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Watercolor Painting Equipment Resources for Watercolor Painting and Sketching

To start painting, you’ll need watercolor painting equipment. Whether you’re painting outside or in your studio, the resources below will help you build your kit.

Favorite Watercolor Supplies

Some of my favorite supplies for Watercolor painting.

Watercolor Paper

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.


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

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.


Waterproof Ink

SAKURA Pigma Micron Fineliner Pens

Water Brush

Pentel Arts Aquash Water Brush

Travel Palette

Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor Paint Set, Field Travel Set, 12 Half Pan w/ Brush, Mixing Palette, Bottle

Moleskine Sketchbook & Watercolor Pencil Set

Hard Cover (5 x 8.25) Sketch Pad for Drawing, Watercolor Painting

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. View all sketchbooks.

Leuchtturm1917 Sketchbook

Medium Landscape Hardcover in Lemon. Thick 150 gsm paper, prevent even dark and wet inks from bleeding through. 112 Pages of 150g/m² Paper

Arteza Watercolor Sketchbooks

8.25×8.25-inch, 2-Pack, 68 Sheets, Beige Art Journal, Hardcover 110lb Paper Book, Watercolor Sketchbook For Use as Travel Journal and Mixed Media Pad

Handbook Journal Co. Artist Watercolor Sketchbook

Large Portrait 8.25 x 5.5 Inches, 140lb / 300 GSM, Hardcover w/Pocket

U.S. Art Supply Premium Heavyweight Watercolor Sketchbook

U.S. Art Supply 5.5″ x 8.5″ Premium Heavyweight Watercolor Painting Paper Pad, Pack of 3, 30 Sheets Each, 140lb (300gsm) – Spiral Bound, Cold Pressed, Acid-Free, Wet, Mixed Media – Artists, Students

Sketch Book

Moleskine Large Watercolor Block. Each page consists of thick 300 g/m² watercolor paper made with 50% cold-pressed cotton fiber.

Square Watercolor Journal

Square Watercolor Journal, 5.5×5.5”, 140 LB, 300 GSM, tumuarta Cotton Paper, Cold Press, 24 Sheets, 48 Pages, Watercolor Paper Sketch Books for Use As Mix Media Pad On The Go

The Waterproof Ink

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

SAKURA Pigma Micron Manga Comic Pro Fineliner Pens

Archival Black Ink Pens – Assorted Point Sizes – 8 Pack. Assorted Point Sizes: Contains 1 of each Micron pen: 005, 01, 02, 03, 05, 08, 1, and 0.7 pencil. waterproof, fade resistant, bleed free, quick drying, and pH neutral

Copic Multiliner Waterproof Pigment Ink Pens Set

Ideal for fine art, design, comics, sketching, and papercrafting. Disposable, plastic barrel, available in a variety of sizes, including unique brush tips, to offer These precision drawing pens contain permanent, waterproof, pigment-based ink that will not bleed

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.

Derwent Push Button Waterbrush Assorted Set

Push Button Waterbrush Assorted Set Assorted point and chisel tip waterbrushes for a range of strokes Large water barrel with push button for easy to control water release; Comfortable handling and leak proof Portable and convenient for indoor and outdoor use

Yasutomo Niji Waterbrush Set

3pcs. Preferred for its unparalleled flow control A secure cap protects the nylon brush head for easy transport. Brush and water container is a versatile tools Very handy for sealing envelopes or moistening stamps Dimensions: 9 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ x 1/2″

The Travel Palette

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

Micro Portable Painter Watercolor Palette

Features six, standard size half-pans, ready for your favorite colors and plenty of deep mixing wells, plus a convertible water container, that can also be used as a mixing surface It also includes a sturdy, T-shaped finger grip on the base and a handy lanyard hole.

ETCHR Mini Palette 37 Color Well

Tiny and light enough to fit into a small bag, the 37-well watercolor palette and storage with mixing dish stack perfectly inside the tin kit for students or artists on the go. This air tight paint palette makes traveling with paints so much cleaner and practical.

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.

More Favorites

Derwent Watersoluble Sketching Pencils, Metal Tin, 6 Count

  • A variety of sizes and colors provide a wealth of drawing and sketching opportunities
  • Pencils blend together beautifully for subtle variations in tone and mood
  • Soft, extra wide graphite core offers smooth application and allows for detailed work
  • Shade them on dry paper and apply a water wash to get a watercolor effect
  • Durable metal tin includes 6 pencils and pencil sharpener

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