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My Watercolor Tools by KelliRoos My Watercolor Tools by KelliRoos
My Watercolor Supplies - put together for #watercolorists! Read more about other artists' tools here!

Well, I want to share my watercolor supplies and a brief description of the elements and how I use them. (this came out longer than I thought ^^; but once I started writing I just wanted to share as much as I can)

1. Sponges
A great way to suck up extra water/paint on your painting. Sponges also add texture to wet paint as well. I have a small collection of natural sea sponges (available at most art stores) and artificial sponges (for cleaning the house). Feel free to cut sponges into different shapes for more flexibility and cover large and small areas.


2. Artist Quality Tube Paints
These are my main paints. I use them 90-95% for my paintings. There are 2 things I want to define for you, tube paints and artist quality paints.

Tube paints is pigment that is mixed in a thick liquid, sealed in a tube. You squeeze a little on your palette and mix with water and paint. Tube paints offer the advantage of easily mixing large amounts of paint. You can also mix the color to be very intense as well.

These are also artist quality paints. That is a general term for the best paint available. You can buy them in tube or pan form. Artist quality has the most pigment mixed with the paint, and the least amount of fillers. There are several brands that produce these paints. They are Sennelier, Winsor&Newton, Da Vinci, and Schminke. I think they all produce solid paints, but, if you forced me to use only 1 brand, I would use Winsor&Newton for their overall better blended paints and stronger performance.


3. Student Quality Pan Paints
These are my travel paints. I use them for little projects and for fun. There are 2 things I want to define for you, pan paints and student quality paints.

Pan (or cake) paints is pigment mixed with binders and dries, it activates with water. Pan paints offer the advantage of being very portable and easy to manage. They are also more economical than tube paints.

These are also Student quality paints. This is a general term for paints that perform well, at a economical price. Student quality has less pigment in the paint, and more filler materials, as the pigment is the most expensive part of the paint. In fact, some pigments are so expensive, for the student quality, they use a different pigment than you find in the artist quality. Paints that use a different pigment than the artist paint is called a hue. Many companies make student quality paints, they are a great way to start your journey into watercolors. This is a set that contains Winsor&Newton Cotman paints, a good student quality paint brand.


4. Paper Tape & Spray Bottle
These are 2 miscellaneous supplies of mine. I use paper tape to adhere my watercolor paper to a board. It is tough and sturdy, and stays adhered even after getting wet.

The spray bottle is great to fill with water and spray to wet the paper, or add texture to a colored area. I can also fill it with some water, tinted with paint, and spray over a large area. I also fill it with some alcohol for more cool effects.


5. Friskets and Other Masks
Saving the white of the paper, or reintroducing white to a watercolor painting has many techniques, and I have the tools to produce some of them. The first item is white ink. You draw over the existing painting, where you want the white. You do the same thing with the tube on the right, it is white opaque gouache paint. It is just like watercolor, mixing it with water, except it is you cannot see through it. It is usually applied with a brush.

The bottle in the middle is a type of frisket. You paint it on a painting, before you apply paint, paint over it, and remove the frisket. I've tried several varieties, and this is my favorite, Pebeo Drawing Gum/Frisket. Though, you must remove it in less than 2 days from the paper, otherwise bad things happen.

Finally, the odd-shaped block is wax. It is a chunk of wax, a plain wax crayon works better. You draw it over the areas you want to remain white. You cannot remove the wax later, so it is a permanent whiting tool.


6. Brushes
I have a ton of brushes, but these are my favorites. I'll go from left to right.
a. the tiny one is great for detail work. I use it rarely though.
b. a 3/4" brush, good for washes in smaller paintings.
c. a pure squirrel-haired brush. It feels wonderful, it moves and releases paint so nicely. I use it for larger areas, still not used to it fully, it is a great brush.
d & e. fully synthetic standard round brushes size 8 and 12. I use these brushes 80% of the time. They bend nicely, make and work to a great point, could release the paint better, but they also stand up to my pathetic brush care.
f. Sheep hair brush. Great for very large washes, used and abused a lot in college.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconbitteriso:
BitterIso Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013
This helps a bunch!
Been trying to figure out how people made those white lines after their paint dried, but I coudn't find any explanations until now.
#5 was exactly what I wanted to know!
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:iconmonoga:
monoga Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012
Do you use any specific type of pencil?
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:iconkerrybogpony:
KerryBogPony Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012
i used it here
[link]
and here
[link]
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:iconunspirited:
UnSpirited Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for sharing this~ I wanted to know what I need to start doing watercolored drawings, and this is a great help!
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:iconcharcoal-heart:
charcoal-heart Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for sharing, that's really helpful! :D
I love Windsor & Newton stuff, the only thing I don't have by them is paper.
Is paper by them expensive do you know?
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:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm so glad! :-)

Winsor and Newton makes many quality things, including their paper! Paper knowledge isn't my strong suit, but, I like their cold press paper. It has some texture, but not as much as most cold press papers, great for illustration you want some texture.

