Starting to paint with watercolours is easy. You don´t need a lot of equipments. If you have a paper pad, a few colours and a good  brush, you are good to go.

Of course, there is a lot of extra stuff that will do magic and stars with your watercolours, but there is no need to use it.

Basically, you need a brush, paper and colours. Then add water.

So start simple, and build as you go. Take time to explore the medium, there is so much fun and magic to uncover, even without all the extra equipments.

But the jungle is big, and to help you out, I’ve selected my favourites in each category. Continue to find out which they are. Remember, you only need one from each.


This is where I would spend most of the budget. Remember, this is your tool, your extended finger tip. When working with your brush, you will learn to know it, how it behave with different angels and pressures. You want an extended finger that is responsive, not struggeling and stubborn to work with. So take my advice and spend a good part of your budget here.

But the expencive range is very large coming to watercolour brushes. An example is this Professional Round Brush from Winsor & Newton.

Can you guess the price? Well, I’ll give you a hint. It’s more than a Kindle. So, to make it easy for you, I’ve selected a few brushes for you. One in a low price range, one medium, and one in an expensive high price range.

My Brush Recommendations:

    • Low price:

Da Vinci Watercolour Brush, Round synthetic, Size 8

    • Medium price:

Winsor & Newton Professional Round Watercolour Sable Brush, Size 8


      • High price:

ISABEY 6228 Kolinsky Sable Round Size 08



Paper I understand, but… Why a paper pad? And why glued edges?

Well, when the paper gets wet it starts to bulge, making it more difficult to work with, unless you stretch it to a hard board or another hard surface. You can do that, but as a beginner, I would recommend what´s easy.

With a paper pad that has glued edges (usually 3 or 4 edges), you´ll both get a sturdy support under your paper, and because of the glued edges, it bulges less, and when drying, it will stretch out again to a smooth, even surface.

There is a lot to choose from, but I’ve selected a few paper pads from well-known brands, giving you the best experience as a beginner. These paper types let you correct errors a dozens of times, without ruin the paper. The papers have a heavy weight (meaning it is quite thick) that lengthens the drying time, and hence giving you more time to work.

My watercolour paper pad recommendations:

The prices are pretty much the same, with Hahnemühle as the most expensive. All the chosen paper pads are acid free, which might not matter as you begin, but I like to take every consideration…

  • Bockingford, 12 sheets :

Bockingford 300gsm Glued Watercolour Pad 10″ x 7″ (260 x 180mm)

  • Arches, 20 sheets :

Arches Watercolor Block, Cold Press 9″X12″


    • Hahnemühle, 10 sheets :

Cezanne Watercolor Paper block by Hahnemuhle- 9.4×12.6 inch (24x32cm)


Watercolours come in mainly two forms. Fluid paint in tubes, and dry blocks of colours i half pans. I use both. But as a start, I would go for a set. You´ll then get a flying start with a few colours to a reasonable price. It´s also easy to work with, you mix up the colours as you need them, just the way you are used to from school.

When choosing watercolours, there are a few considerations. The most important one is that if you might sell your art eventually, you should go for a watercolour brand that uses lightfast pigments in their paint. They are made to last for decades, so your artwork don’t fade over time.

So, since I hate the thought of making the artwork, and then see it fade… All my recommended field set colours contains only lightfast pigments (often called Artist Grade paint, but not always).

My recommendations for watercolour field sets:

    • Low Price : Cotman by Winsor & Newton

Cotman Water Colour Sketchers Pocket Box by Winsor & Newton 

      • Medium Price : Van Gogh

Van Gogh, 12 Pan Watercolor Pocket Box

      • High Price : Sennelier

Sennelier Watercolor Metal Bx 12 Half Pan Set

    • Expensive Price : Schminke

SCHMINCKE Watercolors, Metal Box Set of 12 Half Pans


CONGRATULATION! You’ve made it to the end.

Now, if you have chosen a brush, a paper pad, and a watercolour set, you’re good to go! All you need now is to start painting. It’s not that difficult, just add water and start playing!

If you’re still hesitant and haven’t quite made up your mind, I’ll recommend to grab this combination of brush, paper and colour, and just go for it!

LOOKING FOR MORE STRAIGHT AWAY?  Well, then, check out these posts:

(Note: I only recommend products that I use myself, trust, and would recommend to a close friend. If you buy the product using the link in the post, I will receive a small percentage, at no extra cost for you. If you dislike the idea, please buy the product without going through the link. I still recommend them if you are to start painting with watercolours, as they will give you a good experience.)

Cheat Sheet to Non-Fading Art

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