My Go-To Products
- Paper: You'll want to avoid flimsy computer paper and instead pick a pad with thick sheets that can withstand lots of water application without warping too much. Look for one anywhere within the 80- to 300-pound paper weight range for the best results. I've personally been happy as a clam with Blick's 80-Pound Mixed Media Pad ($7), which comes with 60 sheets that each measure 9x12 inches. A few other popular brands for watercolor paint pads include Strathmore and Canson.
- Paints: As for watercolor paints, they come in several different forms: metal tubes, with the paint having a toothpaste-like consistency; plastic pans, with the different paint colors formed into a dry, circular or rectangular "cakes"; and bottled liquid, which doesn't require you to mix in additional water. I prefer Loew-Cornell's 36-Count Watercolor Cakes Pan ($10, originally $13) because it offers a gorgeous assortment of hues across the spectrum.
- Brushes: Lastly, for paintbrushes, personal preference definitely comes into play, but I think it's best to purchase a variety pack that has both round and flat brushes. I've got the Grace Art Watercolor Brush Set ($8, originally $9), which has proven durable through the years.
As you can see, I chose to go the affordable route when picking my watercolor painting products, but there are plenty of more luxe brands out there for those willing to fork over a bit more cash in the name of DIY art. If you do choose to splurge on your paints and brushes, you can rest easy knowing it's money well spent because the products can be used over and over again before running out (or starting to shed, in the case of the brushes). Who doesn't love a hobby with bang for your buck, am I right?