Their paper is about the same price as other 100% cotton, acid-free papers. It is a little harder to find compared to Fabriano or Arches.
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:iconcharcoal-heart:
charcoal-heart Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ah thanks for the info; sounds great!
I'll have to get some!
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:iconinolee4ever:
inolee4ever Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2010  Student General Artist
cool is a great help for me:) ;D
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:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
oh I'm so glad! If you have any questions, please let me know. :-)
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:iconinolee4ever:
inolee4ever Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2010  Student General Artist
soo far is ok
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:iconblindfoldedartist:
blindfoldedartist Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2010
finally some pointers on masking! thank you!
(im trying to paint...i like to draw with pencils and i want to use liquids for awhile)
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:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
oh cool! :D There are a couple tutorials around dA on using masking fluid [link]

The only other tip I have is to use a good brush when applying the fluid. But how to keep the brush good and not dry out? put a little dish soap in the brush. Then rinse once done. This will keep your brush nice. :nod:

good luck! Let me know if you have more questions. :-)
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:iconfraffee:
fraffee Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
This is very useful! Thank you!! :)
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:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm glad! :D Let me know if you have questions
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:iconfraffee:
fraffee Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Sure, thanks again!
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:iconi-am-yaser:
i-am-yaser Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thank you for sharing!
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:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
my pleasure! :-)
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:iconartemischick:
ArtemisChick Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2010
nice info here, thnx for doing this, but i still wondr, what type of paper do u use? as in brand and weight n stuff
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:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
ah yes. I forgot to put paper on here XD

Well, I usually do a 140lb (300gsm) 100% cotton paper. The brands I usually use are Arches cold or hot press, Fabriano, and Winsor&Newton cold press. I have a preference to W&N paper, because it has a small tooth to it, but not much, but isn't as smooth as hot press. It's a nice balance. :-)

I used some student watercolor paper I still have a few weeks ago, and was just... bla... X'D I don't think I can go back to that type of paper again. the 100% cotton is the best performance for staying wet, reworking and absorbing the pigment :-)
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:iconartemischick:
ArtemisChick Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2010
Thanks so much! tht helps a whole lot, i had to decide between fabriano and w&n too. ill try to find some 100% cotton Thanks again!
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:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Good luck! :D As long as you are in that 100% cotton paper, you'll be amazed. And its just a matter of preference, you'll find one you're comfortable with :nod:
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:iconthevomist:
THEVOMIST Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2010
I really appreciate this- I'm going to get some larger brushes and a spray bottle!
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:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Glad I could inspire! ^_^
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:iconsaimiri:
Saimiri Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2010
The spray bottle sounds like a wonderful idea! Are there any pictures you used this on so I can see the effect? I'll admit that I haven't been active lately so I have no clue whether you might have uploaded something with it lately, I'm sorry. :(

Also, about the masking fluid: I have one by Schmincke, both in a little squeeze bottle and in a glass jar. My problem with the one in the jar is how quickly it dries, both on the brush (ruining it in the process) and in the jar itself, sticking to the top and sides and turning thick and unusable. :/ do you ever get this with your masking fluid? I've been trying to look for alternatives to mine, since the squeezing tube works wonderful only on smaller parts to mask with.
Reply
:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Sorry I don't have any samples of it, others use it very well. :(

for masking fluid, I recommend dipping the brush in soapy water, THEN put the fluid on it. When you are done masking, IMMEDIATELY wash it. This should work well. This tutorial --> [link] also has some good tips.
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:iconsaimiri:
Saimiri Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2010
aw, too bad. I shall try it myself once I get my hands on a little spray bottle. :)

The tutorial looks good, I'm gonna check it out, thank you!
What worries me more than the ruining of brushes is the drying inside the jar though. :worry:
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:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
that's cool, I am doing some small pieces now, I'll try to work it into a painting :D

