Supply List

Watercolor painting of orange Turk's cap flowers.
Lilium superbum (Turk's-Cap Lily ) © Jeannetta vanRaalte.

Painting of a forsythia branch and vinca sprig
Signs of spring: Blooming Forsythia and Purple Vinca © Bonnie Driggers.

Brushes and Paint


Good quality sable brushes by DaVinci, Daniel Smith, or Winsor Newton Series 7 miniatures (Sizes 5 and 2), or whatever you prefer to use. Also, a Winsor Newton watercolor brush, ½ flat.

If the cost of sable brushes is just too much, you could begin with synthetics such as those by Dick Blick. Short handles are preferred for botanical watercolor.

Artist's Quality Paint

Winsor Newton artist quality paints (Students may purchase small tubes or pans. Bonnie Driggers prefers pans because they waste less paint. She usually buys ½ pans. These can be ordered online. See sources below. We don't know of any local source that carry pans. Compare prices among the online stores. Bonnie found empty watercolor half-pan boxes at Jerry's Artarama, but they are pretty expensive. Bonnie prefers these because she can select the colors she wants. Bonnie has three similar boxes that she's had for many years.

You can get started with a warm and cool red, yellow, and blue plus a few neutrals. However, I love paints and find them hard to resist. I steer away from opaque and staining. If you need to limit expenses, get the colors marked by a paintbrush ().

  • Alizarin Crimson
  • Burnt Umber
  • Cerulean
  • Gamboge (or New)
  • Indian Yellow
  • Indigo
  • Olive Green
  • Permanent Rose
  • Prussian Blue
  • Raw Sienna
  • Ultramarine
  • Vermillion
  • Viridian
  • Winsor Red
  • Winsor Yellow
  • Winsor Violet
  • (other colors are fine)


The following are essential.

  • Lamp (Ott lights are good) OttLite High-Definition Task Lamp (lamp is about $45.00 online). Available at JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores, Amazon, and other places online. Just Google OttLite. Desktop style preferred because it is more compact for taking to classes.
  • Extension cord ( 3 to 6 feet long )

Additional Supplies Needed

  • Strathmore Sketch Paper, 400 Series; Spiral bound notebook, 9" x 12" or larger
  • Hot press watercolor paper, preferably Arches, minimum weight 140lbs (2 sheets, cut into 4 equal pieces—more paper is fine)
    Fabriano Artistico, 140 lb hot press
  • Vellum pad, heavy duty, 9" x 12" or larger (this is not "real" vellum, which is genuine calf or goat skin, but a good quality tracing paper)
  • Pencils: HB, H, 2H, B (others as desired)
  • Pencil sharpener (handheld, such as Alvin Brass Wedge Sharpener or Magnesium Triple Hole Sharpener). You can also use an X-acto knife. Some artists like mechanical pencils.
  • Eraser, kneaded
  • Eraser, soft putty
  • Palette to mix the paints on
  • Roll of white artists' tape to attach paper to board
  • Masking tape
  • Art masking fluid
  • Scalpel (X-acto knife)
  • Soft cloth or rag; or soft paper towels such as Viva
  • Foam board to use as support for watercolor paper (about 12" x 18"). Other support material is fine.
  • Drawing boards (Masonite or Gatorboard)
  • Paper on which to take notes
  • Container to hold your supplies. Check Plaza Art and online stores; there are lots of varieties and prices. Almost anything will do to begin.
  • Container for water to wash brushes


  • The book Fundamental Graphite Techniques by Katie Lee, which covers basic drawing techniques, is recommended. It is excellent for beginners and also useful to advanced students. Order from ($35.00)

Sources for Materials

Last modified: February 25, 2018
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