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Recommended Workshop Materials List


I firmly believe that craftsmanship is an important part of producing quality artwork; mediocre materials produce inferior results. Most of us don't start out with a professional cache of tools, so the materials that you feel most comfortable with will be fine. The list below is what I have been using after 40 years of experimentation and makes painting so much simpler for me.

Watercolor Papers

110lb Office Index Stock for practice, great for quick studies and brush exercises, Aquabee              Super Deluxe Sketchbook 11" x 14" watercolor spiral pad, 140 lb or heavier cold pressed 100% rag watercolor blocks or sheets, I like 22" x 30" or smaller. Hot press-smooth / cold press-slight texture / rough-heavy texture (internal or externally sized-more size less absorbent). Recommended Brands: Kilimanjaro, Arches, Fabriano, Winsor & Newton

Watercolor Pigments

Recommended Brands: Da Vinci, American Journey, Grumbacher Finest, Winsor & Newton, Holbien or any quality professional-permanent artists grade paint. I like 37ml tubes, ready to work and a better buy. Below are the colors as arranged in my pallet in order. (See *Note below)

  COLORS:  Paynes Grey, Pthalo Blue (cool)*, Ultramarine Blue*, Cobalt Blue, Cerulean Blue                               Pthalo Green (cool)*, Olive Green, Cobalt Violet, Quinacridone Alizarin Crimson*,                               Quinacridone Permanent Rose, Cadmium Red Light*, Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Yellow                   Light*, Yellow Ochre*, Raw Umber, Burnt Sienna*, Burnt Umber

Watercolor Tools*

Pallet with at least 16 wells*                           Pebeo or similar masking fluid

I use a 13" x 16" butcher tray                         Small spray bottle with pump or trigger

Water container about 24 oz.*                        Large kneaded eraser*

1 large and 1 small absorbent sponge*            Single edge razor blade or old credit card*

Drafting or masking tape 3/4"*                       Small bar of Ivory soap*

Exacto knife and #11 blades                          Gum Arabic 7 rubbing alcohol

Roll of white toilet tissue*                              Mouth atomizer

Mechanical or #2 pencils*                              Old toothbrush*

Watercolor Brushes

1 1/2"* & 1" white taklon or nylon one stroke flats, 3/4"*, 1/2" & 1/4" white taklon or nylon beveled handle aquarelle style flats, #8, #6* and #2 good quality synthetic rounds, #6 long hair "rigger"*, an old medium bristle brush for scrubbing. (Wash, rinse and set after each session)

Reference Materials

Sketches and or photographs of subject matter you have experienced or photographed first hand. No calendar art please! You will also need a small 8" x 10" sketch book* for working up your compositions.


Only the asterisk (*) marked colors and materials are needed, the rest are for convenience.

Don't worry about what you don't have in the way of materials. I only use about 30% of my stuff. The magic is not in your tools ... it's in you! Have fun-



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