Monday, December 11, 2017

2017 Patreon Recap

Initially I was going to wait until the end of December to release this post, but in light of Patreon's recent changes, I feel it might be best if I release it now.

For the past two years, this blog has continued thanks to support, both financial and emotional, from my Artnerds on Patreon. As pageviews and vocal support for this blog have gone down over the years, Patreon support inspired me to keep writing and sharing, and to introduce increasingly lengthy and technical tutorial series (Watercolor Basics and Intro to Comic Craft).  Without the support of my Artnerds, I would have tossed in the towel in early 2016. 

This week, Patreon released a change to their fee structure (link post), that means Patrons now shoulder all the fees- $.35 a transaction+any international fees as well.  Creators voiced their outrage and requested the ability to pay those fees, and Patreon doubled down, causing many creators to opt to leave Patreon.


I'm not currently in a position to do so- I'm about to be MIA for two weeks due to visiting family in Luling, and I generally have spotty internet at best.  I've already notified my Artnerds of their options, and set up a poll, and when I'm at full capacity in January, I plan on acting based on their needs and requests.

If you enjoy the content on this blog, now would be a fantastic time to consider showing your support, either finacially or by signal boosting and sharing my work!

So what does Nattosoup Studio, Art and Process Blog have to offer?

What I currently offer:

  • Daily (or near daily) Early Access Videos to Patrons
  • Frequent 'bonus' videos such as nib reviews, or Crayola tutorials- these are not part of the Youtube update schedule
  • Monthly Sketchbook PDFS (often multiple, separated out by media)
  • Monthly Mini Comic and Art Resource Downloads
  • Youtube updates on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
  • Blog updates on Monday and Thursday
  • Paid ($30) guest post opportunities to other artists and comic creators
  • Video Con Recaps
  • Comic Artist Interviews at most conventions
  • Introduction and Population of Organizational Hubpages
  • Introduction of Longrunning, well researched series such as Intro to Comic Craft and Watercolor Basics

Not covered by Patreon
Answering Asks and creating Tutorials and Reviews for How to be a Con Artist
Working on and updating 7" Kara as a webcomic
Work with Ink Drop Cafe
Conventions and convention streams
'Bonus' videos like nib reviews, off the cuff things

Goals Unlocked by Patrons in 2017: 

$125- Monthly Sketchbook PDF's
$90- Backer access to digital watercolor assets via Gumroad
$75- Backer access to a PDF copy of 7" Kara, Volume 1 via Gumroad
$60- Backer access to my library of mini comics via Gumroad


Money Earned from Patreon (Jan 2017-November 2017)
$1,222.24
(minus December)

Money Earned from Adsense
Blog: $41.47
Youtube: $450.08
 (Blog and YT combined): $491.55

Money Earned from Project Wonderful: $3.44

Amazon Affiliates Earnings: $229.87

Total Earnings: $1947.10

Blog and Youtube Expenses for 2017

2.5k Giveaway: 

First Prize- $80 in drawing supplies, plus $40 to ship to the UK (OUCH)
Second Prize- $60 in drawing supplies, plus $20 shipping (still ouch)
Third Prize- $40 in drawing supplies, plus $20 shipping

What this meant for the general audience:  The chance to win free comic supplies.

Total Spent: $260

NATTO Scholarship- $1,000, sent via check

What this meant for the general audience:  A small art focused scholarship with few strings attached, with little competition (we only had about 20 applicants)

Video Editor- Paid on average $205 a week to edit my backlog of video.  Joseph estimates that we will have paid him $3690 by the end of this year.

What this means for Patrons: Near daily Early Access videos, when videos are available for me to upload.

What this means for the general audience:  Updates have increased from twice weekly (Saturday and Tuesday) to nearly five days a week (Tuesdays, some Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays)

Guest Posts- $30 per guest post, 8 paid guest posts this year, $240 so far this year

What this means for the general audience:  A wider perspective on how comics are made, what materials artists use, and what techniques are available.  Paid writing opportunities for comic artists, opportunities for exposure and promotion, better SEO for their webcomic projects.

