Watercolor painting basics.


For beginners mr price is s good option for watercolor brushes. They sell them in sets.

Keep brushes clean washing them regularly in washing up liquid.


Select a set of watercolor paints. This a set is a great deal. Most sets have a good selection of basic colors you’ll need for transparent watercolor painting. Rarely use the white paint that is included in most cake or tube color sets. It’s opaque. Its use will change your watercolor paintings into gouache paintings. Gouache, or opaque watercolor is a distictly different category and approach to painting.

If you prefer tubes pre-packaged tube sets will also give you a good starter selection of colors for watercolor painting. Start by using brand name “academic” or “student” grade watercolors until you can commit your resources to buying “artist” grade watercolor supplies.


Use any watercolor pad, block, or loose paper with a weight of #140 or higher. The heavier the paper, the less likely you’ll have to deal with the warpage of the damp paper while painting. I recommend larger sheets like this one because you can always cut them in half or quarters for smaller paintings.


Cake and Pan watercolor sets usually have built-in fold out palettes that are useable in varying degrees depending on their size and orientation. For your tube watercolors you can use a flat white dinner plate or buy some inexpensive plastic plates.


Find a glass, or jar, or small bucket to hold fresh, clean water. Use two if possible. One for rinsing your brush between colors, and one for clean water for painting.

Tap water is usually fine. Hard water decreases paint solubility and flow. Overly softened water acts as a wetting agent and increase paint solubility and flow. If you’re concerned, use bottled water.


A few more odds’n’ends will round out your kit. A pencil, a kneaded eraser, some tissues, and an old towel or paper towels, and a couple of large metal clips for holding your watercolor paper to a board. Voila! That’s all you need to start your adventures in watercolor painting

What pencil should I use?

  1. Do some practice with your pencils before you begin to draw.
  2. Find the number at the end of your pencil and know and understand the pencil you are drawing with before you start.
  3. H is hard graphite (see diagram below)
  4. B is soft graphite (see diagram below)
  5. The higher the number B the softer the pencil is.
  6. HB is good for light outline not for shading or finishing work.
  7. Draw Lightly when starting a drawing.
  8. Don’t lean hard with your pencil on your page or you will not be able to rub out mistakes you will just make holes in your paper.
  9. B5 is good for shading and finished lines.
  10. Good pencils and good paper help produce good drawings (you get what you pay for)
  11. Draw what you see not what you think you see 

Markers I use in class.

We use a mixture of Copic and touch two markers in class. Professional markers are high quality, double-ended, refillable markers that have many artistic uses, including cartoon illustration, fashion design, and anime and manga drawing. They can also be used by the everyday artist for hobbies like scrapbooking and coloring stamps for arts and crafts. Because they are simple to use and easy to refill, Professional markers are great for hand-lettering, coloring, and stamping. With the right care, they can even last a lifetime.

Draw the outline of your design with an outline pen or sketch marker.

Pens allow for very precise, thin lines when drawing, and sketch markers allow for slightly thicker, but still precise lines.

• The beginner artist can always draw in pencil first, then go over the lines with a pen or sketch marker when satisfied with the initial sketch.

Begin coloring with the lightest shade of your choice.

You can use either end of the marker when coloring. Move the marker in small circles over the area you want to fill in order to cut down on visible lines and streaks.

• Experiment with using either end of the pen to find out which one works for you when coloring.

Add in the darker shades to give depth or volume when coloring illustrations.

When adding dimension, be sure to pick a color one or two shades darker than the base color, but still in the same color family.

• If you don’t know where shading would look best, start with the outer edges of the design.

Use the base shade to blend the two colors together.

In the space where the darker and lighter shades intersect, color the area with the lighter shade of marker, using circular motions.

• professional markers work extremely well for blending, but you must blend while the colors are still relatively wet in order to create a seamless color transition.

Continue coloring until you complete the illustration.

Try using different colors in different areas, practicing blending in each section. Allow the paper to dry completely before touching, framing, or handling in any way.

Coloring pencils.

• If you plan on using colored pencils to add depth to an image, apply them as the last layer. The Professional marker’s alcohol-based ink can’t absorb into the paper through layers of pencil.

The markers I use in class I get on amazon as they are so much cheaper then the copic which sell for almost €4 each as they are professional markers used for illustration. The suppliers change all the time. If you put this description in to the search bar you should get several options.

MultiWare Set of 80 Colors Touch Alcohol Graphic Art Sketch Twin Marker Pen Broad Fine Point Black

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