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Effective Watercolor Supplies on a Budget

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.

Yasutomo Authentic Chinese Watercolor Tube Paints

Indigo, Burt Sienna, Rouge, and Carmine Red are my favorite colors from this set.

Each hue is saturated and they blend and mix well.

Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor Tube Paint in Lamp Black

This is a really rich black that creates a beautiful gradient and blends well with other colors.

Winsor & Newton Series 111 #10 Round Synthetic Paint Brush

This brush is great for washes and for painting larger flowers.

Blick Master Synthetic Round Brushes
Canson XL Series Cold Press Watercolor Paper

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 Cold Press Watercolor Paper

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.

Blick Master Synthetic Round Brush #6

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:
Lime Watercolor Illustration
Yasutomo Colors on Canson XL Paper
Rose Pattern Example by AnnetteFrancineArt
Yasutomo Colors on Canson XL Paper
Pink Rose Pattern Example
Yasutomo Colors on Canson XL Paper
Watercolor Tulip Example
Yasutomo Colors and Cotman Black on Bee Paper

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.

Effective Watercolor Supplies on a Budget

2 thoughts on “Effective Watercolor Supplies on a Budget”

  1. Thank you for the suggestions. As a newbie trying to gather all these different supplies it’s overwhelming so any tried product reviews really helps.

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