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  • Writer's pictureJme Foronda

Tools of the Trade: Watercolor

Updated: Oct 27, 2020

Here's a short primer on what materials I use for making watercolor paintings.

First, the sketch. Sketching will be covered in another blog post, but I do the finished and cleaned up lineart on my iPad with ProCreate.

Afterwards, I print out the lineart, then use the Huion light tablet to transfer the lines to watercolor paper.

I used to print out the lines directly onto the watercolor paper, but it can get pricey, as 1) the printer charges a bit more because it's a special job, 2) if the printer makes a mistake and damages the paper, they won't replace the paper and, 3) you can't erase the printed lines if you need to edit, and the lines will show up under the paint, no matter how faint you make the lines.

For paper, I'm not very particular with it. My go-to brand is Strathmore 400 series, 9x12 size and the Fluid Cold Press blocks. I also have a Canson watercolor book for sketches and studies.

Then it's time to paint! I use QoR paint and some Daniel Smith for accents. I like Daniel Smith for the granulation with some organic parts of the painting, but not for everything. QoR is pretty bright which I like and is not as expensive as Daniel Smith tubes.

The brush set I use is this cheap set a friend sent me from Singapore, the brand is called Ashley and I love it because of the short-handled. I was pleasantly surprised when I first used them because of how well they can hold a point. For finer details, I use a Daniel Smith 00 (a discontinued brush, as DS has gotten rid of their brush line.)

Other materials I use are round plastic palettes (bought in the Philippines for $2/10pcs, a Dr Ph Martin's Bleed Proof White, for when I want to reintroduce white into the artwork (I used to use Signo white gel pens, but they can get pricey as I go through them fast!). A square tin that fits my palettes and brushes perfectly (see why I love the short handled brushes?). A jar of The Master's Brush Cleaner, self-explanatory. And a foldable water container from Faber-Castell.

I also have a small bottle of masking fluid, but I barely use it. Some salt in a container, watercolor ground (which I use for correcting mistakes), and an A3 sized clipboard where I tape watercolor paper to prevent buckling.

And there we go! These are what I use for painting. Thanks for reading!

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