Materials to Review (this is not an all inclusive list by any means, just the materials I can quickly think of off the top of my head)

Blick Illustrator Markers (purchased for the YT)- Price is no longer available, a set of 12 is $14.99
Crayola Signature Brush Markers- $14.99
Crayola Gel Color Pencils- $17.72
Crayola Artist Color Pencils- $19.97
Yarka Student Watercolors- $5.99
Prang Student Watercolors- $6.99
Crayola Educator Watercolors- $6.29
Richeson Student Watercolors- $7.95
Daler Rowney AquafineWatercolors- $15.99
Lukas Aquarelle Watercolors- $16.99
Chameleon Color Tones Markers- $110
Chameleon Color Tops IndieGoGo- $40
Artist Loft Watercolors- $10
Prima Marketing Tropicals :$15
Prima Marketing Classics: $15
Jane Davenport Watercolor Set, Brights (at 50% off)- $31, I paid $15
Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers- $41
Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers, set of 5- $25
Jane Davenport Inkredible Inks: $4.79 each (x4)
Bainyo Watercolor Set: $13
Jerry Q Watercolor Set- $17

Estimated Total: $457.04

Burn It Box:
Winter: $20 for materials+ $20 shipping
Spring: $20 for materials+ $15 shipping
Summer: $20 for materials+ $20 shipping

Total Spent So Far: $115

Total Spent: $5,762.04
Total Earnings: -$3,814.94

Goals for Next Year:

  • Increase visibility and reach on Youtube and for this blog
  • Cover all blog and channel costs either by increased support, increased revenue, or decreased spending
  • Finish Watercolor Basics Series
  • Finish Intro to Comic Craft Series
  • Begin wrapping up the blog- I want to end it in 2019 and move the series to PDFs
  • Offer alternatives to Patreon, as Patreon has been rude to creators and now charges the Patrons fees
  • Begin offering legacy series as sectioned PDF's for sale on Gumroad and free to Artnerds
  • Offer the Natto Scholarship again, this time with three prizes
  • More marker tutorials
  • Depending on financial support, may resume Scrawlrbox monthly unboxings and demonstrations

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Intermediate Alcohol Marker Artist Gift Guide

Gift Guide for Intermediate Marker Users

Last year, I wrote a comprehensive gift guide for the beginner marker artist.  This gift guide is full of brand recommendations, color recommendations, and even supplies that help your marker illustrations shine, and I strongly suggest you check it out if you haven't yet.  Over the past year, I played with so many inks, spritzers, masks, and other materials, I thought it was high time I put together an intermediate alcohol marker artist gift guide.

Holiday Gift Guide: Alcohol Markers for the Aspiring Artist

If you're new to alcohol markers such as Copic markers, Chameleon markers, Prismacolor markers, Blick Studio Brush Markers, or alcohol inks, I can't recommend that post enough.  I explain why alcohol markers are great for artists and crafters, I go over my favorite colors for skintones and more, I make set recommendations, and I go over all the basic accessories marker artists love.

Recommended marker supplies for alcohol marker enthusiasts, gifts for marker artists, gifts for alcohol marker users, gifts for artists, gifts for crafters


So this year, I want to take it to another level.  You've got your markers, you've been making art with it, and you want a little more flexibility.  A little additional range.

Or maybe you know a marker artist or crafter who loves their alcohol markers, but wants a little more flexibility.  You don't want to buy them markers (because you don't know what they have), but you don't mind buying them accessories.  But what do you buy?  What might they be missing?

Becca Hillburn, Nattosoup, Copic illustration, Copic marker illustration, alcohol marker art,
A marker illustration created with custom Copic Wide markers, alcohol spray mists, masking, and Copic markers

If you like this gift guide, don't be shy!  Shoot me an email and tell me so!  Please make sure to share it with other artists and crafters on your favorite social media sites- Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, even Mastodon- this helps me out a lot!  And if you really like this post, consider tipping me on Ko-fi or joining my artnered community on Patreon.

My marker buddy Kabocha helped with these recommendations, so please take a moment to check out her webcomic, Linked, and our webcomic collective, Ink Drop Cafe!

