Nerdy Artists


My Journal


Thoughts on Watercolor Supplies

Hi friends! This is hopefully the beginning of a beautiful relationship between my YouTube channel and my blog. I know it might seem boring to write posts that go hand in hand with my videos, but I record on the weekends and edit and write during the week, so it really gives me a chance to mention anything that I forgot to or clear anything up that might’ve been a bit confusing.

So for our first attempt at this, we’re going to be talking about supplies. In yesterdays video, I talked about the watercolor supplies that I use now. Keep in mind that I have been serious about painting for almost 2 years now, and I’ve just now made this investment. I go through everything that I use for the most part, but I did leave out a few things as well as a few thoughts.

First of all, I am in no way sponsored by any of the companies I mentioned, nor am I sponsored by Blick or Amazon or Target where I purchased all of this stuff. I am a Blick Affiliate and an Amazon Affiliate, meaning I can make a little bit of money if you click product links in my videos or on my supply page. This is a very common thing for bloggers and YouTubers to do, it doesn’t change your shopping experience at all, but we get rewarded (it’s not that much money per click) for referring you to the brands we love.

Now back to the products. I didn’t mention the water brushes I use and there’s a reason for this. Water brushes are watercolor brushes that have a tank in the handle that you can fill with water or ink so you can paint easily on the go. I only use those brushes for travel, so I have my tin with my paints, my sketchbook, and those brushes on me at all times. I didn’t mention them because I honestly don’t really like them. I’ve been working on some more finished pieces and I haven’t even thought about using those brushes, even for scrubbing.

I am in love with the Silver Black Velvet brushes that I mentioned in the video. They hold an insane amount of water and it’s so easy to use them. The set I got is one of many sets they offer and it’s a great place to start. I’m definitely purchasing more brushes from this line in the future. My Blick White Synthetic brushes are now my practice brushes and scrubbers. I care about them too much to throw into my backpack, but they aren’t my most prized possession anymore. They were great as my #1, but the Silver Black Velvet brushes have taken over that spot.

Now, what does this have to do with my overall thoughts on watercolor supplies or even supplies in general? I truly believe that investing in a hobby is worth it. When you’re starting something new, you never want to invest in it in case you end up not liking it. I’ve found with watercoloring, I’ve been frustrated with my results since I started. This is because I was using cheap brushes, paper, and paint. Cheap brushes don’t hold enough water to really get the job done. Cheap paper can produce some strange effects and it can’t hold the water like it’s supposed to. And cheap paint isn’t as pigmented and often has a chalky texture when it dries.

I was so frustrated for so long painting with cheaper sets. I felt like no matter what, my results looked bad and I wasn’t excited to share as much as I am now. Listen, I’m not saying go buy professional everything, but here’s my advice for watercolors.

I would invest in a small set of paint, a 12 set is fine, and some good paper. Like I mentioned in the video, the Strathmore paper I use now is leaps and bounds better than the Canson, and it’s only $7.49 for 25 5 by 7 sheets. I practice in a sketchbook with cheap paper or on my Canson paper, but if you can spend that money, I would mess around with a pack of that paper or even just a few sheets so you can see what it’s really supposed to be like.

I love my Qor paints, but you could invest in almost any 12 pack of paints and you’d be fine. I haven’t tried it yet, but Blick has it’s own artists grade watercolor line which might be a good place to start out. Sets of professional paint usually have smaller tubes, so it’s a good place to figure out what paints you actually like using.

As for brushes, my Silver Black Velvet set was a little over $30 and that’s where I would skip out. Those brushes are a blend of synthetic and natural hair which is why I love them so much. The Blick White Synthetic brushes I have are a perfect place to start because they’re $7 for the set of 10 in a variety of round and flat brushes.

I was really frustrated when I started, but something about watercolors always stood out to me. I’m really glad that I stuck with it, but here’s my advice to starting any new hobby. Do your research and see what some of the pros use. It might seem like you need to be on their level to invest, but if you buy the cheapest of everything, you’ll get frustrated without having a real experience with whatever the activity is. You don’t have to purchase all of the professional stuff, but just sprinkle a few things in here or there, especially the ones that the experienced people love the most!

Sloan Julia