Materials List for Painting Classes

Watercolor Materials: under $25


12 9 x 12" sheets ($6):


Marie's Student Watercolor Set of 12 - 12 ml tubes ($7): Colors include Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Crimson Red, Lamp Black, Lemon Yellow, Prussian Blue, Sap Green, Vermillion, White, Yellow Ochre, Violet, and Green Deep.


12 wells that fit the 12-tube set ($7):


  • $2 for the Try-It! Polarflo Brushes Pack of 2
  • $4 Polar-Flo Watercolor Brush 700R Round

Watercolor Materials: $25 and up


There will be times when you are experimenting and probably don’t want to waste good paper, and times when you are ready to paint a well-drawn composition. For the good-quality paper, the Arches Blocks are wonderful. The paper is already stretched, and you paint on the top sheet, one at a time. After it dries, you can separate it from the sheet below (a letter opener helps). You will notice choices in size and name. For the size, choose the biggest block that works for you financially. For the name, everything offered is either Hot Press, Cold Press, or Rough in 140 lb. There is one thicker paper that is 300 lb Cold Press in the larger blocks, but 140 lb is just fine for now. Hot Press is slick, smooth paper, while Cold Press has some texture. Rough has even more texture. This is a personal preference, though I notice students have a more forgiving time when they purchase 140 lb. Cold Press paper. A 10 x 14” pad is $42 for 20 sheets, so $2+ a sheet. But that should last a while as it’s intended for serious painting efforts, not experimental play. For that, you can purchase a Canson XL Watercolor pad with 30 sheets for about $10:


This is something that will change as you grow as a watercolor painter. Here is a list of colors that are recommended to start, but feel free to add whatever excites you! Some tubes are $4–$25, depending on their ingredients. With that in mind, here are some lists of colors to fit different stages of your budget. One note of caution: some professional artist paints contain toxic ingredients. Be on the lookout for anything that has cobalt or cadmium especially. You can substitute those colors with a cadmium hue or a cobalt hue. This means that it’s the color of the original without the toxicity. But be sure to check safety labels to confirm.

If you had to pick just 6 colors to start with:

  • Red: Pyrrol Scarlet (Cadmium Red)
  • Yellow: Hansa Yellow Medium (Cadmium Yellow)
  • Blue: French Ultramarine (Ultramarine)
  • Green: Sap Green (Sap Green)
  • Earth Red/Orange: Burnt Sienna (Burnt Sienna)
  • Magenta: Quinacridone Rose (Purple Lake)

If you have the opportunity to purchase more:

  • Aureolin Yellow
  • Cadmium Yellow Light
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Quinacridone Gold
  • Cadmium Orange
  • Cadmium Red
  • Permanent Alizarin Crimson
  • Quinacridone Rose
  • Sap Green
  • Viridian
  • Cerulean Blue
  • Cobalt Blue
  • Prussian Blue
  • French Ultramarine Blue
  • Raw Sienna
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Burnt Umber
  • Payne’s Gray
  • Gouache - White

Palette ($16)

I like this palette because it allows for 24 colors and has two generous mixing areas. I use one area for mixing warm colors and the other for mixing cool colors. The lid helps protect your pigments from dust, and from spilling after a painting session, when everything is wet. It’s also a good price for a palette. The only drawback is that the plastic it is made from is a bit light. If you want a palette that is heavier, though it doesn’t have 2 mixing areas, this one is great: ($23). There is also a really great color wheel palette for $17:


Flats 2" and 3/4” (Flats need not be sable. These are good for washes.)

Rounds #12 and #8 (But feel free to buy more: #6, #10, etc., if you can.)

Brights (Square tip. I usually don’t use this shape brush with my own painting, but I encourage people to explore–please feel free to use this type of brush in whatever size you like.)