Thursday, May 30, 2024

Watercolor Class Supply List

Watercolor Supply List

Watercolor Supply List

The most basic list of watercolor supplies for any skill level.  Whether you plan to paint daily or just for bringing to a painting class, this is a description of the main items necessary for building your starter kit.  Links for some items help give you an idea of what to shop for.

 I have considered the price points for anyone who might be budget conscious. When starting out, it's wise to choose where the costs are cut and where to invest for better quality.  Start out with the staple items and maybe you'll find later that you'd like to purchase a few more after some time.  Experimenting and learning skills will help guide where you would most enjoy new supplies.

Watercolor set of pans or tubes: brands such as Pentel, Sargent, Arteza and Royal & Langnickel are good for beginners.  I use Daniel Smith and other professional grade brands.  I would choose tubes over pans.  Watercolor pigment can be sprayed to reactivate the paint for each session.  Purchase an affordable set of tubes and later if you know you want to continue with watercolors, add higher end brand watercolors a tube at a time.  I have used Reeves watercolor pigments for class purposes but it seems difficult to find now.  I have also used VanGogh watercolor pigments for class purposes and it is an excellent quality for the money. An affordable set of Pentel watercolor in tubes is linked here.  

I really do recommend purchasing a set of tubes and the palette linked in the next section.  The watercolor easily dispenses into each plastic pan.  Label each pan on the side with a fine-point permanent marker before filling with watercolor pigment.  The convenience of this set up is really great whether painting at home, on the go, outdoors, or in a class setting.

Watercolor palette examples.

Palette: a plastic palette with sections for mixing paint.  Separate wells for dispensing tube paints.  A stay-wet palette is not necessary but a cover is handy for transport.  Plastic cling film is just as useful for a cover.  If you are using pans of watercolor pigment, a white plastic lid from sour cream container will be a great money saver. A metal empty set by Loeneng in either half-pan or full-pan is affordable and great for use at home and travel.  A half-pan holds 2 ml and a full-pan holds around 5 ml pigment.

A plastic lid can be reused for mixing watercolors.

Brushes: synthetic round brushes are great for occasional painting and beginners.  Sizes 4 and 6 round brushes most necessary.  A size 2 and 8 round would be the next addition to the art stash. This Royal & Langnickel set is affordable and durable.

A variety of round brushes from my own stash.

Watercolor paper:  100% cotton, cold press, 140 lb. watercolor paper.  100% cotton means the paper will hold up to basic techniques without pilling and breaking down.  Cold press means the paper has some texture as watercolor paper is known to have; this is helpful for dry brush technique.  140 lb. weight means the thickness of the paper is enough to not buckle and warp excessively.  Affordable options are Strathmore, Kilimanjaro, and Saunders.  Strathmore watercolor paper precut to 25 sheets of 5" x 7".   I use Arches most often but it is a bit more investment.  Watercolor paper will make a big impact on what you are able to do with watercolor painting experiments. (Please avoid Canson paper as it will not hold up well and you'll be frustrated easily.)  Shown below are 5" x 7" Arches cold pressed watercolor paper in 140 lb. weight; I buy my own paper in large sheets and cut to different sizes.

Arches 140 lb. cold-pressed watercolor paper cut to 5" x 7" pieces.

A container for rinsing brushes: a plastic container saved from sour cream, a canning jar, any container for water which holds about 8 ounces of water or more.

Water containers are inexpensive and work well.

Pencil and eraser. A mechanical pencil is useful for not needing to be sharpened.  A 2B standard graphite pencil works well as well.  A kneaded artist eraser and a Pentel mechanical eraser are my most used erasers with watercolor paper. Shown here are my main go-to pencil and erasers.

My favorite pencil and eraser options used daily.

A support board and 1/2" art masking tape are necessary for working with watercolor.  I have boards cut from white flat paneling which I use for my artwork.  I do not have any for purchase and you will need to be able to have your own support board for painting at home.  Finding reasonably priced quality options for you, here are my suggestions; the Ampersand Painting Panel 1/8" thick and 9" x 12" is large enough to paint up to 8" x 10" once tape is applied.  TSSART White Art Tape with medium tack and no residue is acid-free and perfect for keeping watercolor paper rippling at a minimum.  I use the 1/4" tape for small pieces of artwork.  If painting larger, the 1/2" is perfect for a firm hold.  Here below is a photo of the board and tapes I use often.

