Supply List for Beginning Drawing and Watercolor Workshop

Beginning Drawing and Watercolor Workshop Supply List

Barbara Benda, Instructor


 Whether this is your first time painting, or if you are a veteran artist, please consider purchasing professional high quality materials as this will make a huge difference in your painting experience. Many artists are concerned about the cost of good materials; however, painting is challenging enough without wrestling with inferior supplies. It will pay off in the long run!




Drawing Supplies: 

  • Sketchbook (at least 8.5”x11”)
  • Pencils: HB (No. 2) and a 6B drawing pencil
  • Pencil sharpener

Watercolor Supplies

 Paper:  140 lb. COLD-Pressed, 100% Cotton Professional watercolor paper.  I prefer both Arches 100% Rough cotton paper (rough) and Saunders Waterford.  Another brand I recommend is  Artistico Fabriano. You will need at least 4 sheets of 22”x30” paper or 8 sheets of 22”x 15” paper.  We are going to tear them into smaller pieces. Do not cut them. I will demonstrate how to tear paper correctly.  If you know how to tear paper, you can tear them down to quarter sheets (11″x15″). We will not be painting on paper larger than 11″x15″.

Paints: Professional grade watercolor paint in 15 ml size. Avoid student grade brands such as Reeves, Van Gogh, Artist’s Loft, Daler -Rowney, Winsor Newton Cotman –  they will not give you vibrancy of color.

Brands I use and recommend: Daniel Smith, Holbein, Winsor Newton Professional, QOR.  (Other acceptable brands are Da Vinci and American Journey). I have listed recommended paints below in the order listed. If you have no paints, please select only the first one mentioned in parentheses.


  • One tube of yellow (Hansa, Cadmium Yellow, Lemon)
  • One tube of blue (French Ultramarine, Cobalt, Cerulean)
  • One tube of red (Perylene Red, Carmine, Alizarin Crimson)
  • One tube of Payne’s Gray or Neutral Tint
  • One tube of Quinacridone Burnt Orange
  • One tube of Opera Pink (or Permanent Rose)

Other paints are welcome, but for the workshop, these are the essentials.

Support-(a firm surface to support your watercolor paper) should be at least 11”x15.  Gatorboard OR Masonite boards work well. Plexiglas or foamboard are also acceptable as a supports, although foam core tends to curl with water.   Sizes needed:

  • One board at least 13”x17”
  • One board at least 10”x13”
  • Three to five boards that measure at least 8”x10”.

Watercolor Brushes *

If you are painting for the first time, make sure you get soft brushes for watercolor and not bristle brushes for acrylic and oil. Test a brush in a store by brushing your cheek with it. If it feels soft, it is likely a watercolor brush. If rough, it is better used for acrylics. I prefer natural hair brushes, but they are expensive. Many synthetic sable brushes are very good and can be reasonably priced. One important factor in purchasing a round brush is the point. If it has a nice point, it will work fine.

  • One large round brush (size 12 to size 14). Sizes vary from brand to brand.*
  • One small round brush (size 8)*
  • Optional: Size 4 brush for detail

*I strongly recommend the Silver Brush 3000S Black Velvet Short Handle Sizes 12 and 8- These blend of natural and synthetic round brushes have a nice belly and a fine tip so they can be used for washes and for small, detailed work.  I also recommend Escoda Perla or Escoda Versatil round brushes.


Palette: I have used Frank Webb and John Pike plastic palettes, but any will do as long as they have a lid for keeping paint moist and a large mixing surface.

Household Items:

  • Two containers for water, such as yogurt or cottage cheese containers
  • One roll of 1″ masking tape. (NOT the blue or green Painter’s tape for painting walls).
  • One roll of paper towels (VIVA brand of smooth, untextured paper is preferred if you can still find untextured VIVA)
  • A household sponge
  • A small squirt bottle or misting bottle for spritzing.
  • Ultra or Extra Fine Black Sharpie mark


Where do I buy my supplies?

I like to support local art stores, but I often order supplies online due to cost when ordering in quantity.  I recommend online art stores such as Cheap Joe’s, Jerry’s Artarama, DickBlick, and Daniel Smith. Order now so your supplies arrive in time- some take up to 10 days to arrive by mail.


 IF YOU PREFER NOT TO ORDER YOUR OWN SUPPLIES, I DO OFFER A SUPPLY KIT FOR YOU TO PURCHASE DIRECTLY FROM ME. (This kit includes everything on the supply list, including the household materials.) COST: $225


Questions: please contact me by phone or email. I’m happy to help you.



Barbara Benda