Linda Okazaki/ Walk in the Woods

Watercolor Painting & sketching supply list:

Water container

Spray bottle

Paper towels or blotting paper

Tin can for holding brushes or some other container

Pencils, soft graphite, eraser, pencil sharpener

Carrying box, bucket or pack for supplies

Figure out how you can easily transport all your supplies for open air painting     Water container holding all the water you need for a session

        Palette for mixing paint (lightweight is good)


        Something to sit upon. Some use a bucket and carry supplies in bucket.

        Sun protection

        Some use a portable easel or simply have the watercolor block on their lap

        Small 5 x 7” watercolor block is recommended for quick sketch

         Blotting paper—(a few paper towels)

         Place to hold book. Reference spoken word.

Palettes: Any below

Above is a selection of watercolor palettes that vary in size and cost.

I like the covered palettes as it provides a mixing palette too

or white plates from Goodwill or garage sales but they are heavier to transport.

White palette or plate is best for seeing the color of paint.

Watercolor paint: Student grade watercolor paint is acceptable:

Shop around and find a selection of paint and brushes that work for you.

These are suggestions of colors I would choose for a traveling paint kit.  Painters, select from your personal preferences( * indicates a recommendation)

Gamboge Hue

Naples Yellow

Cadmium Yellow *

Cadmium Orange

Cadmium Red *

Rose Madder

Cobalt Blue *

Cobalt Teal Blue

Cerulean Blue

Cobalt violet

Hookers Green light *

Sap Green

Raw Umber *

Raw Sienna

Chinese white *

Ivory Black *


A variety of sizes are helpful both for detail and broader strokes. Purchase according to your budget and prospective longer-term use. 

One student liked using one brush for everything a Robert Simmons Goliath brush and that worked well for her

Basically it’s good to have a small medium and large brush. Look over what you have and shop locally or online. One can buy a package of several brushes at a reasonable price. Shop according to your budget. Most anything will work for your needs. You might even want to apply paint with a branch.

Below is one example.


Other watercolor paper may be used, these are only suggestions. If the paper you choose is very light-weight, it means needing to tape the paper to a board. If paper is light-weight, tape is needed along with a board several inches around larger than the size of your paper.

The benefit of working from the watercolor block is that the paper is fixed and doesn’t curl with water soaking the surface. This small watercolor block is recommended.

5 x 7”

Fabriano Artistico watercolor small block for quick studies is also recommended.

Some experienced plein-air painters often use a larger watercolor paper block for broader strokes.

Larger watercolor paper blocks:

Arches Watercolor Block, 140 lb, Cold Press, Arches Watercolor, 140 lb 20 sheets choosing a size that works for you. You want to have room to move your brush.


Using colored pencils is totally optional

Students are encouraged to experiment as desired.

Additional options for supplies:

Places to buy supplies: look ahead for special sales

Daniel Smith

Jerry’s Artarama need to plan for shipping that may take 2 weeks


Olympic Art and Office Port Townsend, WA (offers PTSA students a 10% discount)

Quimper Mercantile, Port Townsend, WA