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Resources for Watercolor Painting and Sketching

The urban sketching and watercolor resources below include items I’ve had in my urban sketch workshop kits as well as some of my other favorite supplies. By making your purchase using the links below I will receive a small commission but your price will not change. Thank you for visiting my page.

Favorite Watercolor Supplies

Some of my favorite supplies for Watercolor painting.

Watercolor Paper

Arches Watercolor Block

Arches Watercolor Blocks

Arches is the product of five centuries of paper making experience. Arches watercolor papers are mould made in France, with 100% cotton fiber content. They are acid-free, pH-neutral, gelatin-sized, and air-dried. Sheets are 140 lb (300 gsm) weight, with 20 sheets per block. Several sizes are also available.

Brushes

Isabey Original Siberian Blue Squirrel Quill Mop

Isabey Squirrel Quill Mop

The finest Siberian blue squirrel is unsurpassed in color absorption, making it a superb brush for large watercolor washes. It has a large, delicate point for unique brush strokes and line work. The genuine goose quill ferrule is hand tied with brass wires onto a natural wood handle. Available in 12 sizes and a pocket size here.

Watercolor Paint

Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors

Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors

Available in an astounding range of more than 235 colors, Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors are made by hand in Seattle, Washington. This superior-quality watercolor line includes historical hues, amazing earths, and some of the brightest and boldest quinacridones ever formulated.

My Favorites for Urban Sketching

Urban Sketching is sketching done on location and not from a photo or memory. It usually takes a minimal amount of supplies and even time but you make the kit your own. This year I’ve been spending some time introducing Urban Sketching to people around the world and I want to share the tools we’ve been using. 

Make the kit your own! Customize it with your favorite tools. Not one kit is the same.

The Sketch Book

Carry with you what fits. If you carry a small bag, get a small book. Make sure that it’s not an inconvenience to carry it around with you all day. You can have other books that are larger for days when you’re going out just to sketch but day-to-day may be more manageable with a book that fits your everyday bag.

Moleskine Watercolor Notebooks - Pocket

Small Moleskine Watercolor Book

This journal is the perfect companion to your daily carry sketch kit. 200gsm, 25% cotton cold pressed, watercolor paper is thread-bound to the Moleskine textured covers. 60 pages 3½” × 5½”

Moleskine Watercolor Notebooks - Large

Large Moleskine Watercolor Book

The latest addition to the classic hardcover Moleskine line of notebooks is for the watercolor artist on the go. 200gsm, 25% cotton cold pressed, watercolor paper is thread-bound to the Moleskine textured covers. 72 pages 5″ × 8¼”

Canson Montval Watercolor Pads

Canson Montval Watercolor Pads

Canson Montval is a fine quality, acid-free, natural white, mildew resistant watercolor paper. Prized for its texture and resistance to repeated washing, this paper is suitable for all wet media techniques, including acrylic painting.

Bienfang Mixed Media Pad

Bienfang Mixed Media Pad

The fine-texture surface of Bienfang Mixed Media paper is an excellent choice for watercolors, acrylics, pen-and-ink, pencils, markers, pastels, collage, and more. The 90 lb (146 gsm) paper also erases cleanly. 40-sheet pads. 8½” × 5½”

The Waterproof Ink

These are my favorite brands for urban sketching. They’re waterproof and dry quick. 

Copic Multiliner Pens

Copic Multiliner Pen – Black 0.5 mm

Copic Multiliner Pens are fine quality waterproof, inking pens available in a variety of sizes and styles. The pigment-based ink is waterproof and won’t bleed or smear when used with Copic Markers.

Sakura Pigma Micron Pen

Sakura Pigma Micron Pen – Size 03

Pigma Micron pens are acid-free and archival, making them ideal for any application requiring precision and permanance. Pigma ink is derived from a single pigment to ensure color consistency, and is fadeproof against sunlight or UV light. – Set of 6, Same Size, Black. View additional sizes and colors here.

The Travel Brushes

Water brushes are great on the go. I’ve been using the Medium and Large brushes in my watercolor kits but they are available in a wide variety of tips.

Pentel Aquash Water Brush

Pentel Aquash Water Brush

Great for sketching and drawing, the Pentel Aquash Water Brush has a durable nylon medium tip that holds its point for better stroke control. The soft, easy-to-squeeze barrel has a shape that prevents it from rolling off surfaces.

Pentel Aquash Water Brush

Set of 4 Pentel Aquash Water Brush

The Pentel Aquash Water Brush has a durable nylon medium tip that holds its point for better stroke control. Ideal for sketching and drawing. The soft, easy-to-squeeze barrel has a shape that prevents it from rolling off surfaces. – Set of 4

The Travel Palette

Whether its DIY or store bought, make sure your palette is the right size to travel with.

Sennelier French Artists' Watercolor Sets

Sennelier French Artists’ Watercolor Sets

Sennelier French Artists’ Watercolor Half Pans come in a range of 48 vivacious colors inspired by the original palette of the French Impressionists. Their honey-based formulation offers a smooth consistency as well as extraordinary brilliance, luminosity, and longevity. – Half Pan Metal Case, Set of 12

travel watercolor palettesTravel Watercolor Palettes

Nomad Palettes are ideal for the watercolorist on the go. Light and portable, these pocket-sized travel cases showcase your individuality by allowing you to mix and match your favorite watercolor combinations. Also get the magnet strips and pans  here to create your own palette.

The Paint

I love Daniel Smith Watercolors and have used these paints in each of my Urban Sketch Kits.

Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors

For your reference, here are the colors from my sketch kit:

Prussian Blue
Permanent Red
Azo Yellow
Raw Sienna
Burnt Umber
Payne’s Grey

Other ways to watercolor

Last year I purchased a set of these Winsor & Newton Watercolor markers and have brought them out for sketchers to try. I’ve gotten mixed reviews and I’d recommend trying one for a couple of dollars rather than investing heavily into the set. Scroll through and hover over a color to view its name and price.

Winsor & Newton Watercolor Markers beautify your pages with highly pigmented, lightfast color in a spectrum of 36 brilliant shades. These markers have a double-ended design that includes both a fine point tip and a flexible brush tip, enabling techniques from subtle to precise. The colors in the Winsor & Newton Watercolor Marker line mirror — and are fully intermixable with — Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolors. They also work well with all watercolor mediums. Available individually or in a set of 6 or 12.
Winsor & Newton Watercolor Markers beautify your pages with highly pigmented, lightfast color in a spectrum of 36 brilliant shades. These markers have a double-ended design that includes both a fine point tip and a flexible brush tip, enabling techniques from subtle to precise. The colors in the Winsor & Newton Watercolor Marker line mirror — and are fully intermixable with — Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolors. They also work well with all watercolor mediums. Available individually or in a set of 6 or 12.
Winsor & Newton watercolor marker

More Favorites

Derwent Water Soluble Sketching Mixed Media (8 Count)

  • A great introduction to the world of water soluble sketching media
  • Create bold strokes and precise lines
  • Blocks are used for sweeping tone and blend easily
  • Pencils add fine detail and highlights
  • Pack includes 3 Sketching Pencils (HB, 4B, 8B), 2 Graphite Sticks (2B, 6B), a paintbrush, pencil sharpener, and a plastic eraser

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