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Watercolors: Tools of the Trade

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 4 years, I've been using watercolors on a regular basis. So I can easily put down a list of my favorite supplies and the must needed tools of the trade.


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.

There are mainly 3 types of paper:

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

  • Hot-pressed - has a very smooth surface, not my personal favorite

  • Rough texture - as the name suggests, it 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. Rough textured paper works wonders too, but it's texture makes it difficult to scan the artwork for digitizing projects. My personal favorite would be Arches in rough texture or cold-pressed in 100% cotton.

A few suggested brands include:

For Beginners - Canson, Strathmore, Khadi or recycled papers

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


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. When it comes to paints, its all about the pigment. Better the quality, more pigmented the color and brighter the output on paper.

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 yummy 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


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.


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.




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.

Have fun creating!

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