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Watercolour Basics - Materials by the-artists-cubby Watercolour Basics - Materials by the-artists-cubby
Our club's first tutorial, and the first of many!

This tutorial covers the basic supplies you will need to work with watercolours, and some advice on specifically what to buy.
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williambriar Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2016  Professional General Artist
Thank you for this. I've been using the watercolor pans but wanted to switch to the tubes but didn't know who to set up the palette. This has bee very helpful!
taimdala Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2015
Thank you so much for posting this!!! ^_^ Great Tutorial!! I  love how you broke everything down into its own category and then*explained* it well.

I just have one question--taking the caps off my paint tubes and looking at the paint itself, it seems to me that ultramarine is blue violet (cool) and cobalt is lighter and a little green in comparison (warm-ish). Cobalt is not as "yellow" (warm) as cerulean but cobalt is not as dark a purple (cool) as ultramarine. So is Ultramarine really warm?

I confess I'm one of those people who would happily spend hours and hours making color swatches of paint, just to categorize them along lines of temperature bias (cool vs. warm) and hue and value. I just love how colors can come in all those different categories. (I must have been a Border Collie with OCD in a previous life. Once I start gathering and organizing, it's hard to stop.)

Also, as this tutorial is the first of many, where might I find links to the rest of your tutorials? I love this one and will be pinning it to my pinterest board. Thank you!
DayDreamingOtaku Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2013  Hobbyist
Easy to understand and appealing format~ I just bought some watercolors (the tube kind) and now I realize I should've gotten some thicker paper... hehe... Well, at least I now know what to look for next time. Thanks for the whole guide on watercolors~
Stray111 Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013
Great tutorial, clean, simple and very well explained, definitely useful
AnneSaya Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2012  Student Photographer
The tutorial is well explained.
How exciting to enter the world of watercolor painting ... are so many things I do not know where to start. n, n
madam-sketchy Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much, I was wondering why watercolours didn't really work out for me! I was experiencing problems like:
-not being able to make the paint spread like I want it to
-the paint sometimes doesn't bleed nicely
-my brush won't hold as much water
-my brush strokes look choppy(lack of water)
Khaerii Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Wow, this tutorial is great! I started working with watercolour not too long ago, and there's always new things to learn. Like drying up tube paint, I always kept away from tubes because I didn't find it practical to use the paint wet straight from the tube. And I never really got the difference between different kinds of paper, so thanks for clearing that up! Neat tutorial overall, easy to understand and all the information one might need :)
andulii Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Iīm going to buy watercolours in 3 weeks. I will get my many from part-time job. And I didnīt know with colours I should pick. There are so many obtions. But thanks to your tutorial now I know. :) I want to ask if there is a difference between a pan colour and tubes colours if I let them dry in my palette for few days. Thanks for answer and sorry for my English :P :)
AngelBlacky Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2010
Thanks ^^~ The tutorial is very helpful. For the cheap watercolour, when they dried, you cant re-use it anymore so I have a question - Is Pentel watercolour re-usable after dried? Cuz I hate to waste paint
phei7h1n9 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2010
Thank you for this information, It really helps me in learning this coloring media.
augipaw Featured By Owner May 16, 2010  Student Filmographer
Nice tips. ^^ I do agree with a lot of what you say here too. Windsor Newton's one of my favorite brands. Though I have mostly student brand from that company it's really nice to work with. The only tube that's artist grade is my favorite.

Hmm, favorite brand of watercolour paper: Arches.
MauxFire Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2010
Thanks for the tips!
LavenderSquish Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2010
Very helpful! thnx for taking the time to make this!
KendallMay45 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2010
alrighty, the half pan watercolors on the left is that winsor and newton sketcher's box, could you tell me what are the half pans on the right? they look really nice and I love how many colors there are in that set. I LOVE working with half pans but they're so hard to find!
Folksaga Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you so much for this tutorial! It made me want to buy tubes instead of the dried watercolors. But I have to ask... you write that I should squeeze out a lot of the wet paint and let it dry on the palette. That way it will last longer, right? But wont that cause the colors to become just like the ones that are already dried? Or will the tube colors still be stronger than the pan ones even tho I dry them on the palette?

Thank you! :heart:
Kieke-boe Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2009
Great tutorial! Thank you so much for making it :hug: One small question though. I believe I spy some tubes of Reeves paint in that bunch you have there. What's your opinion on those?
kururubeam Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2009
i just want to start drawing with watercolour
and i bought this wausau paper that weight 65 lb
can i use that for watercolour?
Drawn-Imagination Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
useful info thanks ^_^
Eliwi Featured By Owner May 12, 2009  Professional General Artist
Very helpful, thanks so much
natsumi33 Featured By Owner May 9, 2009
thank you so much for this tutorial! You are great!!! :heart:
Ugly-Kid-Joe90 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2009
Thanks for making this tutorial! I have a question about paper... I don't understand the whole weight thing as there seem to be a lot of different ways of writing it. I have found a sketchbook to use with watercolours which I like the look of but I don't know anyone who is very experienced with watercolours I can ask about it before I buy it - do you think this looks good for a beginner? As long as the paper won't buckle, that's the main thing... I would appreciate your opinion.


