Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Ten Items for your Watercolor Painting Kit

I just built a Watercolor Painting Kit to travel with and thought I would share what I learned to help anyone else who wants to start painting with watercolor on the go. I spent about $50 because I already had brushes, a pencil & eraser, and a utility knife.

A list of items to include in a watercolor painting kit. Read the blog post for descriptions of the items and links to find them.

1. Paper Block ($6 - $20)

This lovely little invention keeps your watercolor paper flat while you paint to minimize warping of the paper. I chose a 6' x 12' one with 15 sheets bound on two edges but there are a variety of sizes and some are bound on four edges. When you are done your piece, just slice it off with the utility knife.

2. Pocket Box ($23)

I decided that solid watercolors would be better than the liquid versions for traveling but I wanted to make sure I had nice bright colors as well so I splurged on this component.

3. 4B Pencil ($1)

I just took these out of my old sketching kit. One of my painting books recommended 4B specifically because it will erase fully if you sketch lightly. Not everyone sketches pre-painting but I do sometimes.

4. Eraser/Sharpener ($2)

This is just for the pencils if you sketch before you paint. Again, I had these around my house already.

5. Wax ($10)

One of my art books suggested using wax to get different and interesting textures so I got myself some to play with. It isn't essential for the kit, but fun to play with.

6. Liquid Frisket ($9)

Another lovely invention! As you probably know, there really is no white to add in watercolor, just the white of the paper. It isn't always easy to avoid small pieces while painting; so just paint this colorful liquid on in the spots that you want to stay white as you paint. When your painting is dry, rub the frisket off to reveal the white parts.
Close up of Liquid Frisket & Rubber

7. Rubber ($3)

I got this specifically for taking off the masking liquid (Liquid Frisket) once my piece is dry. I'm sure I could use my fingernails in most cases but I got it just in case.

8. Brushes ($3 - $50)

I already had some brushes that would work for now so I didn't purchase any new ones but found a fabulous website on watercolor brush selection and care for when I am ready to buy myself a really nice set.

9. Utility Knife ($2)

I was packing my kit to take on an airplane so I couldn't pack a utility knife, however they are easy to come by at either art or hardware stores. I use it as a tool for scratching into the dry paint to get sharper lines as well as to cut my completed piece off the paper block.

10. Water Holding Container (Free)

Again, these are easy to come by. I used three plastic yogurt containers; one for clean water, one for washing the brushes between colors, and one with a bit of soap in it for washing my brushes after using the Liquid Frisket as well as when I'm done painting for the moment.

Watercolor paper pad with box containing painting supplies.

That is my new watercolor art kit! I packed up everything other than the paper block and water containers into an old soap box that my grandmother gave me long ago.

What do you keep in your watercolor kit? Please feel free to comment whether you are a watercolor master or a beginner like myself.

Happy Painting!