The Little Post About My Watercolor Essentials

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Hello, hello. Welcome to the little post about my watercolor essentials.

After a few years of trying out several products, I’m so happy I’ve found a few that I love. Products make a huge difference in your final piece, so it’s important to know which products to purchase.

When I first started working with watercolor I used the cheapest products I could find. And found out over time that quality really matters.

If watercolor is a hobby you’d like to try out, don’t spend all of your money on expensive products. It’s okay to buy the cheaper options if you’re just playing around. If you’d like to improve and possibly start selling your pieces, start investing in quality supplies.


Most watercolor paper isn’t available in bulk. A few months ago I decided to order some cotton paper from a paper manufacturer, so that I could practice more pieces and not stress so much about using expensive paper. Take note, cotton paper that is not meant for watercolor will not hold up as well. It doesn’t take to many pencil lines or erasing, so be careful when using it. But if you’d like to practice and get a better feel for watercolor, cotton paper is a cheaper option and perfectly fine.

As for watercolor paper that I like to use, cold press Arches is the cream of the crop. I love it. I love the texture.


I haven’t tried luxury brushes yet, like squirrel hair. And right now I’m happy with the synthetic brushes I use. Once I’ve tried higher quality brushes I’ll be sure to update.

I’m going back a bit on my word here about buying cheaper products. Do not buy paint brushes from walmart or target (unless they have a nice art section). This is one thing I've always made sure to pay a little more for, even when I was just starting out. With crappy brushes comes frustration. Brushes that can’t hold paint or their shape are pretty much useless. So you’ll want to buy a few brushes from a craft store. Michael’s and Hobby Lobby are just fine. Art stores are great too, especially when they’re having a sale!

I always use round brushes, they’re my favorite and work well to paint leaves, flowers, people, and lots of other subjects.

For smaller details I use a 0.5 round brush. The largest brush I use is an 8 round.

Daniel Smith Painted Moon


My all time favorite paint is Daniel Smith Fine Art Watercolor. It’s so luxurious and smooth. And the variety of hues in each tube always amazes me. Above is a photo for reference. This piece was created with one single tube of paint. Amazing, right? Varying shades of violet, indigo, and rose. So pretty.

I also use some cheaper pan watercolors and some student grade tubes that I picked up from my local art store. It’s totally okay to use these too if need be.

Warm Water

Always use warm water. The heat helps the dried paint break down better in the palettes and allows it to smoothly be applied to paper.

AnnaLiisa MossComment