My support board and masking tape as examples.

Optional & Additional:

I will show and demonstrate other miscellaneous materials in class which you may decide to add to your own supply stash.  These may include:  masking fluid, fine point permanent pen, Dr. Ph. Martins Bleed Proof White, calligraphy pen with nib and black India ink.

You may have other art supplies to use along with watercolors and feel free to bring them with you.  I am listing the most basic necessary supplies.  If you have other art materials you would love to experiment with, definitely bring them and play with possibilities.  Watercolor pencils, chalk pastels, oil pastels, charcoal...and more!

I have linked several options above to give examples of what to shop for in watercolor supplies.  You can find many other sources for purchasing these.  For ease, you can shop with Amazon or look for other locations.  I order from Dick Blick, Cheap Joes Art Stuff, and Jerry's Artarama for best selection and reasonable prices.  I find Hobby Lobby and Michaels to be hit and miss on pricing and selection.


Before taking a class with me, consider reading the post 24 Must-Try Watercolor Techniques and download & print the pdf PDF of Watercolor Techniques Pg. 1 and 2 .  For the pdf, it will send me a request to share and once I approve, it will be all yours!  These descriptions of techniques are really helpful in learning more about watercolor.  I have the full color visuals (shown in that post) hanging on my wall in my art room.

The visuals used for teaching watercolor techniques.

I am currently preparing the first class outline and looking forward to hosting many of you here for a watercolor class in my art space.

More information to come soon!


Wednesday, December 13, 2023

The Thread.

While creating a new post on Facebook today, I found myself writing these words:

There's a thread that runs through every piece of artwork I share with the world. It's hope. Hope as an imagined vision. I realize artwork alone doesn't bring hope to the world. My hope lives and moves and has its being in Christ. Christmas is my remembering when the world was given hope in form of a babe.

I believe nature shows us a glimpse of Eden, what's left of that amazing place. If this nature we see now is a shadow of what once was, I will soak it in and savor every bit of that gift. I believe God gives us hope through His son. I also believe He gave us nature to bless us if we have eyes to look and see it.

So while you may not read much from me about the Gospel, I am purposed to live it and share that encouragement and hope. My brush cannot begin to compete with His creation. I paint as much hope and light and beauty into my artwork as possible. There are mistakes and shortcomings though I don't bring them to attention.

I am fascinated in how artwork can touch others and that's why I decide to offer some pieces for purchase. Others stay here because they are difficult to part with and why not all, I don't know. I have experienced the joy and blessing of seeing others delight in making a piece their own. I am humbled. It's so amazing. I have not even a hint of any idea whether pieces will find a home with someone else. My journey in this is waiting to see while I paint a new piece of watercolor art.

If you are interested in seeing my artwork, here is a link. I don't apply pressure to sell my work. If you don't absolutely feel like a piece is calling out to you, then it shouldn't be yours. I want these pieces to be somewhere that they'll be valued. I hate to think of my artwork ending up on a garage sale...though God could make it possible to send that art piece wherever He chooses. Click on the link and have a look because looking is still free! Be blessed today!

He still speaks through all He has made...

-She must make art.

Listen For The Hopeful Tune

Resilient Spirit

Strength In Stillness

A Calming Stillness

A Song In The Rain

Sunday, November 26, 2023

New Artwork and More

Hey, friends!  My website has been updated with new artwork and more.  Over a dozen new pieces of watercolor artwork are now posted to the website.  While I was preparing by photographing artwork, it occurred to me that now might be a perfect time to bring other items to my website.  In the past, I shared quite a few photos of my process in creating these extras.  I shared but these were mainly a Farmer's Market offering.  The main reason was the time it would require to list them on my website.

