Gail Speckmann's Watercolor Supplies List


John Pike Palette is my palette of choice.  However, the basic need is for a place to squeeze out various colors and also have an open space for mixing colors.  This could be as simple as a large plate or butcher tray or any of a number of palette choices available to you..


Arches 140 lb cold pressed is a good choice for the wet-into-wet approach. Other 100% cotton rag papers that I have found to work well include Fabriano Artistico and Rives BFK Printmaking/Watercolor Paper.  I will have Arches paper available for sale at the class for you if needed.


A range of sizes in flat brushes such as a 2”, 1”, and ½”, and at least one round brush such as a #6 or #8.  Good quality synthetic brushes are fine.


If you would like to keep your paint supply list truly simple,  a true primary of each color would suffice.  For this, I would suggest Cobalt Blue, Cadmium Yellow Light, and Permanent (Quinacridone) Red.

I strongly recommend using paint from tubes rather than pans.  For painting wet-into-wet, the density of the paint can be important, and you will only get this “juiciness” from freshly squeezed paint.

Holbein is my favorite brand of professional grade paints.  Koi is an excellent brand of student grade paint. In my broader palette, these are my additional choices:

Aureolin Yellow, Titanium WhiteIndian Yellow, French Ultramarine Blue, Jaune Brilliant #1 (Holbein), Verditer Blue (Holbein), Raw Umber, Thalo (or Winsor) Blue, Umber (Holbein), Cerulean Blue, Indian Red, Manganese Blue Hue (Holbein), Cadmium Red Purple, Leaf Green (Holbein), Alizarin Crimson, Cobalt Green (Yellow Shade) (Holbein), Thioindigo (Winsor & Newton), Viridian Green, Mineral Violet (Holbein), Lunar Black  (Daniel Smith).

I have highlighted what I feel would give you a fairly balanced palette (a warm & cool of each of the primaries, an earth color, one green, and white).  Others are also favorites, but perhaps not as essential if you are building a base.

OPTIONAL:  WATERCOLOR CRAYONS and/or PENCILS.  Caran D’Ache Neo-Color II Water-soluble Artist’s Crayons.  Good  watercolor pencils are made by Derwent and Faber-Castell, among others.  Oil Pastels have also become important to me.  I will bring along some for you to try with your work.

Board and clips

Gator board---a rigid lightweight board which is excellent for clipping your paper onto and “bulldog”clips, or use a board or support of your choice.