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    display of some of the additional supplies you will need

Additional Watercolor Supplies

  • Paper towels
  • Tissues
  • Water containers
  • Graphite paper
  • Pens/pencils
  • Erasers
  • Optional supplies

Along with your basic watercolor painting supplies; paints, brushes, palettes, and paper, you will also need a few additional items that are relatively inexpensive. Items such as paper towels, water containers, and tissues are amongst the necessities to have, with a choice of other items too.

List of additional supplies that you will need
layout displaying all the additional supplies you can add
Below I have compiled a list of additional supplies that I feel you would benefit having to round out your painting supplies.

  Paper Towels Paper towels are excellent for blotting excess watercolor and water from your brushes. If you can, try using the better-quality towels with a woven pattern. They seem to absorb more water.
Also ideal for cleaning contaminated paints.
personal note  Also, try placing a paper towel under your hand while painting. This will prevent smudging or smearing of your graphite as well as protect your watercolor paper from the oil on your hands. Believe me, there's nothing worse than applying your final wash at the end of a very detailed painting and having an impression of a fingerprint materialize before your very eyes.

  Water Containers You will need a decent size water container, filled approximately three quarters full with clean water, for rinsing out your brushes, mixing your colors, and to use for the techniques.
Change your water often to keep colors looking fresh.
personal note  For best results, I recommend using at least two containers: one for rinsing out your watercolor brush and the other for clean water.

  Tissues Tissues are ideal for removing excess water from your brush when softening edges, lifting out highlights, and blotting watercolor from your paper. Make sure your tissues do not contain additives such as lanolin or other oils as they will leave a residue on your watercolor paper when you are blotting.
The box can be used to help elevate your board.
personal note  I usually paint with a tissue in my left hand, especially when I'm softening edges or lifting out highlights, so I can quickly blot my brush.

  Graphite Transfer Paper Graphite transfer paper is used to transfer your line drawings onto watercolor paper, and is a convenient alternative to scribbling pencil lead across the back of your drawings.

You can get several drawings out of one piece.
personal note  I use the wax free graphite paper made by Saral. It comes in a roll or in sheets. Since it is wax free, it reacts just like pencil lead, and erases just as easily. If you use a different brand, make sure it is wax free. If it has any wax in it, the wax will work as a resist against your watercolor and you will not be able to remove your lines.

  Ultra-Fine Tip Ballpoint Pen An ultra fine tip ballpoint pen makes it easier to transfer a line drawing onto your watercolor paper.

To see the lines you have traced, use blue or red ink.
personal note  Ballpoint pens really do work best. Gel, and felt tip, pens will leak through your drawing, as well as your graphite paper, and onto your watercolor paper.

  Pencil You will definitely need a pencil for drawing directly onto your watercolor paper to either add, correct, reinforce, or replace any lines.
Lead in a technical pencil never needs sharpening.
personal note  A technical pencil with a .05mm lead is my personal favorite, and I find it ideal for drawing very fine narrow lines.

  Masking Tape Masking, or drafting, tape will be needed to secure your watercolor paper to a board, or your preferred work surface.

Secure firmly to avoid any unwanted bleed backs.
personal note  I've tried a lot of tapes, and my personal favorite is the Artist's Tape at Cheap Joe's Art Stuff. Not only is it acid-free, but it holds and secures extremely well.

  Kneaded Eraser You'll need one of these for erasing, and lightening, any graphite lines from your watercolor paper.

Knead often to avoid stamping.
personal note  Try to avoid using any harsh erasers on your watercolor paper, especially the ones at the other end of a pencil. Some will mar the paper, and even leave a residue.

  Masking Fluid Masking fluid is a liquid rubber-latex products that, once applied to your watercolor paper, will work as a resist to keep the paper underneath white. Use an old brush to apply it, and follow the directions on the bottle. Then use a pickup eraser to remove the masking fluid.
Once applied, avoid heat, and remove within a day.
personal note  If you have trouble seeing the white masking fluid on your paper, you may add a tiny amount of diluted watercolor pigment to it. Make sure it is a transparent, non-staining color. I use New Gamboge in mine.

  Optional Items

  • Ruler or yardstick (meter stick)
  • Craft or utility knife
  • Spray bottle of water to moisten your watercolor paints.
  • Hair dryer to speed drying time when testing watercolors and their values.
  • A white acrylic paint such as Pelikan Graphic White or gesso can replace a white highlight in an area that was accidentally painted over.
  • Magnifying glass
  • A reducing lens allows you to see your painting as if you had stepped back from it.

NEXT:   Setting Up Your Supplies   

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