Course Equipment & Materials

The watercolour equipment you already have will work fine - especially if you are familiar with mixing your chosen colours. However, after years of trying all kinds of materials, I find the brands on my list suit my style and approach. They are recommendations.. Although, for my loose style of impressionist watercolour painting I would whole-heartedly suggest that you need a large mop brush that holds lots of water and Saunders Waterford watercolour paper. (see below)


I have a rather warm, earthy palette of colours. And the four hues I could not live without are French Ultramarine, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna and Permanent Alizarin Crimson. I find that I have to replace these colours the most frequently. And I have painted many paintings with just these four hues to great effect and colour harmony - a practice I would thoroughly recommend for painters of all abilities.For my beginners recommendations please watch the video below.

Sean's Minimal Palette

For beginners, who are not sure where to start, I recommend the 8 SAA colours 
below - plus Opaque White (used from the tube for highlight and atmospheric effects).:

Cadmium Yellow
Raw Sienna
Burnt Sienna
Permanent Alizarin Crimson
Burnt Umber
Prussian Blue
Payne's Grey

Sean's Full Palette

For greater range of hue and pigmentation, I use 15 W & N artist watercolours
plus Opaque White or White Gouache (used for highlight and atmospheric effects)

Lemon Yellow
Cadmium Yellow
Yellow Ochre
Raw Seinna
Permanent Alizarin Crimson
Cadmium Red

Raw Umber
Burnt Sienna
Burnt Umber

Colbalt Blue
Cerulean Blue
French Ultramarine
Prussian Blue
Payne’s Grey
Neutral Tint

Whatever your palette of colours, stick with them so that you get used to mixing and painting with them. If you're happy with the results, then that's the most important thing. Experience will tell you what works and what doesn't.

Watercolour Paper:
Saunders Waterford (rough) 140lb or 200lb - 2 half sheets (22in x 15in) for each day.
Arches watercolour blocks, either 140lb. or 200lb. (rough).

If you are used to working with smaller sizes of paper, that's fine. However, I find the half Imperial size
liberates tight brush strokes, and coupled with the large mop and round brushes I use there is less
chance of "fiddling" with insignificant details.

Watercolour Brushes
No 12 large Mop brush (Pro Arte)
No. 6 Mop brush (Pro Arte)
No 8 Round 
No 5 Pointed Round
No 4 Round

No 6 Escoda Travel Brush
No 2 Escoda Travel Brush

For beginners, I recommend the SAA brush set (5 great brushes) at an affordable price. More info.

Large watercolour palette with lid
Water Spray Bottle or Water Trigger Spray Gun
Large box of tissues
A large plastic water container - collapsible lantern style
6B pencil and eraser
¼ inch board or light weight board approx. 15”x22” to support paper
Metal Easel