Ah, for drying in the jar, maybe the seal isn't good on your jar? If too much air gets in, it dries. I had to throw away a bottle for that. It's sad. :-( Maybe keep your jar in a plastic bag?
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:iconsaimiri:
Saimiri Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2010
Thanks for the tip - I'm afraid it's already too late, but I'll try it out if there's anything left in the jar or if I happen to buy another one with the same problem. :)
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:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Good luck! :D
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:iconbananasplitz01:
bananasplitz01 Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2010
I dont get why people like tubes more than pans :( whats wrong with pans? Why are tubes so good?
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:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
You know, I don't know XD I did not mean to knock on pans. Pans are much better for a budget to paint, and easy to travel. Tubes work better if you mix large amounts of paints for big paintings. (like A2 or bigger) it really just boils down to preference, they are the same paint. :nod:
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:iconbananasplitz01:
bananasplitz01 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2010
:D i know i know! :D Im just curious, do tubes give better colour than pans? I know i find it annoying when i mix all the paint up with the pans and it runs out sooo quickly! Should really try tubes but dont really want to spend much money lol!
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:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
well, the big advantage with tubes is you can mix a large amount of paint easily. So if you do larger paintings, and big washes, tubes are the way to go.

Tubes are no more expensive than pans. :-) I think only select the colors you want to mix large, like colors for skies or maybe your top 5 colors, and just buy those. It will be a good base to try. Just buy small tubes at first though, if you are interested. :-)

Hope that helps! :-)
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:iconastralwolf9:
AstralWolf9 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2010
Nice sap green ~.^ and I really want a hake like that, for some reason my local shop is always out of them.
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:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
ah, I wondered if someone would notice that. xD I got that on sale, to round out my colors more. But I don't use it enough. Need to buy the Graham in my 6 main colors then I'll know for sure.

Its a very nice hake, served me well. I don't do as large of pieces since school, so I haven't used it as much.
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:iconorange-sodap0p:
orange-sodap0p Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2010   Traditional Artist
Watercolor has always been my enemy, haha. So this is actually really nice to read. I never even -thought- of sponges! Also, I like how you keep the white in...I was always told rubber cement, but it never peels off well, and just..ugh.

This was really helpful =) I'm going to add it to my favs for future reference!
Reply
:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Watercolor as an enemy, I know what you mean. Sometimes, i think it is mine too XD

yes! Sponges are a great way to move absorb water and paint. Don't be afraid to try other things, if it can move water, you can paint with it :D

I'm glad my description of leaving whites is clear. if you want to use masking fluid, =mary-chan has a great tutorial about it! They all pretty much work like this [link]

Let me know if you have other questions. :-)
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:iconorange-sodap0p:
orange-sodap0p Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2010   Traditional Artist
Oh thank you for that link! It will be very helpful =)

Besides learning technique, I think patience is a big downfall of mine, heh. I'm studying to be an animator, so I do a lot of quick gesture drawings, getting everything down as fast as I can. So when I try my hand at water color, I end up rushing the process and getting my paints all merged together..yuck. I guess that just comes with learning, though, haha.

Thank you again for the help. Hopefully one day I'll be able to make something half-decent XD
Reply
:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
oh yes XD gesture is a great thing. Well, just try and incorporate the paint as you can. sometimes I do fast paintings, sometimes I do slow. Sometimes the fast ones come out good XD
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:iconstaatsf:
staatsf Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2010
i love seeing your tools leftyfro
something very personal yet so familiar
staats
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:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
as yes, I know what you mean. Thanks :-)
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:iconkellygirl1:
KellyGirl1 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Great pic :)
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:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
thanks :D
Reply
:iconjadegl:
JadeGL Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2010
That was interesting to read, I liked the 5th one, specially cause I always had trouble with white and this helps (I'm a total n00b with traditional techniques).
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:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
oh cool. Glad it helped. please, ask me any tool question you have, I'll be happy to answer. :nod:
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:iconjadegl:
JadeGL Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2010
Aww. Thank you so much, when I'll need it I'll ask you for sure. :heart:
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:iconterepalomitas:
terepalomitas Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2010
Ah! the best image in my inbow today, art goodies never fail to make me drool :love:
You've changed your icon!
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:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
ah thanks! You can add yours to the #watercolorists project too if you like.

Yup! Wanted something more with my illustration, I do miss the goat though!
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:iconangelusnoir:
AngelusNoir Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2010   General Artist
cool idea!!great seeing other people's setups!!:) Helpful info too!!
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:iconkelliroos:
KelliRoos Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
thanks! I hope people can learn and use their own tools more effectively from this. :-)
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