Thanks! :D
charma7 Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2009
Thank you so much. I have not worked in water colours since grade school, this is going to be very helpful at the craft store later today. I look forward to your other tutorials. Thanks again.
ubfred Featured By Owner May 16, 2008
great information, most of the things i used to remember with watercolor came from school when i was around 6 y/o.

very useful, thanks for posting.
trystianity Featured By Owner May 8, 2008
Hi. Great tutorial. I have a question about the plexiglass board. How do you stretch your paper on it? I don't think you could staple into it. Right now I'm using a masonite drawing board and attaching the soaked paper to it with tape but it keeps pulling up a bit at the edges when I leave it flat to dry, even a small 9x12" 140 lb sheet. I've been careful to not get it too wet and blot up all of the excess water. The watercolour book I have (Watercolorist's Answer Book) suggests to use staples or thumbtacks around the edge of the paper to help stop it from buckling. I don't want to staple into the board so I'm going to try the tacks next but I have very weak hands so it's not the best solution; I'm not sure that I'll even be able to get them in. :confused:
the-artists-cubby Featured By Owner May 12, 2008  Student
Well you can't staple anything to plexiglass; the artists I know that use it paint wet-in-wet on soaking paper and the plexiglass keeps the wet paper flat and also helps keep it wet longer.

You can't really staple paper to masonite, it's too thin. If you want to go that route than get a big sheet of plywood or something an inch thick or so. Then staple the wet paper, and tape over the staples, and let it dry. If you are going to use masonite, you have to wet the paper, tape the edges, and then weigh the whole thing down while it dries, which could take a few days. Place another piece of masonite over the watercolour paper to protect it from whatever you're using as a weight. After it's stretched it should stay put for the most part. Then you can start painting :)
trystianity Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2008
Thanks so much. I bought some plywood boards from home depot and they are working perfectly with the staples to keep my paper perfectly flat. :D
natesmith Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2008
Thank You for this informative tutorial!! New to watercolours and need all the help I can get.
the-artists-cubby Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2008  Student
Your welcome :)
to-tu Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2008
Where can i see some of your paintings?
the-artists-cubby Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2008  Student
I'm *Demagis :)
pilife Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2008
very good!

thank you for using your time to teach us.

the-artists-cubby Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2008  Student
No problem :)
mariahpink Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the great tutorial - there isn't lots of help around for traditional means - it's great to see tutorials which explain it to you ( our school teachers haven't done squat )
the-artists-cubby Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2008  Student
Glad you like it :)
Kelzky Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2007  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
This tutorial deserves so much more credit!
Its been so helpful as I was going to go for pans as I thought they would last longer, but now I know that tubed paint can be revived from dry aswell I'm definitly going for that option!

You say about brands of paint brushes but what sizes and shapes would you say as a starting... 6 or so brushes?

Thank you so much :glomp:
the-artists-cubby Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2007  Student
I would suggest a 1 inch flat, a few rounds, say a 3, 5 and 7, a detail around 1 or 0, and maybe a bright around 5. Then wait to see how your style develops and what sizes you like to paint before you buy more brushes.
p0larbear Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2007
Oh wow, this is REALLY amazing. AWESOME job. (:

Umm, I have a question. I haven't even begun to start working with watercolors and I'm not sure that I would like to work with it seriously since I have no previous experience with it.

My question is, what materials do you recommend for a complete beginner who isn't sure that they will continue to work with this medium seriously.

Thank you so~ much for all your help. This is REALLY and awesome tutorial.
the-artists-cubby Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2007  Student
Buy a basic set of student quality watercolours (Reeves is probably the cheapest and readily available) and a some kind of plastic tray, and a two or three brushes. This will allow you to play around. Be warned that cheap paint doesn't perform nearly as well as artist paint and can be frustrating, so as soon as you decide to keep using watercolours (if you do), invest in good supplies.
RigorMortisMagician Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2007
A VERY helpful tutorial! I've just recently picked up watercolour painting (besides the cheap Crayola stuff back in high-school) and have been looking up information on it, since I've sort of forgotten what needs to be done.

I didn't know that you could let your tube paint dry out and use it from there on! When I let him know I was interested in experimenting with watercolours, my professor just sort of chucked some tubes at me...Anyway, very helpful and well written! Bravo~
the-artists-cubby Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2007  Student
Very glad you found it helpful :)
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March 4, 2007
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