Tools I Use

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 Paper

The paper I normally use is based on cost and weight. I generally buy paper that is 140 lbs and above so that it doesn't cockle when wet. Also, being relatively new to watercolours I try to buy economically. When I run out of one pad I buy the same type or cheaper.  I'll buy the better quality once my work merits it. At present I am using Winsor & Newton's Artist's watercolour paper (300gm2/140lbs). As you can see from the photo, W&N had 25% extra so I bought that pad in preference to another.

All of the papers I have used above have been excellent. 

Stretching

I stretch my paper on 12mm MDF board I bought from a hardware store. I used to use gummed paper to hold it down but found on larger paper it came away. I now staple it with the gun shown. The MDF was 4' x 2' ins ( 1229 x 606mm) sheet that I cut in two so I could alternate the boards. I put the paper in a bath of water for about 2-3 mins until it looses it's rigidness before stapling.

Paint Brushes

As you can see I use a wide range of synthetic brushes. They're from Daler Rowney's Aquafine range and relatively inexpensive. Mostly, I use the ones in the left to middle of the photo, and occasionally use others depending on the subject. The third brush from the right is an acrylic fan stippler. This brush is more rigid than the watercolour stippler and is good for stippling leaves on trees. The second from the right is a colour shaper for applying masking fluid.

Paints

I first purchased Daler Rowney Aquafine watercolour paints because they were cheap but now I use Artist's watercolour paints from the same company because they contain more pigment. I have only used DR's products because that's what I purchased when I     started and  I have remained with the same brand. 

The small plastic tool box is great for keeping everthing together!

Palettes

I go for ceramic palettes every time. I plastic might be a bit cheaper but after a while you cant get the paint off them. The large bowl of the right is a butchers bowl. It's great for mixing colours in.

Miscellaneous

Other tools I use are a HB pencil for sketching, a craft knife for cutting the paper off the MDF ,some masking tape and a eraser shield. I also have a ruling pen for painting grass with masking fluid. Additionally, I have a lot of cheap brushes that I buy from pound shops and the like that I use for applying masking fluid. That way the good brushes don't get damaged. Finally, one other item I use which I haven't seen in any book is a pipette ( see photo). I find this useful if I need to mix a lot of water with the paint, such as in a wash. You can control the amount of water you apply with a pipette and it's much faster than picking up the water with your brush.