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Watercolour - Basic Supplies

Have you ever looked at someone creating something beautiful and wished you could do the same thing?

For me its Crochet ... I have longed to make these amazing creations that people seem to materialise in minutes but the best i have ever made was holey bunting and even that was supposed to be a sample solid square.

For a lot of people, painting seems to be the thing that many want to do but believe only few can ... well I'm here to show you that EVERYONE can paint ... and i mean everyone.

My preferred medium is Watercolour which is in my opinion is the easiest. Acrylic is pretty close but i think if your just dipping your toe in then watercolour is the way to go.

So what do you need to get started?

Well the first thing i would say is a good set of paints.

Watercolours come in so many different forms, it is easy to get overwhelmed but once you break it down, you can get a feel for what might suit you and even if you change your mind you can always start out small and build up a collection of materials.

For simplicity, well just cover paint pans at the moment.

You can pick up a really cheap paint pallet in many discount stores but in all honesty i cant use them. The colours never look right or the constancy is totally off. I know the old adage goes a workman never blames his tools but i bet the workman would have more luck getting a nail in with a hammer than he would a carrot.

There are many different places you can pick up watercolour supplies, such as pallets but my recommendation would be Cass Art as they have a massive choice and their prices are very reasonable plus they have great savings during sale time.

My pallet of choice is the Winsor and Newton range. They were the first ones i used in School when sitting my exams and they have never let me down. They come in many different sized kits as well as individual pans so you can build up your collection slowly rather than going all out in the beginning.

One set i do think is brilliant in both quality and value is the Watercolour Starter set available exclusively at Cass Art. The set consists of a 35 half pan pallet, an A4 watercolour pad and a set of 6 brushes ... All for under £30.

The pallet as i said consists of 35 colours which includes two special premium quality half pans. This set is a great starter as you get a great selection of colours and even though they are only half pans, they will last you a really long time. With watercolour, a little goes a long way.

As i had a few of the Winsor and Newton pans already, i decided to add them to the collection and my first step was the create a colour chart as it were.

I always like to start out with a colour chart as it lets me see what the colours will look like on the paper. As you can see from the image above, when in their dry form, it can be difficult to tell the difference between each colour. The chart lets you see what colour is what and if you label it, you can always have a map of sorts to look back on should you accidentally misplace a colour.

So next you will need a good set of brushes.

Like with the paints there are many different types of brushes ranging from animal hair to synthetics as well as round to fan.

Since we are starting out I'm going to keep it simple and stick with the two you will use most of the time ... Round and Flat.

The starter kit comes with 6 brushes, 3 round and 3 flat in varying sizes.

These 6 brushes will allow you to do a few different techniques in the beginning without overwhelming you and like the paint, you can always add to your collection as you become more confident.

Last but definitely not least is the paper.

Watercolour paper ranges in weight (measured "lbs") with the heavier the paper the thicker and therefor the less it will buckle when water is added.

The pad included in the set is a perfect starter. It is 140lbs (300gms) and comes in 12 sheets per pad.

And so there you have it, The basics you need to start watercolour painting.

For some ideas ... why not try out my simple watercolour postcards.

Load your brush up with water and rub it along the top of the paint, then create splodges of colour on the paper. It is honestly as easy as that. Most "splodges" can be turned into flowers, birds, butterflies, leaves etc.

If you want to send a card full of love, fill the paper with love hearts. The pen will be the finer details so it doesn't matter how messy you get at this point. You can make it work.

Watercolour paint doesn't take long to dry so when your ready you will need to get your fine-liner out. Use the colour you have to inspire you. Does the paint look like flowers? Could you turn it into an owl? Go for it! 

If you want paint with something in mind. I made a sheet of hearts and outlined them to look like they were hanging. You can make anything and everything ... you're only limited by your imagination.

**Disclaimer, i was sent this starter kit by Cass Art for the purposes of this post. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.