And please note, other than Amazon affiliate links, I am not affiliated with any of these brands, companies, or courses outside of my own.

Colored Leads:

alcohol marker art, alcohol marker illustration, Copic marker art, Copic art, Copic artist
A Copic Marker illustraiton that demonstrates the use of colored leads for a 'lineless' artstyle

Pilot Color Eno Leads
Pilot Color Eno Mechanical Pencils


colored leads, leads for marker art
Top: Color Eno Mechanical Pencils
Bottom: Color Eno Mechanical Pencil Leads

I use these leads every single day- you often see Soft Blue in my inked sketches.  These are my favorite leads, and I recommend them for all types of artists!  They work with watercolor, waterbased markers, inks, and alcohol markers.

If you want to try these without making a large investment, I recommend buying the mechanical pencil set- they come with leads at an affordable price.

Tutorials:
Colored Lead Introduction
Giving Style to Your Characters with Colored Leads
Quick Colored Leads and Copic Markers Tutorial

Alcohol Inks:

spray alcohol inks, alcohol ink sprays, spray mists, alcohol marker art, Copic marker art, Blick Studio Brush marker art
An alcohol marker illustration created using alcohol inks in spray bottles, dripped Snowcap, masks, and Copic and Blick Studio Brush Markers


alcohol inks, ranger adirondack ink, jacquard pinata ink, kuretake zig kurecolor ink
Left Row:  Ranger Adirondack Alcohol Inks, Ranger Adirondack Snowcap Mixative, Spectrum Noir Refill Inks
Right Row: Ranger Adirondiack Alcohol Inks, Ranger Adirondack Metallic Mixatives, Kuretake Zig Kurecolor Alcohol Ink, Jacquard Pinata Alcohol Inks

Alcohol inks are often unnoticed by alcohol marker illustrators and artists- marketed mainly at crafters and stampers.  But alcohol inks are a useful, affordable addition to your collection- perfect in spray bottles for soft spray mists, great for splatter effects, and ideal for filling empty markers.

Ranger Adirondack Inks:
Usually sold in sets of 3's
Openstock

Recommended Colors:
Patina
Botanical
Lettuce
Mermaid
Pool
Sunshine Yellow

Definitely Try:
Silver
Gold
White

Demonstration:

Tutorials:

These inks are pigmented, which makes them opaque.  Not suitable for spray bottles, and marker suitability still pending.

Jacquard Pinata
These are often sold as a set online, but you can find them openstock

Both brands feature a eye dropper tip and a screw top- the Ranger ink bottles have a finer tip and make for easier filling.

These are both great if you want a small bottle of ink for an alcohol mister or for a custom Copic Sketch or Wide and are perfect for augmenting your marker collection with unusual colors without breaking the bank.

Copic Various Inks

If you use Copic Markers, you're familiar with these inks.  You might not be familiar with other alcohol ink refills:

Kuretake Kurecolor
Spectrum Noir

Tutorials:
Making Alcohol Misters
Using Ranger Inks to Fill Copic Wides
Filling Copic Sketch Markers with Ranger Alcohol Inks

Alcohol Misters in Use:
Artsnacks June 2016 Challenge
Using Brusho Watercolors with Copic Markers


Rubbing Alcohol

High proof rubbing alcohol is essential for my marker work!  In a spray bottle for toning down marker 'washes' and mists, used for cleaning overfilled markers, and cheaper than blending solution for large areas, rubbing alcohol is always at hand for easy access.

Markers:

Empty Copic Sketch
Filling Copic Sketch Markers with Ranger Alcohol Inks

Empty Copic Wide
Using Ranger Inks to Fill Copic Wides

These are great for filling with your favorite non-Copic inks.  I love making custom Copic Wides for washes, as the Copic Wide selection includes fewer than 40 of the available Copic Colors, so I often buy empties to fill with my favorite Various Inks.

Colors to Augment Your Collection:

Copic is weak in a couple areas- it's great for skintones and muted colors, but not so great if you want intense color.   For bright, vivid Purples, Blues, Red Violets, Greens, and Yellows, I turn to Prismacolor.

