For a while now I’ve been wanting to teach some watercolor workshops and classes in the Kingwood, TX area. My main challenge has been finding a location. After looking around, I’ve decided to reserve a room at the Kingwood Community Center. It’s centrally located and offers a fabulous space. The rental fee isn’t too bad and the room has plenty of windows for natural light. Scheduling is a little tricky. It’s first come first serve with reservations at least 3 weeks in advance. I’ve secured 3 days in October so far…crossing my fingers I can find students and then book some more slots for November and December!
In preparation for the workshops, I’ve been on the hunt for the best budget friendly supplies for beginners. I’ve tested several options and feel good about the supplies I’ve chosen. Really cheap supplies usually yield yucky results. But I’m quite happy with these budget friendly choices that yield satisfactory results for beginners:
PAPER: Canson XL watercolor pad, cold pressed, 140 lb. 👍🏻
My favorite brand of watercolor paper is Arches, but it is crazy expensive so I use it sparingly. I use Canson XL for practice, studies, works that will be scanned….it’s very economically priced and great for beginners.
WATERCOLOR PAINT: Prang 8 color set 👍🏻
If you are just beginning with watercolor you can’t beat this inexpensive set of 8 colors! I prefer this set over Artist’s Loft 36 colors from Michael’s and even the Prang 16 color set because you can achieve many other colors by mixing the 8 colors provided. I think color mixing is a very important and valuable skill for beginners to learn. With the other sets you’re less inclined to mix because of all the colors already available.
Once you get your feet wet (or brush 😂 😂) and are hooked on watercolor, I recommend using student grade tubes by Winsor and Newton called Cotman, or student tubes by Grumbacher called Academy. These paints are great for continued learning and experimenting without breaking the bank. The Master’s Touch folding palette with 20 wells is a great inexpensive choice for holding these paints.
Artist quality paints are the next step. They contain more pigment and less binder, resulting in more vibrant colors. They can cost quite a bit more than student grade. Winsor and Newton, Mission Gold, Daniel Smith and Da Vinci are some brands I like.
BRUSHES: Daiso set of 5 round nylon brushes 👍🏻
I recently discovered this pack of 5 round brushes at the Japanese store DAISO. They are a great set for the price…$1.50! No, that’s not a typo!
Another good beginner brush is from Jerry’s Artarama, the Polar Flo brushes in rounds and flats of various sizes. There are inexpensive sets by Master’s Touch from Hobby Lobby that’ll work well too.
After getting more comfortable with watercolor painting, you’ll want to try some natural hair brushes that hold more water. There are numerous brands that offer excellent brushes. Some to consider trying are Princeton, Winsor and Newton and Da Vinci.