soft Grip Brushes
Royal & Langnickel Zen Brushes
R&L makes a variety of brushes for all types of media.
For the most bang for your buck, these student grade brushes are a great choice. They're very affordable for a set of round brushes and retain their shape very well. They don't hold as much water as higher quality brushes, but are an excellent option for beginners.
Masking tape, washi tape, or blue painter's tape
Pencil & eraser
Pens (brush pens or fine liners) for linework
When it comes to watercolor paint, I prefer to use pan paints as opposed to tube paints for ease of clean-up and storage. In the long run, tube paints are more economical, but remember, with watercolor paints, a little paint goes A LONG WAY, so even a pan of paint can last years.
My favorite tube paints are M. Graham Watercolors. They're a professional grade paint, so they're excellent quality, but their price tag reflects that!
If you're looking for a pan set, Prima Art Philosophy makes excellent, vibrant, themed sets that won't break the bank.
My absolute favorite watercolors to work with are handmade watercolors. There are many watercolor makers who make excellent, artist-quality paints in small batches. My favorites are Aloha Watercolors and 31PurpleFish.
Choosing the right watercolor paper can be very tricky. There are so many variables--the techniques you use, the look you're trying to achieve, the amount of water, the paint quality, the brushes...the list goes on. Canson XL Watercolor Paper is a very affordable option, but it has its challenges, and often beginners get very frustrated with those challenges. Using a higher quality (pricier) paper is often a better option for beginners.
Arches Cold Pressed Watercolor Paper is the gold standard in watercolor paper. It's 100% cotton, has a beautiful texture to it, and is slower to absorb water, which makes it a great option if you're working wet-on-wet.
Winsor Newton Professional Watercolor Paper is one of my favorites. It's also 100% cotton, and it's comparable to the Arches with a (slightly) lighter price tag.
Bee Paper 100% Cotton Watercolor Paper is my go-to paper. It's much more affordable than Arches or WN, but it's a slight step down in quality. However, it's still a great paper that works well for me.
When it comes to brushes, there's a distinct difference in what you want to use for the technique you're using or the effect you'd like to get. High quality, expensive brushes are typically made with animal hair and hold an high amount of water and pigment. Silver Brush Limited Black Velvet brushes are excellent and will last a lifetime.
However, if you're a beginner, managing the amount of water on your paper is one of the most difficult things to do, so I actually recommend using brushes that don't hold as much water. That doesn't mean using just any less-expensive, synthetic bristle brush. You want your brushes to hold up to repeated use and most importantly, maintain their shape after you've used them. Artegria Intuition is a great option for watercolor brushes if you're just getting started. They retain their shape after repeated uses and hold a medium amount of water, preventing you from having a sopping wet painting with paint running everywhere!