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Best Watercolor supplies for Christmas gifts
The holiday season is here so here are my top 10 best watercolor supplies for Christmas gifts. These are all items I use every day in my career as an illustrator and surface designer. If you know me, you know I’m an art supply hoarder and I love nothing more than trying out the latest and greatest, and here are my tried and true picks!
At the end of this post you’ll find links to my new Blick University pages where you can easily add everything to your cart, or pick and choose whichever items you need from this list!
1. Good Watercolor Paper
Hahnemüle Cold Press watercolor paper is amazing! This is the same paper that we use in all my Pinners Conference classes, I love it! You want to be sure to invest in good paper when you’re starting out because the paper makes a huge difference in your success as a watercolorist. Great paper gives you a better texture to work on, longer work time, and more chances to fix mistakes. Practice, and high quality paper are the two things that will improve your work the fastest.
2. Watercolor Brushes
I love the budget friendly Princeton Select brushes. These are currently my everyday brushes for watercolor and gouache. The price is right, they have a good snap to the bristle, I love the matte finish of the paint on the handle, and they are a fun color too!
- Round 3/0, Round 1, Round 2, Round 4, and Round 6 is a perfect starter set
- Add a this silver ruby satin brush to your collection if you want to be able to paint leaves and super thin lines in one stroke
- this filbert makes painting rounded leaves and petals a breeze
- Liners are a great option if you have shaky hands like me here’s my newest 20/0 Liner
- I also love this 0 Liner it’s a little thicker with longer bristles than the tiny 20/0 above
3. Metal Watercolor Palette Box
My most favorite metal watercolor box. I actually own two of these; one for traditional gouache and one for watercolor. I love this larger size when I’m working in the studio; it holds 48 half pans, and has plenty of mixing space. The bottom of this metal watercolor box that holds the pans is actually a tray that lifts out for even more mixing space.
4. Watercolor Half Pans
Half Pans are my most used size of pans. I prefer personally to have lots of different colors, and just refill as needed. Blick recently started carrying these half pans at a great price and I’m excited to see them added to their selection.
Full pans are the ones you can see in my photos that hold twice as much as the half pans do. I paint fairly small, and love to have lots of color options premixed and available to these work the best for me.
5. Loew Cornell Palette Knife
I use this palette knife all the time. I use it with a piece of glass to mix all my custom colors for both traditional gouache as well as watercolor. I love how it’s the perfect size for scooping all the paint back into my half pans to dry.
6. FW Acrylic White
I’ve searched high and low for easy to use watercolor whites with good coverage, and this is by far my current favorite. It’s Acrylic ink, so it’s not resoluble, and you will want to wash it out of your brush before it dries. Use it in a dip pen, FW paint marker (see below), or with a brush and it’s amazing.
7. FW Acrylic Black
Looking for waterproof black ink to sketch some lines, and then watercolor over the top? Look no further. This black is my favorite.
8. Fw Acrylic Paint Markers
I’ve recently discovered these amazing refillable markers, and I couldn’t be more excited! They are my secret to fine lines and details with either watercolor or acrylic inks. I love being able to mix my own custom colors, and the opaqueness of the FW inks makes me giddy. Be sure to grab some of these for watercolor gifts.
9. My Most Used Watercolors
Opera Rose – A very bright fun “peony” pink.
Sap Green – My favorite balanced green. I always add colors to this to play around and create depth.
Cobalt Turquoise – A rich turquoise to add pops of fun color anywhere you need. I’m linking to the 14ml sizes for all the colors, but there are 5ml sizes available as well if you need a more budget friendly option for this color.
Lemon Yellow – The most expensive of this list of watercolors, it’s a bright clean yellow that’s well balanced and mixes well with all the colors listed here.
Naples Yellow – A softer and more budget friendly version of the yellow listed above. Definitely warmer, and less bright but I love it. My most used yellow.
Scarlet Lake – A bright clean red. Perfect for mixing or using on it’s own.
Brilliant Pink – A soft warm pink. I’ve recently been testing out a few of Holbein’s line up of watercolors, and am loving them. This color is unique in my collection, and I find myself reaching for it often so I’ve included it in this line up.
Blick University Easy Shopping Page
For your convenience I created a Blick University page that coordinates with all the items listed in this blog post! Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments! I hope you enjoyed this post on the best watercolor supplies for Christmas gifts!
Looking for more ideas? Check out these Gouache Posts
If you’re also looking for gift ideas for Gouache be sure to check out our Beginners Guide to Gouache as well as my All About Gouache post!
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