Julie Cohn’s
W A T E R C O L O R   S U P P L Y   L I S T
Suggested For Travel Sketching & Plein Air Painting

You need no more than 12 colors. Feel free to add your favorites. American Journey (AJ) and all other paint brands mentioned below, can be bought through www.cheapjoes.com. If you buy the large tubes of American Journey, you will get more for your dollar.  Da Vinci paints are the same product as American Journey and can be bought at Artist and Craftsman Supply in Berkeley. The selection of colors is more limited than American Journey. Use professional tube paints - at least one warm and one cool of each primary color:

Lemon Yellow / Quinacridone Gold (Winsor & Newton, or abbreviated, W & N)
Alizarin Crimson and Permanent Rose (W & N) / Scarlet lake (Holbein), or Fire Engine Red (AJ)
Ultramarine Blue (AJ) / Cerulean Blue (W & N) or Sky Blue (AJ)

Add Burnt Sienna, a Dark Green (my favorite is Bamboo Green by Holbein), a Bright Orange (my favorite is Warm Orange by Daler Rowney), a Turquoise (my favorite is Arctic Ice (AJ), and White Designer’s Gouache (for special occasions). An optional color that is a treat to use is called Coastal Fog(AJ) 

Use watercolor brushes that flip back to the original shape when shaken. Essentials are:

# 6 – 8 Round
#12 or #14 Rounds (2 total) – one for mixing, and one that has a good tip for painting
½ “ flat
1½  to  3 “ Hake Brush
Rigger (a long, thin brush, size 4 or slightly bigger)
Stiff ½“ Flat Brush (acrylic or oil brush)
Flat brushes from ¼” to 2 “ (They are great for painting buildings.)

The Heritage Folding Palette, sold at www.cheapjoes.com, has lots of mixing room, closes fairly tightly, and is reasonably priced. Or, use your larger palette that has a lid (my favorite is the John Pike palette also sold at Cheap Joes), or bring a plate. If you need them, bring extra trays/plates for mixing. A wet sponge inside a closed palette (or on a plate that is wrapped with a plastic bag) keeps the paint moist.

Bring an Arches Cold Pressed Block -14 x 18 inches. Or, bring a board (plastic or wood), and separate Arches sheets, and/or a watercolor sketchbook.

Often you can find a bench or rock and place your watercolor book or pad on your lap while you use your palette on the ground. However, if you want to invest in an outdoor lightweight easel, I recommend the Anderson Travel Easel- Fe 128 at www.andersoneasel.com .With shipping I imagine the price will be close to $90.00. For around $30.00 I purchased a wonderful collapsible GCI stool/chair at REI in Berkeley or go to  www.gcioutdoor.com .

Bring a natural sea sponge (big holes) for tree textures, Mr.Clean sponges and an exact-o knife for lifting back to white paper, medium weight sand paper for textural effects, a small spray bottle for sea and trees, paper towels, a ¼ of a small kitchen sponge and Scotch Brand masking tape. For sketching, and watercolor ideas, bring a few #9b soft pencils, a few #6b soft charcoal pencils, a portable sharpener, a white, cylindrical, pointed shading tool, thin lined permanent black and/or brown pens, and one or two small sketch books, for mostly writing or mostly painting. Handmade paper can add to your beautiful designs in your travel sketch pages. A glue stick comes in handy too.


Supply List