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Watercolour classes
group and private tuition

The basic materials.
Colours - Brushes
Pencils - Paper

Enquiries - enquiries@watercolourclass.co.uk
* * * *  : Learning how to paint watercolours :
: Basic Materials :

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The members class price is indicated and also when available the shop price/RRP
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Good quality pencils are recommended, HB and a 1B. Keep the point sharp and use a minimum of pressure to achieve a clearly visible line, which, if necessary can easily be erased by gently dabbing with Blue-tack, or a similar product. Avoid at all costs vigorous scrubbing of the paper's surface with an eraser.
A ruler (minimum 12") to construct your grid-lines. Two water containers for washing brushes are far better than one.

Tuesday 18th June

Winsor & Newton
Artists' Quality Colours
Golden Synthetic - Brushes
§Alizarin Crimson
§Winsor Blue (red shade)
§Winsor Yellow
§Neutral Tint
French Ultramarine
Cerulean Blue (red shade)
Burnt Umber
Raw Sienna
Light Red
Naples Yellow

§ Indicates primary colours.
These are the essential colours from which many other colours can be mixed. All the colours we see in glossy magazines are achieved using only these four colours.

Series: 301 - Size: 8 - round
Series: 301 - Size: 12 - round
Series: 344- Size: 4 - designer point

Notes: I have found that most students manage adequately with just the three brushes above.

Regarding the care of your brushes. See link below.


The very best brushes available are made from Kolinsky Sable, these are incredibly expensive.
A good alternative brush uses a mix of inexpensive synthetic filaments and sable hair for its water holding quality, though reasonably priced, these are still twice the price of the three listed above.
Prices are indicated below by moving your cursor over an item.

Weight: 140lb.
Surface texture: Not.
Size: Qtr.sht. is 11" x 15"
Class price:
Pack of 5 sheets for £2
Notes: Though stretched paper is better to work on, most of the exercises here do not require that extent of preparation.
There is a page dedicated to this, rather difficult procedure, click the icon to view.

Which paper to use?
There are many and varied makes and types of watercolour paper, Bockingford is probably the least expensive of the good quality papers on the market.

I strongly recommend
the use of a - Trial Pad - cut a sheet ie.11"x15" into about six pieces approx' 5"x 5½". This provides you with an opportunity to try out and record various colour mixes and similar trials; make notes of effects you may wish to replicate later.
Always use the same paper for your trial pad as the paper on which you are painting your picture.

Please note: Prices shown are last years,
If materials are to be still made available at the MWS class
new prices will be announced at the Oct. 2012 first class

All class projects use only colours within this range of ten.
(Pass your cursor over an item to see price. The RRP is indicated along with the class price)
Though Artist quality watercolours may seem expensive, when compared with the alternative student range, the difference in quality is worth the higher price.
There are even cheaper ranges of colours available such as, a 12 colour pack for under £5 these are, usually, children's toys and not recommended.

Buying colours and paper direct from my supplier is highly recommended Ken Bromley Art Supplies
Buying your colours direct from Winsor &Newton is also an option. VISIT Winsor&Newton's shop

Please note: prices shown are last years - new prices to be announced Oct. 2012
Care of Your Brushes - Thanks to Rosemary for permission to reproduce these useful hints
To see her complete range at unbeatable prices visit her website:  www.rosemaryandco.com

Prices are not indicated for items below    
  1. Gravyspoon holder, ideal as a brush rest, a second one on top keeps brushes free from dust overnight.

  2. Brushes; 3 pointed rounds; sizes # 4 - # 7 - # 12 and a ¾ inch flat (not on my list).

  3. Trial pad pages, always the same paper as the paper being used for the painting.
  4. Addis Sink-Tidy: ideal as a double water container, very stable for the accident-prone.

  5. Perm solution container (well washed) now a handy, clean-water dispenser.

  6. Rectangular plastic palette.

  7. Flower shaped porcelain palette.

  8. Other essential items are:

    a. Good quality pencils are recommended, a 1B and HB initially, keep the point sharp and use the minimum of pressure to achieve a clearly visible line, that can easily be erased by gently dabbing with Blue-Tack.

    . A ruler to draw gridlines

    c. The ever useful paper towel. A standard kitchen roll is ideal.

    d. A board approx' 12 x 16 inches (hardboard is ideal) to support your watercolour paper, also bulldog clips or masking tape to attach it with.

    e. A board support or simple easel is very useful, take a look at the Easy Easel.

    f. Masking Fluid is a very useful item to have.
    I recommend Pebeo drawing gum, it is not thick and viscous as some makes are, which enables thin lines to be drawn and its grey pigmentation allows it to be easily seen on watercolour paper. Click on the image
    to see a video clip.

Plastic Porcelain Alternatives
Large rectangular, with various size wells (recommended) Flower shaped (recommended) White porcelain dinner plate.
Flower shaped (very useful) Various other shapes
(very useful)
White plastic fast-food containers. (Last resort)
The Geoff Kersey Palette is very good you can get one by following the link below : -
It is rectangular, with various size wells

A sharp pencil*
STAEDTLER graphite 779 - holder with 0.5mm HB refills
This is the pencil I've been using for the past 12 months, it never needs sharpening, though it takes a little getting used to, holding it so that it is almost at right-angles to the paper and a 3mm max' projection of lead, reduces the potential for breaking the lead refills. I never use any other pencil

If you intend to stretch your paper to board prior to painting you will need a soaking tray. There is a video guide to stretching your paper here.

A paper soaking tray for imperial size
watercolour paper sheets 15 inches x 11inches
I use a large seed tray about 21 inches square, bought from homebase.

Alternatively a Plastic Cat Litter Tray Large Deluxe
From Seapets.co.uk click this link to visit their shop
Measures internal 400mm x 280mm x 100mm. Price: £4.09

For more trays that will accommodate half imperial to full imperial size sheets.
And also meter square trays for many uses.
Go to Garden Supply direct

Always a valuable resource are inspirational images
usually photographs.
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in the North Staffordshire area.

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Click this link to see


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(PLM issue-30)
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[ art class projects ] [ art-class books ] [ basic materials ] [ cardboard easel ]
[ Local Classes ] [ MWS homepage ]