The Perfect Shopping Lists for the Watercolor Artist At All Budgets

If you’re here, either you are an artist, or you have a special artist in your life who deserves some special treats! 

As a watercolor artist, self-proclaimed art supply enthusiast, and retail therapy-obsessed gal, I can say with great conviction that I’ve got you covered! 

I know watercolor supplies can get a little pricy, so here are some suggestions that can work for every budget! All of these have been Kate-tested and approved! 


For the Shoestring Budget

This is great for folks who are watercolor-curious.  I have tried OODLES of beginner watercolor supplies and these are the ones that I recommend above all others!



I really like this paper for beginners.  I use it with my toddler and it holds up really well to a lot of water and heavy use! I find it performs really well for an inexpensive price tag! Watercolor paper gets really pricy but if the paper isn't good then it can ruin the whole watercolor experience.  Trust me on this!

Kate using her travel Cotman watercolor set


Norberg & Linden Watercolors

Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor Kit

Both these options are great for beginners.  They have an assortment of colors that are perfect for folks wanting to start their painting journey.  The Norberg & Linden set is great for kids and teens because they come with such fun colors and withstand the test of chaos! (Toddler tested and approved haha!) The Cotman kit is perfect for folks who are looking into starting a new hobby.  The Cotman kit is the student-grade version of the paints I use and they work really well!


Princeton Real Value Brush Pack

I like their round brush sets! Round brushes will cover a lot of beginner watercolor artists' needs.


The whole kit and caboodle! 

Winter Woods DIY Watercolor kit from Splatter & Bloom

If you’re in a hurry and just want a one-and-done situation, check out our watercolor kits where we include high quality watercolor supplies, three designs, THREE paint-along tutorials, and literally all you need to do is add water!


For the Emerging Artist With Some Cash to Spend

Watercolor desk with a blank sheet of paper

If your artist has been painting for a while and they're ready to kick it up a notch, I would recommend starting with a few of these items: 


Watercolor Paper Sampler Nfinity Arts - Niki has collected a smattering of watercolor papers so that your artist has a chance to try out a bunch of different high quality watercolor papers without breaking the bank on FULL SETS of all of them! This is the perfect size for gifting too! 

Be sure to use the code KATE10 for 10% off her shop too! 


Winsor & Newton Dot Card Set - This is a sample of every Winsor and Newton color without having to buy a full tube! This is perfect for folks wanting to check out the fancy paints without having to guess which colors they'd like! 


Princeton Velvetouch brushes are a solid choice! These are so smooth, hold a good amount of water and are a handy work-horse that I always like to have nearby.


I really love my water cup from BNCA Pottery! She has amazing gifts for artists that are gorgeous and functional! 

This plastic palette is perfect for holding tubes of paint.  I like that it can hold a lot, is light weight, and has large spaces for mixing colors!

plastic travel watercolor palette


Again, have I mentioned our watercolor kits?! This is a great way to test out the good stuff and get some fun pointers on color mixing, watercolor techniques and more! 


For the High Roller!

Ready to spoil your favorite artist?!?! Here is my list for the best watercolor splurges that I absolutely love!


You're not going to get better than Arches Paper! This is the the good stuff! Nothing makes or breaks a watercolor painting quite like the paper, so treat your favorite artist to the gold standard of watercolor paper!  I personally like the 140lb cold press paper watercolor blocks!

Hands holding colorful watercolors


If you're looking for a classic kit, I love this set from Winsor & Newton! It has a great combination of colors that are perfect for almost all of your color mixing needs!

I also love the juicy rich colors of Dr. Ph Martin Hydrus Liquid Watercolor paint.  

If you're ready to shop small this season, I ADORE the paints from these small businesses! They have gorgeous sets that make wonderful gifts!

The Ocean Paper -gorgeous, creamy watercolor

Case For Making - fun, bright colors!

Claire Chi Studio - amazing metallic paint!

The Art of Soil - Eco Friendly watercolors

Essee Co. - gorgeous earth pigments that are oh so dreamy and have a lovely old-world feel!

Dreamland Watercolor - fun sparkle pigments great for brush lettering


I have been OBSESSED with watercolor palettes for quite some time.  If you want to know more, check out my blog all about palettes.  My three favorite fancy palette artists are from Pottery by Eleni, Sylvan Clayworks, and Lady Made Pottery


I love my brushes from Nfinity Arts and Polina Bright

Be sure to use the code KATE10 for 10% when you head over to Nfinity Arts!


For the Social Media star!

If your artist has been wanting to start filming their artwork and needs good lighting, look no further than Canvas Co.  they have the most lovely lights that hold your iPhone perfectly.

For the hard worker!

I love to recommend this swiveling portable easel from Louden Art Boards for folks who are hunched over all day at a desk job.  Being able to put your easel up and down as needed is so helpful with watercolor.  (You don't want your paint running down your page!) Be sure to snag this one early, as they are all handmade! 

Stocking Stuffers

And of course, I don't want to forget Santa's little helpers, so here is a list of things that are the perfect size for a stocking! 

Teeny Tiny Black Pad of Watercolor Paper - Perfect for metallic paints!

Bleedproof White - Helpful for adding white accents to paintings

Ruling Pen - Helpful for applying masking fluid to preserve the white parts of your watercolor paper 

Masking Fluid - Keep parts of your paper from getting wet to preserve that white highlight of the watercolor paper!

Ruby mountain Paint Co salt pigments - A super fun way to add some pizazz to your paintings!

Dot cards from anywhere are also a super fun stocking stuffer! They look like candy and are ever-so-exciting! I really Claire Chi Studio's dot cards! 


Whew! It is taking everything in my power to not go shopping right now! Be sure to shop local and small whenever you're able! 

If you want to know more about my favorite supplies, you can snag my full recommended supply list here


Have something to add to this list? Let me know over on Instagram! I love hearing about new watercolor supplies I simply HAVE to have! 


November 22, 2022 — KATHERINE TALCOTT

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