If you're interested in Copic, Blick Studio Brush Marker, or Shin Han Recommendations, I suggest you check out the Holiday Gift Guide: Alcohol Markers for the Aspiring Artist from last year.

Brilliant Prismacolor Markers I recommend:
Note: I'm still collecting Prismacolor markers, so this is by no means comprehensive

PB-17- Sunburst Yellow
PB-18-Yellow Ochre
PB-19-Canary Yellow

PB-25-Spring Green
PB-27-Chartreuse

PB-37-Light Aqua
PB-46-Aquamarine

PB-40-Neon Blue
PB-179-Copenhagen Blue

PB-51-Violet Dark
PB-127-Imperial Violet
PB-128-Parma Violet

PB-56-Rhodamine Dark
PB-177-Neon Pink

Top row: Chameleon Markers, Complete Set, Individual Chameleon Markers
Bottom Row: Chameleon Color Tops

Chameleon Markers
I have frequently complained that with so many companies entering the alcohol marker market, there's nothing new or innovative under the sun.  Chameleon Markers are the exception and turn alcohol marker techniques on their heads- there is no blender marker, you infuse your original color with blender and it blends from light (blender) to original color.  For many seasoned alcohol marker artists, this is difficult to get used to (I really struggle with it!) but many new users prefer it, as it means you don't need as large a collection.

Chameleon Markers Unboxing
Chameleon Marker Overview
Chameleon New 30 Swatch Test

Chameleon Color Tops
Color Tops are even more innovative than Chameleon Markers- they allow you to 'infuse' your Chameleon markers with another color.

Chameleon Color Tops Unboxing
Labelling Your Chameleon Color Tops
Chameleon Marker and Color Top Overview and Demonstration

Marker Papers: 


papers for Copic, papers for alcohol markers
Top Row: Canson Pro Layout Marker Paper, Strathmore 500 Series Plate Bristol
Middle Row: Strathmore Toned Tan Paper, Vellum, Deleter Paper
Bottom Row: Copic marker sketchbooks, Bee marker paper sketchbook


Deleter Comic Paper
Strathmore 500 Series Plate Bristol
Vellum
Strathmore Toned Tan Paper
Canson Pro Layout Marker Paper
Canson Comic/Manga Illustration Pad

Glossy Photo Papers

Hot Press Watercolor Paper:

Strathmore Ready Cut Hot Press Paper

Sketchbooks:
Copic Paper Sketchbook
Bee Creative Marker Paper
Strathmore Visual Journal Plate Bristol


Marker Accessories

Top row: Small spray bottles
Bottom Row: Copic Opaque White, Dr Ph Martin's Bleed Proof White

Spray Bottles
Perfect for spray mists with your alcohol inks, or for your rubbing alcohol/colorless blender!

Tutorial:
Making Alcohol Misters
Alcohol Misters in Use:
Artsnacks June 2016 Challenge
Using Brusho Watercolors with Copic Markers

Spray Bottle Storage and Organization

Copic Opaque White
Dr Ph Martin's Bleedproof White
I love these thick white correctional inks!  Like gouache, but so much easier to handle, and can be watered down.

Winsor and Newton Pigment Marker- White
You can build up progressively opaque highlights using this marker!  Great if you want just a hint of white

Atomizers:

Top Row: Copic ABS
Bottom Row: Ranger Spritzer, eBrush airbrush


Copic Air Brush System

Tutorial:
Materials and Mistakes: Masking for Copic ABS
Will It Work: Copic ABS and Blick Studio Brush Markers
Works with Blick Studio Brush Markers too!

Ranger Marker Spritzer Tool
Designed to work with Distress markers-waterbased markers- and may work with similarly sized waterbased markers.  Features a screw to adjust sizes, and while it will not take Copic markers, it may take Neopikos.

eBrush Airbrush System
Supposedly works with a variety of marker brands.

