Watercolour sketching materials
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My recommendations here are for good quality materials that aren’t overly pricey! I use the Jackson’s website for materials but although Art discount, Great Art, Ken Bromley or others cheaper for some items. Local supplies in Cardiff can be found at The Range on the Newport Road, Hobbycraft, by the Cardiff City stadium or Peterson’s art supplies in Rhiwbina.
Quarter imperial sheets or A4 are suitable sizes
Rough or NOT (medium) is a good finish
140lb or 300g paper is thick enough not to buckle
Watercolour blocks are preferable to pads because the sheets are gummed down and so wont buckle so much when wet.
Jackson’s and other retailers stock Fabriano “practice paper” loose sheet packs which are very good
You will need to bring a small board to tape or clip your paper onto.
Bockingford paper is very good too, but a bit more expensive.
Cotman from Windsor and Newton is good as is Jackson’s own brand. They come in 21 ml tubes although Jacksons’ prices can vary according to the colour.
Watercolour pan sets (in cakes rather than tubes) are a good alternative if you prefer
I would recommend these colours but the first 4 would be fine to work from
Alizarine crimson (Deep red)
Burnt Umber (Brown)
Cadmium red (orange leaning)
Payne’s grey (blue tint)
Raw umber (greenish brown)
Many brushes are now synthetic or mixed with animal hair. I’ve been using brushes from the Jackson’s ICON range which are good.
A mixture of flat and round brushes would be good, in a range of sizes. Larger brushes are important for laying smooth areas of colour and wetting areas of the paper and smaller ones for line work.
Most flat, white plastic or porcelain can be used. Purpose made watercolour palettes with small wells are inexpensive.
If you have loose sheets of fairly robust (300g) paper you can clip or tape it on to a small lightweight board and it will remain flat enough. A stable plastic water container and cotton rags to dry your brushes and soak up liquid