I am blown away by the response to my last post about my Urban Sketching In Watercolour For Beginners course, to be held each day of the week of 12th-16th June. I am so looking forward to bringing this beautiful and creative hobby to all of you who have signed up. I still have a few places left and I thought you might like to know what you’ll need to join in.
I had a special offer on the paint sets I will be using, and unsurprisingly they have flown out the door and are currently on their way to their new homes. You can still join my course if you can get your hands on the watercolours we’ll be using in time for the course, if you’re attending the Live. If your intention is to follow the recording after the week is done, you have lots of time to get materials!
(Note to readers based in Ireland: I may have more watercolour sets on the week starting 5th June, so I will be able to get them to you in time for the start of the course.)
The watercolour brands – in artist grade, not student grade – I can strongly recommend are as follows:
Roman Szmal Aquarius, Schmincke, Daniel Smith, Winsor and Newton, Rembrandt, Etchr, Sennelier
Here are the colours by Roman Szmal I will be using (suitable alternatives in brackets, in any of the above-mentioned brands):
- 1. Payne’s Grey (Indigo, Shadow Grey)
- 2. Phthalo Blue (Cerulean, Helio Cerulean, Prussian Blue)
- 3. Ultramarine Intense (French Ultramarine, Delft Blue, Ultramarine Light)
- 4. Cherry Quinacridone Red (Quinacridone Red, Opera Pink, Opera Rose, Opera)
- 5. Aquarius Orange (Cadmium Orange, Pyrrol Orange, Chrome Orange)
- 6. Aquarius Yellow (Hansa Yellow Medium, Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Light, Quinophthalone Yellow)
- 7. Sap Green (Hooker’s Green, Sap Green Light)
- 8. Aquarius Green (Green Apatite Genuine (DS))
- 9. Phthalo Green (Viridian)
- 10. Yellow Ochre (Quinacridone Gold, Yellow Raw Ochre)
- 11. Burnt Sienna Monte Amiata (Burnt Sienna, Transparent Red Oxide)
- 12. Cyprus Burnt Umber (Burnt Umber, Sepia, Vandyke Brown)
- 13. (Optional) Quinacridone Magenta (Pyrrol Rubine, Quinacridone Fuschia, Opera Rose, Opera Pink)
There are others that will do fine, I just can’t think of them!
You will need watercolour paper. This is paper that is usually (but not always) a bit textured, and should weigh 200g / 90lb. I like to use Hahnemühle Watercolour Sketchbook or the very fancy 250g 100% cotton sketchbooks they do. I love my A5 size sketchbooks but you can use A6 or A4 too, or loose sheets. Bring scrap paper each day, for scribbling and thumbnails.
You’ll need a brush. I like the ones by Rosemary & Co. but they are quite fancy (ie. expensive and fantastic quality). However a simple entry-level travel brush is perfect for what we’ll be doing. Get a size 8 or 10. There are lots of brands!
I love using a fountain pen to sketch, and I really love my fude nib. A fude nib is one that is bent to an angle of 40º or 55º, giving it a variability of line width from skinny to wide. A straight nib is perfect too and is the preference of lots of sketchers. In a fude pen, I like the brands Sailor (green or navy barrel) and Jin Hao, and in a straight nib I like the brands Lamy and Noodlers. You can also use a fineliner – I don’t use them but some of my favourite artists use them.
If you want to buy a fude pen, put “fude nib” or Bent nib” into the search bar and you will get somewhere.
You can use a pencil too! I love a 2B and I am partial to a retractable pencil (if that’s what they’re called). Make sure to bring a sharpener or craft knife to keep a good sharp point. I don’t use pencils to sketch but many swear by them.
If you’re using a pen, you’ll need waterproof ink. You must make sure it won’t clog your pen, because a clogged pen is no fun. The brands I know and trust are Document Ink by De Atramentis (I love Brown), and Sketch Ink by Rohrer and Kilngner (I love Emma, an olive green).
I do like my white gel pen for small mistakes in ink, and the brand I really like is Gelly Roll, in a size 10. They’re good for a strong, fluid line and you can (sort of) paint on top.
I love my magnetic clips to hold down pages.
I always bring small vials of spare ink with me.
I like to carry water in a stainless steel “brush cleaner” which is leak- and spill-proof but for this course anything will do.
I will shortly be manufacturing very cool field pencil cases…so you might want to hang on for one!
That’s it! Of course once you venture out you’ll need a sunhat (I hate glare and the sun being in my eyes) and a portable stool.
Looking forward to seeing you very soon,