Supply List Portraits in Watercolor I – 2024

NOTE this is not a beginner class so this is list assumes you have some supplies!!!

You needn’t buy the most expensive art materials but it is essential that you use good quality supplies. Inferior quality supplies are a recipe for frustration and marginal results.  For best results, good paper is most important, followed by a good brush, then paint. See the end of this list for some idea where to buy supplies.

Here is a summary list:
Please use this list to review what you have and to fill in any supply gaps. Email me if you have questions!!

Paint Colors. Please read my article on portraits and flesh colors before class.
Colors I will use during my portrait class. Important to note: there are many substitute colors you may have and use!! In your covered palette you should include at least one warm and one cool version of each primary color.
Primary flesh colors. (Great flesh triad) WN Manganese blue, M Graham Cad red light, Winsor Yellow deep, plus maybe some raw sienna.  I use Scarlet Lake at the Very End to add warmth to cheeks.
Brown/red Hair, rusty browns, warm darks : The classic – French Ultramarine Blue (FUB) and Burnt Sienna (BS)    [Danial Smith’s (DS) Quin Burnt orange is sub for BS]
Blond hair is Raw Sienna in light (or yellow ocher)
Darks on face: (Lips, nostrils, corners of the mouth):  Perm Alizarin Crimson, FUB with the Cad red.
Eyes: All the above colors
Greens and cool blues: (My current favorite base background. A complement to flesh colors) Winsor Blue red shade, DS Q Gold, and Aureolin.
Very darks (warm and cool): I blend these 3 together and seldom use alone: Payne’s Gray, Sepia, Neutral Tint.
Brands are Winsor Newton if not specified.
I recommend Artist Grade Watercolors in a tube. Brands including Winsor & Newton Professional (most available in Duluth at Hobby Lobby, UMD, and Michael’s), M. Graham, Daniel Smith, Holbein, and many more (all available at online stores). You will find paints in tubes and pans or cakes. Both are good to use but I recommend tubes. Student grade paints have less pigment and more filler. Your flesh may be chalky and you might feel frustrated. Common student brands include Cotman Series by Winsor & Newton, Grumbacher Academy Watercolors, and Van Gogh. I don’t recommend Kids paint like Yarka, or Prang at all for this class!!

I suggest, if available: (1 or 2) 22”×30” watercolor paper sheets, Arches brand or equal, 140-lb (140 pound) Cold Press, either bright white or natural (no significant difference). A 22” x 30” sheet is $9-$12. You can also buy Arches brand or Kilimanjaro (Cheap Joe’s Brand) paper in tablets or blocks (Must be 100% cotton!). Tablets are expensive to start with. We will rip larger sheets into smaller sizes. Don’t buy Strathmore 300 watercolor paper (yellow cover tablets, made of wood not cotton) It is very difficult to get desired results with this paper. It’s sold everywhere; DON’T BUY IT FOR PAINTING WATERCOLOR. Must be 100% cotton, NOT cellulose /wood paper.

Bring what you have designated for watercolor.
Sizes and shapes recommended:
A good brush to start with for portraits is a #12 or #10 round, synthetic or synthetic blend brush. Feel free to bring brushes you are comfortable with. #10, #6, #0, ½” flat and 1” flat.
I will bring extras of mine to try. Don’t buy extras until after the first night.
I wrote an article on brushes, consider reading it.

Other supplies you already have:
Palette with cover. I will have some to use or purchase
One – 1pt or larger water containers (Preferably plastic to avoid breakage)
Pencil, Yellow school, or mechanical is good
Large soft white or kneaded eraser (MOO Brand), not a pink pearl
Sponge: a small inexpensive grocery store sponge or old terry cloth rag
Small spritzer bottle for water. See travel sections at Target, Walgreen’s etc.
Paper towel: Viva brand is recommended for its strength.
12×16” Support board (optional), I will have some if needed
Note pad: to take notes
Sketch pad, I will provide charcoal and paper if needed.

Where to buy art supplies:
Most of these items are all available locally at Michael’s, UMD Bookstore, and Hobby Lobby.  In the Twin Cities, try Wet Paint, Blick and others.
Arches paper in the full sheets may be most difficult to buy locally. Hobby Lobby and UMD sell it. There are many online resources for art supplies: This is just a few.
Cheap   Daniel Smith   Dick Blick   Jerry’s Artarama
Amazon has some supplies, especially paper pads and blocks, and their prices are competitive.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me!