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Have you walked into an art store excited to buy a block of Arches cold press watercolor paper only to have your heart sink into your stomach as you looked at the price tag?
While it is true that professional artists quality art supplies can make a difference in the outcome of your painting, you do not have to start out using professional-grade supplies. But you also want to avoid using horrible watercolor art supplies.
So instead, search for effective watercolor supplies on a budget.
I long for the day when I can purchase a set of Daniel Smith’s high pigment watercolor paints along with Arches cold press paper, but in the meantime, I have been able to create beautiful watercolor paintings without expensive supplies.
Below is my list of tried and true watercolor supplies on a budget.
Clicking on the image or title will lead you to its listing on Amazon for the papers and paints only.
Thirty sheets of 9×12 inch paper is a good deal. Its weight (140lb) prevents buckling for lighter washes. And the quality of this paper is more then sufficient when starting out – especially if you plan to digitize most of your artwork.
Bee paper is the same weight as Canson XL but its cold press texture is more obvious.
It’s 100% cotton rag. You get smaller sheets (6x9inches) but 50 instead of 30. You can paint on both sides, and I think it’s a step closer to Arches, but I can’t say for sure yet.
Prior to buying this brush, I was using an inexpensive “professional grade” brush from Micheal’s. Those hairs began to split almost immediately.
I found this brush for a few dollars more, and its spring and shape are near perfect.
And here are some examples of patterns and illustrations I’ve created using these supplies:
What Do You Suggest?
Do you have suggestions for effective watercolor supplies on a budget? Feel free to share them in the comments section below.