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Equipment list - 3 & 4

Best watercolour equipment for beginners

SOME NOTES: If you are just starting with Jenny, please read.

  • If you are just starting Level 3 or 4 you will also need the basic equipment from both Levels 1 and 2. Please see the relevant lists, and note that many colours you need are available in the PAINT SHOP.

  • Jenny prefers her students to paint with Artist Quality equipment....that is paint, paper and brushes.  She believes that 'student grade' equipment will yield 'student grade' results and will often be disappointing.  While it costs more initially, it is vastly more economical and results are far superior. 

  • We have a PAINT SHOP>  This is a link to amazingly cheap Winsor and Newton Professional brand of paint and some other items, purchased from the UK.  check out the Paint shop before buying your equipment.

  • Please keep store receipts.  

  • there are many options for brushes and paint.  Please consider carefully.   The 'good' brushes can cost just a little more then the 'mediocre ones'. Read the list carefully, and just choose one brush, you don't need lots.

  • PLEASE!!!  iF IT ISN'T ON THE LIST don't buy it.   

  • Please don't be talked into alternative substitutes or buy something 'near enough'. 

  • Of course, You can paint with whatever you want. (except for the paper, which is compulsory). However, you will find that many cheaper paints and brushes etc, will NOT behave the way it should when you go to paint in a professional watercolour technique.

FOR Level 3 (Pre intermediate)

  • restock the paint colours and the equipment from Levels 1 and 2 - DON'T forget to check out the Paint Shop for super cheap professional grade W & N brand if you are considering it. - give yourself time!
    No new colours for Level 3.


  • IF YOU ARE only painting with a Squirrel mop it will become essential to supplement your brushes with a couple of the necessary brushes from Level 2.  A squirrel mop was only used to start you off, but is not a 'regular' watercolour brush.  Please look at the L2 list.
    Strongly Suggested:  A sable or faux sable from the Level 2 List, or from the PAINT SHOP>
    Suggested:  A detail brush such as the beautiful Escoda Perla from the PAINT SHOP.
    Suggested:  A 1/2" flat taklon brush from the Level 2 list. 


  • a bottle of Masking Fluid will be used in one class.

  • a thin, pointed, cheap brush, for use with Masking fluid.  You can get good cheap brushes in craft shops.  Make sure it's not too floppy and has a very good point. (I find them in Bunnings!)

  • a small bar of soap, such as hotel soap, to use with your masking fluid.

  • All the 'extra' equipment from Stage 1 (palette, board, rag/....etc.)

  • more paper if required (COMPULSORY: Arches, 300 gsm rough or cold pressed or a combo)Y You can buy some 185g Arches, or Saunders 190gsm or Saunders 300gsm to practice on instead of Arches 300gsm if you want to. It's cheaper. 

  • palette - If you have not yet bought a decent lidded, 16 well palette, where you can squeeze out your whole tube and let it dry, now is the time.  The Neef Small Stay Wet Palette (2 wells in lid) I love this one, (around $29, and Larry Post has them NOW! ) - it's easily cleaned, has deep wells, has a lid, and nice mixing space, or the cheaper  

  • One black or sepia fineliner waterproof, NOT WATER RESISTANT, (this could say 'permanent') pen, no less than .5mm (Such as Stabilo, Artline.)  OR real ink and an ink nib.  Make sure it dries waterproof. You can get these from officeworks or newsagents.

  • You have  9 colours all up. That's Plenty for a beginning watercolourist.  You don't need any more!  you can easily muck yourself up with too many colours!!




Level 4 (Consolidation)  :​​

If you are JUST starting with Jenny and Northern Beaches Watercolour, or Welcome to Watercolour for the first time, you will need the equipment from Level 1, 2 and 3 as well, please see the lists under the Equipment tab above.


Paint brands:
You can choose

  • Recommended: Winsor & Newton from UK (buy on the PAINT SHOP PAGE.)

  • Recommended: Art Spectrum from Australia (cheapest to buy in Australia, from Australian stores.)

  • Daniel Smith, Schmincke, Holbein and other artist quality brands. 

Colours for Stage 4

  • There are no extra colours for Stage 4.  However there are some optional extras you might appreciate. If bought from the PAINT SHOP link, I suggest you buy 5-14mls.

  • 1 x  tube of Cadmium Red - an opaque and bright scarlet red. NOt a good mixer, but a detailer.

  • 1 x tube of Sap green - a great mixer green with yellows and other blues. Not good alone.

  • 1 x tube of Indigo - a stainer colour that also makes a great mixer, though not good on it's own.

  • 1 tube of WHITE GOUACHE - this is waterbased opaque paint, not watercolour.  It is excellent for small highlight details.

THE VERY BEST PRICES: I have researched heavily, the prices of watercolour paint, and have found the very best way to purchase the best paint in the cheapest way.   This will save you $100's over the course.  Jackson's UK  has unbelievably cheap prices on Winsor & Newton paint, in 5ml, 14ml, and 37 ml options IF you are wanting to purchase that brand, and I have a link to it all on the PAINT SHOP  page.  Of course you save the most $ on the 37ml tube comparitively, but it would take a very long time to use that as these are all super strong colours.   I suggest 5-14ml tubes for all these Level 4 coloursas they are rarely used.  It is NOT SUGGESTED that you purchase Art Spectrum paint, Neef products or any heavy, bulky or large items on this page, buy instead locally from our Art shops. 

If you have any questions, please email me.

 Other Equipment for Stage 4:  

  • COMPULSORY - Arches 300gsm rough or medium, or Saunders 300 Rough at least 2 full sheets to start with.  You will be painting  in  1/4  sized sheets, sometimes 1/8.

  • ALL the equipment, colours and peripherals required in Stages 1, 2 and 3 above.

  • ****Except for the short tilting block (more on this below) 

  • BRUSHES:  By now you should have a few already.  If you don't please consider:  Brushes recommendations are in Level 2 and 3.   You can decide which brushes to use, but Jenny recommends NATURAL hair brushes, such as a sable #10 brush, and a couple of nylons such as:  a flat nylon and a round nylon as specified inLevel 2 List. Altogether you should only need 3-5 brushes. 

  • A 1.5" - 2" GOAT hair HAKE is a good, cheap investment for underpaintings and big washes. You can buy one in the paint shop or locally.

  • A notebook and pen (students take  their own notes)

  • A hairdryer - (Kmart have super cheap small hairdryers). 

  • An ADJUSTABLE table easel or a better tilting block) that can adjust between 15cm and 20-25cm. Whatever you are comfortable with.   A small/shallow block of wood, or tissue box is no longer adequate.  
    ** NOTE IF YOU ARE GOING TO continue to use a block you MUST HAVE one, or even better two, so you can adjust height.  NO SHALLOW <12CM blocks!!  You should have something that tilts your board to a gentle 30-35 degree slope.  You CAN use a block of wood or something, but you must then have various sizes to choose from as, when tilting, you don't always want the same degree of tilt!   You are now learning how to make proper washes and require your board to be tilted up in the correct manner when needed.  You will not be able to paint properly tilting very shallowly.  OR a table easel which you can adjust to tilt. 
    I can recommend the very light, simple Mont Marte Table Easel app $30 online (though you WILL  have to add another 'slot' for it to lower a little further, or the Derwent Academy Table Easel, available from Officeworks online (not in store) a slightly heavier stockier version, around $42, and very well made. 

  • 4B Pencil  (not 6b, 2H Hb or any other h's or bs!) Pencil and white rubber

  • cheap drawing paper pad (for thumbnail sketching)

  • A large plastic watercontainer. (small containers are no longer adequate.)

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