Materials and Supplies

Every artist has their favorite brushes, paper, and paints. I encourage you to research and experiment until you find what works best for you. Over time, I have developed a list of preferred materials, and hope this information will serve as a guide as you acquire what works best for your needs. This list will be updated as I discover new materials and supplies.

  • I'm an affiliate of Blick art Materials and receive a small commission when you click any of these links. Thank you!
  • THIS LINK will take you to a huge list of additional sources for purchasing materials.

Click the logo below to quickly purchase of these materials from Dick Blick.

Materials Used in this Online School - Links and Information


We use Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolor Paints. The small, 5 ml tubes last a long time.

Standard Colors Used Most Often in our Courses - click the links below to purchase

The two most often used paints are French Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna. These colors are mixed together to create browns, greys, and blacks.

Additional colors used in most courses:

  • Yellow Ochre
  • Winsor Lemon – used underneath browns, especially in eyes; feel free to experiment with others yellow that you have on hand.
  • Permanent Rose – Mixed with Yellow Ochre creates a pinkish hue for noses and around eyes; feel free to experiment with other pinks/reds that you have on hand.
  • If you wish to create white hairs and whiskers, we use Permanent White Gouache. I prefer the gouache, which is a bit thicker, but the titanium white watercolor paint can also be used.

Additional colors used in some courses

  • Burnt Umber – you can use this instead of Burnt Sienna
  • Payne’s Gray – used for brown subjects
  • Winsor Blue (Green Shade)
  • Cobalt Blue
  • Indian Yellow
  • New Gamboge
  • Permanent Sap Green

If you don't have some of these colors, feel free to substitute others. I encourage you to experiment - it's all about what you wish to achieve in your paintings and you can do a lot with the standard colors.


When creating fur, it is important to use sturdy brushes that maintain a fine, pointed tip. The Raphael Kaerell Synthetic Pointed Round Brushes are soft, yet strong enough to handle the roughness of Cold Press paper while retaining a fine point. There are other pointed round brushes that work well, and I encourage you to use what you prefer. This goes for large brushes too - use what you have on hand.

Recommended Brushes

There are other pointed round brushes that work well, and I encourage you to use what you prefer. This goes for large brushes too - use what you have on hand.


I use Arches Natural White 140 lb. watercolor paper for all courses in the school, mostly Cold Press, although some courses use Hot Press. You can purchase the paper in blocks, single large sheets that you can cut to size, and sometimes in packs of sheets.

  • Cold Press paper has a slightly textured surface. - I use it for 8 x 10 inch and larger paintings. Hot Press paper has a smooth surface, great for smaller works or paintings that require much detail.
  • Each course in the school provides a materials list that indicates whether Cold Press or Hot Press is used.

Preparing the Paper for Painting

To prepare for painting, I soak the paper for 5 to 10 minutes in water, staple the edges of the paper to Gatorfoam Board, and allow to dry completely before beginning the painting.

  • Gatorfoam is a lightweight, rigid display board that has a dense, firm core and a water resistant surface. I use the 1/2 inch thickness. The board comes in different sizes. I have the 16" x 23" - my paintings are usually no larger than this.

Additional Materials

Sturdy Container for Water - I use a large plastic container so the water does not have to be changed often.

Paper Towels - for cleaning brushes, blotting, and cleaning up

For cleaning and wiping brushes, you could use a variety of items.

  • Some artists wipe their brushes on a roll of paper towels
  • Others use folded paper towels
  • Presently, I use a kitchen towel – sometimes called a tea towel. Folded to a convenient size, it absorbs water from the brush, and dries quickly. Use whatever is convenient for you.

I lay the brushes on the towel so the tips hang over and won’t bend into weird shapes when drying.

I use a tube from an old pen to pick up clean water and wake up color that has dried on the palette. You could add water with a brush, and I’ve seen artists use a squirt bottle – whatever works best for you, as long as the water is clean.

My set up looks like this.

Plastic container for water, brushes on the folded hand towel, paper towels nearby for blotting and cleaning up. I’m right handed, so these items are on the right, and my computer screen to view the reference photo is on the left.

I hope this information is helpful to you as you choose materials that work best for your needs.

THIS LINK will take you to a huge list of additional sources for purchasing materials.

If you have any questions,contact Rebecca at [email protected] She will be happy to assist!