Watercolour Supplies

You will probably have already read my post on the Student Palette - I thought I would bring together the absolute basic products I think any beginner watercolourist should have. I should add that I've given an option - you can buy paints of both Cotman (Student Grade) or Professional (Artist Grade) lines using the links provided - I also link to small palettes of half-pans if they are what you want to you - personally I think tube colours give more versatility - personally, I would say that you should use the best paints you can afford but start small - just get the Cool and Warm of each Red, Yellow and Blue and MAYBE Yellow Ochre and then work with just these 7 colours for at least a month until you're really confident with mixing, then expand to the others.

I have also included papers, brushes and so on.

You can either buy online from Amazon (where I've already curated for you the very best deals), or, you can print this out and take it to your local art shop and they can help you find the right products.

These are all Winsor and Newton paints. You can use other brands and try to match the colours as best as you can - go by pigments, not name. The Student Palette
346 Lemon Yellow (Hue) [cool yellow] PY175
109 Cadmium Yellow (Hue) [warm yellow] PY97, PY65
744 Yellow Ochre [earth yellow] PY42
502 Permanent Rose [cool red] PV19
095 Cadmium Red (Hue) [warm red] PR149, PR255
317 Indian Red [earth red] PR101
327 Intense Blue (Phthalo Blue) [cool blue] PB15
660 Ultramarine [warm blue] PB29
654 Turquoise [earth blue] PB15, PG7
554 Raw Umber [cool neutral] PBr7, PY42
074 Burnt Sienna [warm neutral] PR101
076 Burnt Umber [earth neutral] PBr7, PY42
347 Lemon Yellow Nickel Titanate [cool yellow] PY53
086 Cadmium Yellow [warm yellow] PY35
744 Yellow Ochre [earth yellow] PY43
502 Permanent Rose [cool red] PV19
094 Cadmium Red [warm red] PR108
317 Indian Red [earth red] PR101
707 Winsor Blue [Phthalo Blue] Green Shade [cool blue] PB15
263 French Ultramarine [warm blue] PB29
190 Cobalt Turquoise [earth blue] PB28, PB36
422 Naples Yellow [cool neutral] PW6 PBr24
074 Burnt Sienna [warm neutral] PR101
076 Burnt Umber [earth neutral] PBr7, PR101, PY42

Basic Cotman Palette
This little sketcher's set is really nice - a limited palette, the half-pans are of nice quality and the brush is good too - start with this and then, over time, replace with professional half-pans. I would recommend you replace the Cadmium Red and Cadmium Yellow first, as they are just hues (cheap fakes) - you will find they don't behave quite as a Cadmium paint really should and it will give you unusual results. One at a time, replace the rest. Swap the white and black immediately - I would get Naples Yellow and Indian Red personally.

Watercolour paper comes in three flavours - hot press (HP or HOT), cold press (CP or NOT) and rough (sometimes called Extra Rough). I recommend beginners start out with a chemical pulp or wood pulp paper and migrate to a 100% cotton paper once they've got a few months experience. I still use cheap paper for practice and sketches - never waste your good paper!

Bockingford paper is a chemical pulp paper - I recommend you start with the Cold Press (blue pack), then try out the others once you really get going. These are blocks which have glued edges and can help you avoid needing to stretch your paper.
Saunders Waterford paper is a 100% cotton paper - again, these are blocks and are worth trying out once you have a bit more experience - some are these are White, some are High White, which is a lovely bright white - but you can buy any of the textures in both colours if you want to shop around.
This is a really tough one to make recommendations on re: shapes and sizes as that depends on the end user. I have collected some of Pro-Arte's Prolene Plus range as they're economical and nice to use - do explore their full range through and see my review of them.


  1. How do I email you? I want to have you critique my painting from your intro series please

    1. My contact details are on the Contact Us tab at the top of the page.


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