One of the most important elements to a successful painting 

session is having the appropriate materials and being comfortable

with them. Please use this list as a guide to organizing your gear,

keeping in mind that your preference of brands and supplies is as

unique to you as mine is unique to me. Use materials you like and with which you are familiar.


  • Paints. I use 15ml tube paints from Holbein and Daniel Smith. Pan paints will work, so long as you are able to work up rich, saturated washes. For a full list of the pigments I use, CLICK HERE

  • Brushes. You will want a decent mop or similar for laying in washes.  Escoda Ultimo #10 or #14 are a good choice, but lately I've really been enjoying Princeton's Neptune Quill in sizes #4 and #6. Also, please have at least one pointed round, whether it be sable or synthetic. I own a few sable brushes and never use them. My workhorse brushes are all synthetic. I own Escoda's Perla Round in various sizes from #8 up to #16. The Perla is a synthetic brush made of white toray. Many companies offer white and gold synthetic brushes (toray, taklon, tame) and most would be acceptable for our purposes. What's most important is it be no smaller than 4mm at the 

  • Palette. I use a custom Roberson style brass paintbox made by John Hurtley of the Little Brass Box Company out of Chesire, England. Palette preference is unique to each artist, so bring what you are most comfortable using. If you are in the market for a new, affordable palette, the Mijello Fusion Airtight/Leakproof Palettes are great. I own the 18 well version and it has served me well.

  • Paper. Plan on having a full sheet (22x30") worth of paper for each workshop day you plan to attend. We will mainly be working on quarter sheets, so one full sheet will provide you with with 4 quarter sheets per day. This may prove to be excessive, but always better to have too much than not enough. I work on Arches 140lb Cold Press and 140lb Rough bright white paper taped to a support. Either cold press or rough will suffice, but 100% cotton artist quality papers from Arches, Saunders or Fabriano, etc. will yield a more positive experience than lesser grade, student quality papers. But as with all supplies on this list, bring the materials that fit within your comfort zone as well as your budget. Watercolor blocks are also a fine choice.

  • Support. If not using a watercolor block, you will need a support board. In the studio, I use 1/2" birch plywood sealed with water-based polyurethane. For traveling and plein air I use a sheet of corrugated plastic purchased from my local hardware store. Folded in half it doubles as a folder for my extra paper and paintings. Gatorboard is also a common choice, as is a simple clipboard. Essentially, anything sturdy, lightweight and water resistant will make an acceptable support.

  • Easel. I paint on a table top easel that allows me to work at various elevated angles. If you have such an easel, please feel free to bring it. If not, any simple device that will elevate your support and allow you to work at an angle of 2" - 4" will do fine (ie: a tissue or pencil box, a rolled hand towel, that leftover rock-hard holiday fruitcake that no one ate, etc.)

  • Sketchbook

  • Pencil. I use Pentel Mechanical pencils, 0.7mm and 0.9mm with 2B lead. 

  • Eraser. Staedtler Mars Plastic is great for watercolor because it is relatively non-marking.

  • Razor Blade (Single edge, utility knife style)

  • Sponge/Rag

  • Paper Towels

  • Masking Tape

  • Spray Bottle/Mister. I typically use a mister that holds around 4 ounces that can be found in just about any store that has a section for travel sized products.

  • Ziplock bags (for storing/transporting wet supplies - soggy paper towels, rags, etc.)


  • All of the above Studio List

  • Easel/Tripod/Packable chair - Bring your preferred plein air setup. If you have not painted plein air before, you might try a packable chair and paint on your lap with either a watercolor block or paper secured to a support.

  • Water bottle/container. I usually bring about 1L of water in a Nalgene bottle unless I know I'm going to be near a useable water source. 

  • Camera/Cell Phone Camera* Optional. Comes in handy to capture a fleeting moment.

  • Weather-appropriate clothing, hat, sunscreen, insect repellant, etc.

  • Drinks/Snacks

ferrule, as is the #8 Perla Round, which is the smallest brush I use. I could complete a 10x14" painting (quarter sheet) with only a #4 Princeton Neptune Quill and a #10 Escoda Perla Round. These brushes, as well as all the supplies I use, are available from Blick Art Materials at

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