Wondering which art supplies I use for my watercolors? Or which colored pencils I prefer, now that my Sensational Succulents coloring book has come out? Here’s what works well for me and that I wouldn’t be without. Prices are approximate. Have fun! ~ Debra
COLORED PENCILS — Prismacolor, set of 48, $28. These cover evenly, have a creamy texture, don’t break easily and provide vibrant color.
PENCIL SHARPENER — Ex-20 Electric Pencil Sharpener, $24. Any inexpensive manual sharpener will work, but if you do a lot of coloring, one that’s electric or battery-powered is terrific to have.
WATERCOLOR PAPER — Aquarelle arches cold press, $40. This seems expensive, but it’s a block of 20 sheets and the paper is the highest quality. (Low-end papers tend to buckle and don’t work with the paint as well.)
LIGHT BOX — Artograph light tracer light box 10 x 12, $44. I wouldn’t be without a light box for tracing, but a bright window works as well…except, of course, at night.
WATERCOLOR BRUSHES — Majestic Royal set of assorted sizes, $24. I acquired my brushes over time, but this assortment has the essentials: a rigger (super skinny brush for script and lines); several sizes of all-purpose round brushes that each taper to a point; and a flat, wide brush for washes. Quality brushes that hold their shapes and don’t shed are a must. Always store upright and wash thoroughly in plain water after using.
WATERCOLOR PAINT — Daniel Smith set of six, $32. This brand ensures vibrant results, and the assortment of three warm primary colors and three cool primaries lets you create every hue. The tubes may seem tiny, but no worries, they pack a LOT of pigment. (Use sparingly if you’re used to watercolors of lesser quality.)
When you dilute watercolor paint with liquid light (clear water), you can create an image that’s translucent. Because the white of the paper shines through, the result suggests a sunlit moment in the garden.
WATERCOLOR MIXING TRAYS — Simply Art Assorted Palettes, set of four, $6.50. I use a tray for each of the three primary colors (red, blue, yellow).
WATERCOLOR MASKING FLUID — Daniel Smith, 1 oz., $10. You can apply masking fluid with a thin, inexpensive brush, but disposable applicators, which this brand offers, works just as well (and saves on brushes).
ART ERASER — Art gum natural rubber, $4. You’ll need a soft art eraser to rub off the masking fluid when your painting is nearly finished. Avoid using a regular eraser which can damage the paper.
Other watercolor supplies you’ll need (and probably already have):
— Plastic containers for clean water. I keep several filled ones handy while painting so I don’t have to stop to change the water. (Never paint with gray water!)
— Paper towels. Essential for blotting excess water and/or paint from brushes.
— iPad or other electronic device that can display the original photo, so you can refer to it (if you want to). Photos on which the coloring book’s illustrations are based are on my website.
— Piece of cardboard or rigid canvas on which to tape the paper you’re painting, held in place with masking tape that peels off easily.
— Ordinary lead pencil for tracing.
My Sensational Succulents coloring book showcases an extensive array of succulents and emphasizes their melodic geometry and exquisite patterns. In 75 beautiful illustrations by European artist Laura Serra, this book offers hours of restorative, creative fun and a fresh way to enjoy your favorite plants. Makes a great gift!