Getting Started in Watercolour

Are you inspired to try watercolour but not sure where to start ?

What do you need and how do you get started ?

The basics will be covered and most of all you will learn to love playing ..

Firstly let me warn you just how addictive watercolour painting can be !


There are so many options out there, but I would suggest you start with just a few basic supplies and see how you like it.

A few basic supplies to get you started

A few basic supplies to get you started


Watercolour comes in many forms, water-soluble pencils, discs or pans and tubes. These can be used together or individually.

A small set of disc or pan watercolours are fine to start with. If you prefer tubes then just buy a few colours to start.

Ask at your art supply store for :

Warm yellow

Cool yellow

Warm red

Cool Red

Warm blue

Cool Blue

These only need to be small tubes as you use very little. From these colours you can mix so many colours.

White is not usually used in watercolour painting. It is an opaque paint which can appear chalky. ( in my opinion) If you want an area to have white as your highlights then leave it white from the start or cover those areas with masking fluid.


So many to choose from. Do not feel you need expensive brushes to start. I love my synthetic ones !

Sizes: this is personal but you really want about four ideally.

No 10 round (long point)

No 6 round (long point)

No 3 round

000 or no 1 for finer details.

To keep these brushes in great condition I clean them well after use, do not use them for other product at all and store upright in a cup or jar to protect the bristles.

Again, ask at the store what type of brush is suitable for watercolour. You basically want a few for washes and blocking in areas and a few smaller ones for details.


This can be a china dinner plate, preferably white so you can see the true colour of the paint.

Water Holder:

A drinking glass, glass jar etc. You want to be able to see when your water is dirty as it will require regularly changing. ( I have two on the go)

Paper Towel:

Ordinary kitchen towel or paper towel for removing excess water or paint from the brush.


Of course you will need this to paint on !

So many options. Everyone has their favourite. I prefer Hot Pressed paper which has a smooth finish.

Watercolour paper comes in different weights which equal the thickness/weight of the paper.

Then there is Hot Press and Cold Press, smooth, rough texture etc.

I would buy a watercolour pad to start with that is hot or cold press and smooth finish. Don’t be tempted to buy an expensive one at this time, you are starting out !

Hopefully this will give you some basic information to get you going….

Check back for Part: Two

Covering how to start !



A few of my favourite supplies..