With autumn days, my daily life pace is slower and leading up to Thanksgiving weekend, it's a great time to put in the hours and get these beauties up and available.  I've created listing for magnets, ornaments, notecard sets and watercolor extras bundles.  The bundles are grouped items of my choosing, beautiful together.  You can choose to keep them all, keep some and give some, or give all as a gorgeous gift.  You'll save a nice amount over purchasing individual items.  Shown below, Wildlfower Bundle 1.  This bundle includes one notecard set, two magnets, and three bookmarks.

So, whether you are interested in seeing new watercolor artwork released today or ordering an ornament (or more) or selecting a extras bundle...I am sure there's something to please!

Thank you so much for joining me on these adventures in art,

-She must make art.

Wildflowers Bundle 1

Wildflowers Bundle 1

Wildflowers Bundle 1


Wednesday, November 22, 2023

New Artwork Releases Soon!


A Watercolor Extras Bundle
New artwork is coming to the website very soon...

I have been working away behind the scenes preparing quite a few original watercolors and some smaller watercolor extras.  I prefer the art making process over the long hours photographing and uploading to the website but it will be worth it in the end.  There may be a few kinks in the works so I plan for the website to need some tweaking to get it just right.  Each time I come back to work on the website, I am challenged to remember how it all works!

The new watercolor artwork is a range of subjects from bluebirds and hummingbirds to garden flowers...and maybe a landscape or two.

The magnets, ornaments, notecards sets, wildflower miniatures, and watercolor extras bundles (shown left) will be a new addition on the website.  All price points give more choices and are more flexible for any budget.

Have you signed up for my mailing list on my website yet?  I won't be showing up in your inbox unless I have news like artwork and new items available on the website.  Thank you for joining me in these art adventures!  You'll find all the links for website and social media on my Contact Information tab above.

Late Sunday, November 26th, 2023 is when the new artwork and other items will be available on my website.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!


-She must make art.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

New Prices Now In Effect

New Prices Now In Effect

Thank you for all your support in so many forms.  Whether commenting on a post, sharing my reels, buying a piece of artwork, sending me an encouraging message, telling others you know about my artwork, and so on...every bit matters.  I enjoy all that goes into this art life and seeing how it can impact others.  I love having you on this journey!

All the little things add up and though it's not the most fun part of my creative pursuit, it is necessary art business.  Painting is the adventurous and mysterious part.  But at some point, I need to also pay attention to whether I am making ends meet.

New updated prices are now in effect.  I am an up front kind of person and it's important for me to get the word out to all of you.  As cost of art supplies, website fees, payment app fees, and shipping fees all increase, I must be on top of making sure it's possible to continue this art adventure in months to come.  New art is on the way...and we all know she must make art.

Shopify has increased the monthly cost for the basic website package and I am considering avenues for adding "Buy It" buttons for this blog and posting available work here on She Must Make Art.  I will research more and make a decision by fall this year.

I make the bulk of my sales through Facebook, Instagram, and Farmer's Market.  I know the value of having a website and mailing list so feel hesitant to make any big changes yet.  If that should happen, I will be sure to spread the word in all the ways possible.

I have one list of prices for regular artwork created on a daily basis.  I am basing these on a cost per square inch in the art piece dimensions.  The prices for regular artwork are decided so that I can enjoy choosing what I create and still be affordable for others to own some original watercolor artwork.  That balance is key.

 I have another list of prices for art commission work due to the nature of those projects including the time and steps required in the process.  These prices are also based on a cost per square inch on the art piece dimensions.  There's more time spent arranging for phone conversations or meeting by appointment in the studio.  There's a form filled with all the details to guide me in being consistent throughout the process.  There's the contract written and sent and filed to help clients feel heard and protected in the process.  There's the deposit, the sketch, the color swatching plans, the attention to details specifically important to the client...and so on.  It's a extremely personalized experience.  My clients are priority one.

The regular prices are posted in my art room as a reference when pricing artwork.  The art commission prices are posted on the Private Art Commission page.  If you should like a copy of these price lists, be sure to message, call, or email me and I will send you a copy.

Thank you,

-She Must Make Art