Here is a supply list for perusal. Basically I am okay with students using their usual equipment, pigments, etc., so they are comfortable. No need to spend a fortune on new gear and not be familiar with it. It is hard enough to paint outside (or inside) without having to learn a whole new “vocabulary” in a few days!
If anyone has any serious problems or questions they can e-mail me or call me. Please note that basic supplies are available at the Acadia Workshop Center.
Easel Too many designs to be specific. If you do not have one, ask “plein air” watercolor painters for their preferences or call me. I use one fashioned from a type of camera tripod which is no longer available. French easels are great but too heavy and clumsy for me, but everyone loves them. I believe it is better to stand, but bring a chair or stool if you need one on painting trips.
Palette I use the old Robert Wood palette. I like my pigments soupy and need wells with four sides. However, I've used the John Pike palette for decades. I also like the folding metal palettes with thumb holes for smaller jobs. There are plastic copies now, with small wells but okay.
Paper Use at least 140 lb. Paper. Cold press is the most used; I believe we are all familiar with the surface. However, I use six or eight papers regularly; so, if you prefer other paper, I am okay with it.
I use the following papers:
D’Arches / cold, hot & rough
Fabriano / cold, hot & rough
Windsor Newton / not cold press & rough
Strathmore / 500 series, plate & regular finish
Print making papers in gray, & buff tints (B.F.K.)
Even gessoed masonite
I think it is important to paint al least 1//4 sheet size, 11”x15” or similar block size, 12”x16”, but maybe throw in smaller pieces or a 9”x12” block for quick studies.
Of course watercolor blocks are great to use. I usually use sheets for variety of surface texture and size of paper. Blocks are heavy and we are more likely to use that same rectangular shape all the time. I think it is funs to try different proportioned rectangles, such as 1/3 sheets or half sheets “the long way.”
Boards I believe ½ sheet paper is the largest for comfort level in the great outdoors; so, your board should be a little larger than 15”x22”. Gator board masonite or plexiglass are all good to use. Gator board is probably the lightest weight.
Pigment Pigment is very personal. Some of my choices are long held ones and then every once in a while I try a new hue. Everyone needs a few reds, yellows, blues and earths. No need for 50 colors. My palette has 24 wells and I use 21 colors plus white gouache. Sometimes I really like painting opaquely and usually keep one whole palette of gouache colors for those forays.
My present list is:
RedsBrown madder WN (this could be considered an earth) Rose madder genuine WN Alizarin carmine WN Opera H
Orange: Cadmium or Windsor WN (rarely used – mix instead)
Yellows: New gamboges WN
Viridian DS Windsor (Blue shade) WN
Blues: Cerulean WN
Cobalt WN Ultramarine WN Windsor blue (red shade) WN Peacock (just experimenting now)
Violet: Windsor violet WN or Permanent mauve WN (can be mixed, save money)
Earths: Naples yellow WN
Quinacridone gold DS Quinacridone sienna DS Quinacridone burnt orange DS
Brushes can be synthetic bristle – no need for Kolinsky sable. Simmon’s or Utrecht’s are good, Windsor Newton’s are fine, also. I don’t insist on lots of brushes, but I do like large brushes, that is, larger than you might be using now. These are the recommended brushes:
- 1 ½ to 2 inch flat for wetting and glazing
- 1 inch flat
- ½ inch flat
- rounds, several mediums from 8 to 14, and several larger 26, 30 or 36 like the goliaths by R. Simmons
- rigger, 4 or 6
- and also, if you must, smaller for those details we don’t need, or to sign with
Miscellaneous - Water containers, one for carrying about two liters and one for painting, Paper towels,
Tissues, Sketch book, pencils, erasers, Tape and/or clips for board, Insect repellant, Sunscreen, Cap or visor, Stool or chair, if needed, Waterproof barrier for sitting on the ground or rocks, Camera & film (or memory card), Raincoat, jacket, etc., for layering