Updated: Mar 14
The most often asked question from watercolor beginners is about art materials I use!
The supplies you use not as important as experimenting and practicing as much as you can. But yes, as artists, we will at any point want to invest in better tools and I think its best to buy less but better quality material. So read on to see my favourites...
The supplies mentioned below are NOT sponsored by the brands mentioned and are all my choices based on my purchases and experience over the last 6-7 years.
My favourite Paints:
The brand that I use the most is Daniel Smith. I find them incredibly pigmented and the color range is extensive and beautiful.
Some of my favourite pigments are Pyrrol Scarlet, Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Blue Deep, Carbazole Violet, Cobalt Teal Blue, Olive Green, Perylene Green, Quin Magenta, Green Apatite Genuine, Indigo and the list can be endless.
I use some Mission Gold colors and find them very vibrant and bright. I like the Opera pink, Permanent Yellow deep, Vermillion, Permanent Deep Red, Quin Rose and Shadow Violet.
I love the Camlin Ultramarine, Paynes Grey and Burnt Sienna. I have also used Sennelier and found them to be good and a mid-range product.
While DS can be on the pricy side I recommend starting with MG and Camlin for those on a budget and trying different brands as and when you can invest.
It’s much better to start small and expand your palette as you progress.
In the studio a ceramic plate can also be a good palette. So long as the surface is white and lets the paint mixture flow on it, it’s a ‘good to go’.
While travelling I have tried different travel palette and have also made my own!
Ensure you have a white, stain resistant palette, I love the Mijello Mission palettes that are airtight and easy to carry. They come in a range of sizes. I love that mine has a detachable tray that is easy to clean and gives me extra mixing space.
Now where do I begin! If you are a hoarder of brushes, you know what I mean...
I’m only sharing here the ones I really use, some for my florals and still life and some for painting other subjects like portraits and landscapes.
My most used range are (see numbers in image below):
1) Silver velvet black brushes - mix of squirrel and synthetic hair - love love them all
2) Art Essential synthetic Kazan squirrel brushes – love the oval and rigger
3) A wide wash brush - goat hair. I use this for wetting my entire sheet or large areas
4) Escoda Perla – I use the angular brushes
5) Assorted mops (Raphael, Da Vinci),
6) Chinese brushes
In India our very own Chitrapat is a fabulous paper. I use it for all my student demos and classes.
For professional work I like to use Arches and Lana. Baohong is also considered great and I will update my review after trying it.
I buy both blocks (4 sides are pre-glued together) and loose sheets (cut them to size I want).
Some other assorted must haves:
Spray bottle (cheap one from a beauty prod store is fine), tissue, I prefer the thicker kitchen roll, and rags, palette knife for occasional scratching of paper and loosening of sheet from a block, masking tape, masking fluid, if you use it. I like using Gouache for white highlights.
If you like to travel - sketch and/or go for plein-air painting, I recommend a travel roll to keep your brushes safe, a collapsible water container and a small tin palette that you can carry anywhere. I also have this little recommendation for a hand held sketchbook (see pic below) that I really love, by Lilorosh. I use it everywhere; banks, airports, parks, flights and its super cool.
Where to buy?
I hope the following was useful. In case you have any further questions, email me or DM me on Instagram @Shikhagargartstudio.