Painting Needfuls

I could lose myself for hours wandering the web looking for and comparing art supplies.  So many choices!  How many of us have boxes of paints, surfaces, and gadgets that seemed like a great buy at the time, only to end up collecting dust in the back of a closet?  Yep, that's me too.  But I still get as excited as a kid with a new box of crayons on the first day of school when the FedEx man drops that brown box on my doorstep.  How about you?

I've been promising everyone a list of some of my favorite go-to painting supplies and sources, so here's a few items at the top of my list.  Check them out for yourself!

Daniel Smith Watercolor Set

Daniel Smith Watercolors - Alvaro Castagnet's Master Artist Set of 10 (SKU: 285610016)

This was the first set I started with because I was looking specifically for the Opera Pink hue included a basic set. Since then, I've expanded my palette collection to include a few more basics (Hansa Yellow Light, Cerulean Blue, Cobalt Blue Violet, Burnt Umber, Permanent Alizarin), and some of their gorgeous exotic colors (Moon Glow, Shadow Violet, Lunar Violet, Lavender).  Daniel Smith offers more than 230 colors.  Want to try them all as I did? Order a "dot sampler" kit that contains dabs of actual paint with each color's name, ID number, and tech info arrayed on sheets... a little dab will do ya!

Mungyo Professional Watercolor - 24 Color Pan Set (Below)


mungyo watercolor pan set - open

Mungyo Professional Watercolor - 24 Color Pan Set

Just delivered this weekend!  I was shopping for a top quality watercolor pan set with a good range of most-used colors at a reasonable price point, and these Mungyo sets filled the bill.  They are highly rated on Amazon, too.  The metal pan folds out into two divided palettes. The half-pan sized colors come individually wrapped and labeled with their names and ID numbers.  The only drawback I forsee is that the replacement color pans may be hard to find, but an empty pan can be re-filled with tube color of any brand.

Windsor-Newton Professional Watercolor - Click to see more.

Arches Watercolor Paper Block - Cold Press, 140 lb            

This good quality 100% cotton fiber paper has a medium texture that handles well with washes, yet captures details as well.  Since it is a fairly "hard" paper, it holds up well to "scrubbing" and lifting out pigment without distressing the surface.  For class purposes, I use the 9" x 12" size because it can be cut into four postcard-sized pieces.  Other sizes are available in blocks and as individual sheets (22" x 30").

Strathmore watercolor journal

Strathmore Watercolor Journal - Cold Press, 140 lb.

Love this journal! The paper is heavy enough that you can paint on both sides. It lays flat when open. 8" x 5.5" size is easy to handle, yet a great size for most illustrations and exercises!

Mijello watercolor palettes closed

Mmijello watercolor palette openijello Watercolor Palettes

I bought one of these (the blue one) and liked it so much that I had to get another.  It opens flat, and the lid side has a removable, clear plastic tray where I put hand-painted color ID strips. It also has a water-tight seal to keep paints moist and safe when traveling.  Its compact size, when closed, is 10.5" x 5".

Enameled Butcher's Tray

These can be found online in several sizes.  However, the one I use is a vintage piece picked up at a yard sale 30+ years ago. Its 11" x 15" size gives me plenty of mixing room for large paintings, but I also use it as a tray to hold my water basins, paper towels, and wet brushes while I work at my desk.  It will be an heirloom.


Check out more links to online art suppliers on the Links and Downloads page.  Just click the button located on the bottom menu bar.