Here are the on line suppliers to check out.
http://vermontartsupply.com/ In Burlington VT is VT Art Supply
http://www.jerrysartarama.com/ ; store location in Hartford, CT
http://www.dickblick.com/ ; store location in Hartford, CT
http://www.dakotaartstore.com/ ; specialty for pastels
http://www.pearlpaint.com/ ; store in NYC
http://www.utrechtart.com/ ; store in Boston
VT Art Supply, formerly known as Black Horse Art Supply is the Holbein rep for the USA.
All the on line places have deals with shipping and costs. Everything is much less expensive through the catalogue. There are always sales on line.
I like Arches watercolor paper, 140 lb. Cold press. This is a popular paper which is rag cotton. The 140 lb. cold press has a nice texture. It is not too rough. You can get a rougher textured paper called rough paper and the really smooth paper is called Hot press. A standard sheet of watercolor paper comes 22” x 30”. This can be cut down to whatever sizes and shape you like and then taped to a board or a piece of Plexiglas.
Also, they sell Arches paper in blocks in standard sizes. Blocked paper is bound on all 4 sides, one on top of each other and it may have 10 - 20 sheets to a block depending on whether it is 140 lb. or 300 lb. The inconvenience is you can’t work on another painting with out removing the one that is on top. You can only use one piece at a time. You have to slice it off to get to your next sheet, or you can buy another pad so you can work on more than one at time.
If you use the sheets, you will need a drawing board and you can tape down the paper so it does not roll or buckle. A drawing board can be anything like a piece of masonite, plexiglass, or wood. Art tape or painter’s tape works well to hold the paper in place while painting. Be careful of Masking tape.
You will need a palette. For watercolor you want something with deep wells all around, with a center area to mix your colors and a lid.
There are many kinds to choose from. John Pike is a good one. Cheap Joes catalogue has a very good one.
Then you get your tubes of paint and squeeze a good amount in each well, more than tooth paste. You can get a spray bottle from CVS or recycle one to wet your paints or your paper.
Set you palette up by going from your yellows, to reds, browns, and then blues, and greens. You will have mostly yellows, blues, and reds., and then a few browns, and white.
You can also purchase a resist which is called Masking fluid which saves your whites so you can make washes and then you erase your resist with a cheap resist eraser. You can also use a clear wax candle to draw in lines permanently that will act as a resist to your wet paint.
1. Cadmium Lemon Yellow
2. Cadmium Yellow
3. Cadmium Yellow deep
4. Aureolin Yellow
5. Alizarin Crimson
6. Cadmium Red Med.
7. Cadmium Red Light or Scarlet
8. Quinacrodine Rose
9. Cobalt Blue
10. Ultramarine Blue
11. Cerulean Blue
12. Prussian Blue or Pthalo Blue
13. Sepia Brown
14. Burnt Sienna Brown
15. Quinacrodine gold
16. Viridian Green
17. Cobalt Turquoise
18. Titanium White
19. Lavendar ( Holbein )
20. ShellPink( Holbein )
There are many more colors you can buy down the line. This is just the starter list.
**Brands to look for to buy are Holbein, Windsor Newton, Dick Blick, Daniel Smith
Do not buy “student quality” paints, please avoid the Cotman and Grumbacher lines.
Brushes and other tools
I love sable round brushes, they are more expensive than synthetic. Synthetic are good too.
They come in various sizes and are numbered to express their size. The higher the number, the larger the brush. A good starter is a round size 6 brush, an 8 is good too. Sometimes you can buy brush sets with a holder on sale.
In the synthetic brushes Michael’s Art Supply had the Blue Saphirre line. Their flats,1/4/, 1/2 ” and 1” are good brushes to have. Michael's always has an online coupon for 40% off which you can get off your computer or download through your smart phone
A rigger brush is a long skinny bristle brush which is excellent for fine lines. You could have one in a size 1 or 2
Of course you can buy more brushes
A natural sponge is good to have
A fine spray bottle
You need Paper towels, "Viva" are the watercolorist's first choice.
You will need 2 good size containers to hold your water.
Keep a sketch pad and a pencil and eraser and have fun! Now you are ready to go!
Start to collect your favorite images and photos for your inspiration.