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     Outdoor Material and Equipment list         2014 Rockport, MA Workshop

Art by Elizabeth Greaf   

Watercolor Materials List

Instructor --- Elizabeth Greaf 
(631) 689-5604


New to Watercolor?  If you are, you will only need paper and pencil at the first class. 

At that class, you will learn about watercolor materials and therefore be able to avoid purchasing materials that are of poor quality and therefore will block you from developing good watercolor skills and artwork.


Where to purchase supplies?:  The best priced and quality supplies are found on-line.  This is much, much less expensive than purchasing from most nearby sources of art supplies and the quality and selection are usually better.  The best source that I’ve found on Long Island is Dick Blick, near Roosevelt Fields.  See a list of 800 numbers on the back.


Drawing supplies:



    HB drawing pencil.  


     Staedtler Mars Brand Plastic Eraser

 Sketchbook  for planning watercolor paintings.

     Sketchbook 9” X 12” or larger.  I prefer the Strathmore Recycled book with the spiral binding on the left.

Pencil Sharpener

    Get a small one that can slip into your pocket so that you can easily carry it with your sketchbook and a pencil.


Watercolor Supplies:


A Note about watercolor supplies ---
the better the materials you obtain, the happier you will be with your work.  It particularly impossible to feel successful
on poor quality watercolor paper.  Paper
is the last place to economize in watercolor. 
Student grade paints are less expensive but will never give you the brilliant colors of “artist” quality
paint.  However, they are adequate for
starting out and you can upgrade as you replace one tube at a time.  


Watercolor brushes have shorter handles than oil and are made of hair or specials ynthetics.  The synthetic brushes are better than most of the “hair” brushes with the exception of sable.  Sable is excellent and can be very expensive.  Only purchase synthetic or sable or a blend of the two.  Most important is the quality of the individual brush.  All brushes need good “spring” when wet,round brushes MUST come to a good point. 


  • ½” flat with plastic handle having an angle cut at the end.
  • #6 or 8 Round (Tiny brushes are not needed, a large round with a good point will make fine lines, stubby brushes are useless.)   Optional would be #10 or #12 and/or #4
  • ½  or 2” flat brush such as used in painting wood molding, for spreading watercolor washes quickly, does not need to be an expensive brush, look in the hardware store. 


Preferably in tubes.  (Absolutely no black or white paint to be used for classes with this instructor).

Winsor Newton is one of the best of the many different watercolor paint brands.  Their tubes are
either labeled “Artist” or Cotman.  Cotman is the diluted student grade paint and will not give you the brilliant colors of the higher grade.  Grumbacher’s student grade is called Academy.  I also use “Daniel Smith” brand paint (order from Daniel Smith by phone or on-line).  Other good brands are Sennelier and Holbein. 

Please have these colors, they are specifically selected to enable you to have a basic palette that will fully meet your needs.


  • Lemon Yellow 
  • Cadmium Yellow Medium  
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Cadmium Red Medium    
  • Permanent Rose  
  • French Ultramarine Blue (Not the green shade)   
  • Cerulean Blue 
  • Sap Green
  • Hookers Green 
  • Burnt Sienna


  • Other useful colors, but not essential, include Thalo blue and Thalo green, Naples yellow, and four from Daniel Smith:  Buff Titanium, Green Gold, Nickel Azo Yellow, and Moonglow, to name a few.  (Winsor Newton does not make a Thalo)


Watercolor Paper 

You will need enough watercolor paper to (1) make color notes to keep, (2) do exercises, (3) create your paintings.


  • 140 pound cold pressed watercolor paper, in sheets or blocks.  If you will be working on several paintings at one time, you can only do one at a time on a block.  Arches is an excellent brand.  Most students start with the Block.  Don’t open it until you come to class and I show you how.  See my “Overview of Watercolor Materials” for more info on paper.

  • Winsor & Newton’s Cotman Water Color Pad is the least expensive watercolor paper I would suggest you try but most

       students quickly find the need to move to a better paper.


  • Arches paper sold as individual Full Sheets (22” X 30”) can be cut into quarters for the class.

Miscellaneous Supplies 


  • Palette for watercolor paint, it should have a lid or tight fitting cover and several compartments for mixing color plus multiple small compartments to hold paint. 

        For travel, I use a smallone that folds shut, has about 24 places for paint around the edges and is

        divided into approx. 5 paint mixing areas.   You must have sufficient areas to hold several colors mixed at one time.


        My preference for a full sized studio palette is the Creative Mark palette from Jerry’s.


  • containers for water, such as plastic margarine cups plus

        an additional small one to be used if you work with liquid mask.


  • Paper towels​ for both painting and cleanup.  These are essential.


  • Small spray bottlefor water, pump handle ones are better than ones that you push down. 

            Find at grocery, Target, drug​ store.

Masking liquid and accessories ---

  • You will need masking liquid to keep areas of your paper white, I recommend Winsor Newton’s white liquid mask (NOT the one that says Permanent on the label and not ones with bold color in them). 
  • Masking agents harden easily when exposed to air so do not open except when essential, do not leave top off, and do not shake.  Always get the smallest size of masking liquid you can find as it usually dries up before you finish it.
  • Carry a small container such as a film canister to put some of the mask in while you work with it. 
  •  An inexpensive #4 round synthetic brush with a good point is needed to apply the mask. 
  • You​ also need a remover for the mask, it looks like an approximately 2” rectangular piece of crepe or rubber.  The store will probably call it a "rubber cement pickup" and may keep it in the glue section.
  • You will also need a small amount (one or two tablespoons) of liquid dish soap.  Carry it in a small bottle and
    dilute it with​ 2 parts water.


  •  Small piece of medium sand paper.


  • An Xacto knife (#11 blade) 

  • Small T-Square (inexpensive plastic one that you can see through is best).


  • Table Salt (small amount) Kosher works best because of the size of the grain.


  • Small T-Square (at least 12") can be very helpful in drawing and in planning size of painting.


  • Mister Clean Magic Eraser (find in sponge section of grocery story, must be the “Original”​ version).




Some Catalogs for art supplies:


The Jerry’s Catalog                                             800 U-Artist 

       There is a Jerry’s Artarama in Virginia Beach, near Route 64 in Virginia Beach

Cheap Joe’s                                                       800 227-2788

Daniel Smith                                                     800 426-6740

Dick Blick Art Materials                                       800 828-4548


Walls Alive 4264 Casey Blvd in Williamburg's Newtown has a small art supply section but does not carry Winsor Newtown or Daniel Smith paint. (757) 229-0086

If you have any questions about this list please contact Elizabeth Greaf at (516) 383-1137 or at

Updated March 2014