Learn more about the best watercolor supplies for beginners. Buying new art supplies is the best. But it can be a bit confusing at first. You want to buy the best quality at the lowest price you can get without making bad purchases.
Luckily for you, I've made plenty of bad purchases, so I'm sharing the good purchases today.
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The Best Watercolor Supplies for Beginners
Best Beginner Watercolor Set
For a detailed look at watercolor paints, be sure to read this post.
Invest in a quality watercolor paint set and you will have an easier time learning. Even if that means buying the set of 6 colors instead of the 18 pack. Trust me.
I've written a post about which paint colors to start with.
The Best Watercolor Pan Set
For a beginner, I suggest this Windsor & Newton Cotman set of 10 colors. The colors are vibrant and mix beautifully. I absolutely love this watercolor pan set.
Cotman is technically student grade paint, but I love the quality and find it perfect for beginners.
Be sure to check out my review on the affordable Koi watercolor paint kit.
The Best Watercolor Tubes
If you want to start with tubes instead of a pan set, I recommend this set from Daniel Smith. This is my favorite watercolor tube set. It contains 6 colors, which are perfect for mixing colors like these purples and greens.
You can buy more colors as you learn. Personally, I love mixing pan sets with tubes and liquids to make fun colors. But for a beginner, start with a simple set.
Good brushes are important for watercolor. I hate when I get stray hairs in my work.
A 3/8" filbert brush will fill the larger areas nicely.
This set of brushes is pretty affordable.
While I normally suggest high quality supplies, watercolor paper is an area where I think it's okay to skimp as a beginner.
If your paper costs a fortune, you're going to be too afraid to ruin it and you may never begin. So I suggest buying cheaper paper until you're better at painting.
I really love this inexpensive pad. It's cheap enough to make lots of mistakes without worrying about wasting money.
The watercolor set I suggested above has several mixing areas included, but it's nice to have plenty of space for mixing.
Other Watercolor Supplies
Don't use dishes you eat from for this.
I love using the glass jars from Oui yogurt for water cups. They're the perfect size for me because I prefer to change my water more often. Plus if they spill, it's not a lot of water.
You may prefer larger jars for your water cup. Look in your recycling bin and save money here too!
I prefer to have 2 water cups, which I use for different uses depending on what I'm working on.
Sometimes I use one for clean water and one for dirty water. Other times, I use one for cool colors and one for warm colors.
An old dish towel works too. These are for drying your brush. Paper towels are also good for soaking up excess water or paint when you make a mistake.
Eye droppers are my favorite way to wet my watercolor pans. I can control how much water I add to wet the paint. Plus, I can let it soak in and spare my brushes the abuse of rubbing the water into the paint.
For watercolor paintings, it helps to lightly sketch your drawings in before painting. I like to use the lightest pencil I can, so I use a 4H pencil.
After drawing the image, I then go back and erase as much as I can with a kneaded eraser. This is my favorite eraser because it it so gentle on the paper. It removes the graphite without damaging the paper.
Plus, it does a great job at removing darker pencil marks.
When the eraser gets too dirty, just reshape it to find a clean spot.
Tape is used to hold down paper to prevent it from warping.
Some artists prefer masking tape, but I love using washi tape because it doesn't damage the paper.
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