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Watercolors: essential painting tools and supplies

A variety of watercolor paint palette and tubes of watercolor paint on a table.

I was introduced to the world of watercolors back in college, while studying Fashion design. Little did I know that I would leave fabrics and pick up paints to kick-start my fledgling career.

Since the past 6 years, I've been using watercolors on a regular basis. So I can easily put down a list of essential watercolor painting tools and supplies.

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced artist, having the right tools can make a significant difference in your artwork. In this post, I cover everything you need to know to create beautiful watercolor paintings, from paints and brushes to paper and accessories.


Watercolor paper is undoubtedly the most important tool to invest in. I say invest because the high-quality, professional grade paper does come with an expensive tag price.

Watercolor paper is specially designed to absorb water and hold the paint without warping or buckling. It comes in different weights and textures.

There are mainly 3 types of paper:

  • Cold-pressed - widely used and has a slight texture

  • Hot-pressed - smooth and ideal for detailed work

  • Rough texture -has a rough texture which holds the water very well

I'd suggest to start with 300 gsm, cold pressed paper. This works best for most styles - landscapes, portraits and florals. My personal favorite would be Archescold-pressed in 100% cotton.

 Choose a paper weight that suits your painting style and preferences.

A few suggested brands include:

For Beginners - Canson, Strathmore, Khadi or recycled papers

For Advance practice - Arches, Fabriano & Legion paper are highly recommended

A variety of watercolor brushes, an open paint palette with mixed colors, and tubes of watercolor paint on a table.


These are my most treasured, as I loveee shopping for new paint tubes. I mean who doesn't love a variety of colors in their palette. Watercolor paints come in various forms, including tubes, pans, and liquid.

Tubes are great for mixing large batches of colors, while pans are more portable and convenient for outdoor painting. Liquid watercolors offer vibrant colors and can be used for various techniques like pouring and glazing. Look for high-quality paints with good pigment concentration for best results.

A few namely brands inlcude:

Beginners - Winsor & Newton Cotman, Van Gogh, Sennelier

Advance - Winsor & Newton professional series, Daniel Smith, Mijello Mission & Holbein

If you're a color lover like me, then do consider buying these specific colors. I'm sure you won't regret:

  • Winsor & Newton - Opera rose, Potter's pink, Payne's Gray

  • Daniel Smith - Mayan blue, Buff Titanium, Indigo


Choosing the right brushes is crucial for achieving different effects in watercolor painting. Round brushes are versatile and great for creating fine lines and details. Flat brushes are ideal for washes and large areas, while angled brushes are perfect for creating precise lines and shapes. Invest in a variety of brush sizes and shapes to expand your painting possibilities.

The Princeton Heritage series are by far the best in terms of affordability and durability. They're made of synthetic sable hair with a great color holding capacity.

But if you're looking to add more valuable brands, then there are quite a few like - Escoda, Raphael, and Silver Brush Black Velvet series.

Also look out for the Quill brush in different brands. They'd add an artistic, old world charm in your brush holder.

A selection of watercolor brushes, including round, flat, and angled brushes, arranged on a table.


I've mostly bought my supplies through my travels. As I enjoy stationery shopping and always make sure to keep that as a part of my itinerary.

But online being the best option for most of us. Below are a few recommendations apart from Amazon.




In conclusion, having the right tools and supplies is essential for creating stunning watercolor paintings. Invest in high-quality paints, brushes, and paper to elevate your artwork. Experiment with different techniques and tools to discover your unique style and create beautiful artworks that you can be proud of.

If I've missed out something, feel free to pop a question below. And if you think this post has been helpful, then you're valuable comment will be appreciated.

Happy Painting!


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