The best advise for beginners is Start Simple!
When starting out you need to feel free to make a lot of experimental art and play a lot, without the worry of feeling like you are wasting "good" art supplies.
I have created a lot of beginners art exercises here to help you learn the fundamentals of colour mixing using a simple palette of just 6 colours - or less - and make some fun, easy paintings
Check out one of the best beginners watercolour Tutorials here -
So now, you are inspired, , maybe you've attended one of my workshops, and its time to go shopping!
There is so much to choose from!
Honestly, there is no need to purchase every tube colour (as beautiful as they are!), or super expensive paper (again, all very beautiful) or the high-end brushes.
Save all these items as treats for yourself, as you gain knowledge through your practice, reward your efforts with these things as your confidence grows and paintings improve.
There are some "bad" supplies to avoid... I will touch on this here.
The basic materials I recommend for beginners are
Windsor & Newton "Cotmans"
The colours you need to begin are
to grow your paint palette I would recommend the next additions to be
All of the other tube colours you can make with the colours listed above. As much as they look appealing, they are not necessary unless you are using large quantities. Also, they tend to add confusion to a beginners palette.
Next Level paints are
Qor (by Golden)
There is a lot of great paints out there... but avoid Reeves
A really good entry level paper is
TAD Watercolour Paper from Warehouse Stationary. 200 or 300gsm. Its a great price and quality to learn with.
As you get more confident the next level papers to consider adding to your art supplies would be,
These are brands which all make beautiful quality 100% cotton Papers.
Papers come in Hot Pressed (Super smooth) or Cold Pressed (Textured). Each brand has a slightly different texture and feel.
I would recommend purchasing them by the sheet so you can try out different papers to find out what you like.
Paper is a very personal choice and worth experimenting with.
Again ... I would suggest, Avoid Reeves.
A great beginner brush is the Princeton Snap Round.
Go for a size between 12 and 20.
These you can get from Warehouse Stationary for less than $20.
They last well, come to a good pointed tip, have a nice fat belly to hold plenty of water (so you can paint for a long time without reloading your brush) and a good size heal for pressing into the paper for wide lines or covering lots of space.
There is a wide variety of brushes you can chose to try. Synthetic/natural bristles, every size you can imagine, Chinese brushes, Flat,, daggers, rigger, fan... but best to have one good brush to learn with, then start adding to your collection.
My favourites are
Daler-Rowney Round size 12 and 24
Athena "Lovia" size 6 & 8
And my trusty Chinese brushes (don't buy Gordon Harris ones, they are rubbish! Trade me has some goodies)
For those of you living in New Plymouth, a visit to Artistic Expressions (Corner of Gover and Pendarves Street) will fill all your art supplies desires.
In the bigger cities in NZ check out Gordon Harris - take your list so you dont get overwhelmed!
Now, Start practicing!
Over and over again!
Its only paper, its only paint... if its terrible, just make another!
Your first paintings are not going to be masterpieces.
Enjoy the process.
Learn to develop a sensitivity towards your materials, notice subtle colour shifts, feel the texture of your paper through your brush, hold your brush like its a baby.
Joni Murphy Artist.com/blog
Paint with joy, with the sheer pleasure of singing life's song.
Please feel free to share your work with me, ask me questions and follow along the tutorials I will continue to add.