I shop at dickblick.com or amazon.com for all my art supply needs. I usually cluster my orders to wait for coupon deals or reach free shipping minimums.
WATERCOLORS (transparent pigments)
The #1 question I get asked is what type/brand of watercolors do I use. In general, I use professional, artist grade tube watercolors.
The Blick "Shop Now" is a button ---->
will get you to their main watercolor products page. From there you can buy paints according to your budget. Generally, when it comes to watercolor and quality, you get what you pay for.//
To fill your color wheel palette with professional artist-grade tube watercolors like mine, I've made a convenient course supply list with BlickU, so you can add them directly to your cart. I've tested these colors so that any opposite or complimentary color pair will yield nice neutrals, darks, and beautiful blacks/grays. Here's how I fill my color wheel palette, going clockwise:
12 o'clock = Yellow
1 o'clock = Yellow-green
2 o'clock = Green
3 o'clock = Blue-green (Turquoise)
4 o'clock = Blue
5 o'clock = Blue-violet
6 o'clock = Violet
7 o'clock = Red-violet (Magenta)
8 o'clock = Red (Rose)
9 o'clock = Red-orange
10 o'clock = Orange
11 o'clock = Yellow-orange
GOUACHE PAINT (opaque pigments)
Holbein Gouache has some of the most beautiful pastels and brilliant colors in their line. But they often crack and dry out on my palette. I try to squeeze out fresh gouache colors as I paint.
M. Graham brand has been great so far with less pigment cracking.
A nice, large tube of white gouache. Because I always run out of white.
Synthetic ox gall is an important wetting agent and additive while painting with gouache. I like how this one comes in a dropper bottle.
Color wheel palette. This palette has 12 wells and corresponds nicely with the traditional color wheel study.
Airtight travel palette. 18 wells made with durable plastic. What I love most about this palette is its air-tight seal which keeps my gouache paint moist.
Japanese Gansai Tambi Watercolors that also come in smaller sets, too.
Prima Marketing watercolors. I own several of these and they are worth the price just for the metal tin. There is no pigment information so I suspect some colors are dye-based?
My favorite water brushes for travel. I've tested many brands and these are the best; the one-way valves works consistently.
These mini water brushes have shorter reservoir handles, serve as good back-up in any travel kit (fill one with acrylic ink, metallic ink, or black india ink instead of water).
Sakura watercolor set. A great field sketch box that's easy to carry and made with durable plastic.
One of my favorite watercolor papers that's truly luxurious to work with has a high cotton-rag content. Wonderful for lifting and/or glazing color! I cut a full-sheet (22 x 30") into manageable quarter sheets.
I found a highly affordable yet good quality watercolor paper for art journaling that's spiral-bound and a hardcover: I own this watercolor field sketchbook in both 7x10" and 9x12" sizes. I take the wire binding out and re-bind the loose sheets later on with a binding machine (see section below called ACCESSORIES).
PENCIL, PEN & INK
A good white gel pen is essential in art journaling [tip: you need to write slow with them].
This is the best white, extra fine point, water-based paint marker, in my opinion.
If you need additional colors waterbased paint markers that are non-toxic and a must-have for art journaling.
Sakura makes a wonderful water-based brush pen that acts like an artist brush. You can blend and layer the colors. There are smaller sets to fit your budget.
Liquid watercolor or "watercolor inks" are dye-based (not pigment). But because of their fluidity and instant bright colors, I use them often, especially for celestial or galaxy paintings. The 2 liquid watercolor brands I like are Ecoline and Dr. Ph. Martin's.
Watercolor pencils are great if you don't want to worry about erasing pencil lines on watercolor paper.
Note: from washes to glazes to painting trees, I can't live without my large round brush. It is the workhorse in my studio. Trying to find one online can be confusing due to manufacturers using their own size numbering systems. Here, I did the leg-work for you:
Robert Simmons Sienna #30 or 36 synthetic.
Silver Black Velvet (medium jumbo) natural squirrel hair mixed with synthetic.
Da Vinci Cosmotop #20 natural kolinsky red sable, sabline & russian fitch hair mixed with synthetic. Warning: cost > $50 but handles washes like nothing else!Robert Simmons White Sables oval wash synthetics. The tips are flat yet rounded and are truly versatile. I own all the sizes.
Binding machine along with different binding wires to choose from. (I love my binding machine and explain why I use it here).
A great color chart that includes grayscale value. Very handy.
Affordable oil pastels that come in either fluorescent or metallic.
Transparency sheets or Dura-lar (I like the .005" thickness....great for sewing and making stencils).
Foil transfer sheets to add some bling to any project. Be sure to get the special adhesive as well.
Iridescent sparkle confetti. You can also get them at Michael's gift-wrapping section, too.
I love these metal palette knives! Beautiful and well-made.