Masks:


Top row: Grafix Masking Frisket Film, Winsor and Newton Masking Frisket
Bottom Row: Washi Tape, Japanese tone, bone folder

Tutorial: Masking Techniques for Copic Markers

Masking Frisket
Grafix All Purpose Low Tack Frisket Film
Tutorials:
Spray Inks and Lace Blick and Copic Marker Tutorial
Kara in the Flowers Marker Tutorial

Masking Fluid
I like Winsor and Newton's Masking Fluid
Synthetic Brush for application

Masking Tape

Washi Tape

Japanese Tone-
When it comes to markers and marker art, tone can be used like a frisket you can easily see!  It's also great for adding monotone patterns on top of your marker art

Bone Folder
Useful for flatting tape, tone, or even making sure masking frisket film adheres properly

Masking Fluid

Masking Fluid Pick Up

Other Essentials

Exacto Blade

Thread Scissors

Tombow Removable Taperunner
Tombow Permanent Taperunner


Storage:

Top Row: Art Bin Marker Satchel, Marker Satchel insert, InterDesign 4 Draw Organizer
Middle Row: Copic 72 Marker Case, Spectrum Noir Marker Rack
Bottom Row: Meeden 72 Piece Marker Carrying Case, 120 Slot Marker Case, Artbin Marker Satchel


Artbin Marker Satchel
Marker Satchel Insert
InterDesign Clear 4 Drawer Organizer
This is almost identical to the system I use!
Marker/Paint/Ink Pad Organizer
Multipurpose Craft Storage Organizer
2-Drawer Craft Organizer Cube
InterDesign 3 Drawer Organizer
Copic Marker Sketch 72 Marker Case
Acrylic Marker Storage Rack
Kids Desk Pen Marker Organizer

Crafter's Companion Marker Storage Rack- 6 Racks

ArtBin Side Kick
Perfect for traveling with your markers.  Sturdy and lockable.


Totes: 
Storage Tote for Markers
Holds up to 130 Pens
Meeden 72 Piece Marker Carrying Case
80 Slot Heavy Duty Marker Case
120 Slot Marker Case
Chris W. 80 Slot Plastic Marker Carrying Case

Great to Have:

Toner Based Home Printer

Dell C1760NW 

Great for printing lineart- both your own and digi stamps

Coloring Books and Packs:

Downloadable:

31 Days Under the Waves Coloring Pages
Favorite Fictional Femmes- Coloring Pages

Guardian: A Fantasy Armor Coloring Book 

Vatican Assasins 5 Year Anniversary Coloring Page

The Coloring Book of (Scientifically Accurate) Dinosaurs

Physical:

The Coloring Book of (Scientifically Accurate) Dinosaurs
The Coloring Book of (Scientifically Accurate) Paleofauna

Everything Will Be Alright

Alcohol Marker Education:


Resources:

Copic Color Charts

Free:

Written:
Vanilla Arts
Nattosoup Studio Art and Process Blog
I Like Markers- owned by Marianne Walker, the author of many of the official Copic books
Copic Marker Tutorials
Color Me Copic
Distinctive Touches
The Creative Closet
Information about Copic Markers

Video:
Nattosoup Studio Youtube Channel
Draw with Jazza- Top 10 Tips for Using Copic Markers
Copic Marker Skin Tutorial- 9 Ways
Rambutan- How to Color Skin with Copic
Rambutan- How to Color Eyes with Copic

Paid:

Courses: 

MarkerPainting.com

Books: 

ElectricAbyss- The Art of Heidi Black- a tutorial book that covers more than just alcohol markers!

III Academy Mission 1
Great for beginner artists and colorists- features adorable art and tutorials for drawing and coloring

Copic Coloring Guide
Level 2: Nature
Level 3
Fine Details
Copic Maniac 1
German Marker Design Book
CF: Coloring Faces and Hair with Copic Markers
Coloring Flowers with Copic Markers
Intro to Coloring with Copic Markers




Monday, December 04, 2017

Watercolor Artist Gift Guide- Beginner

watercolor supplies for beginners, recommended watercolor supplies,


Recently I wrote a gift guide for young artists interested in watercolor.  Over the years, I've gotten so many questions about watercolor supplies for beginning artists, and while I've answered most of those, I don't think I've ever really delved into it here on the blog.

Whether for yourself, a friend, or a loved one this holiday season, I hope my art supply gift guides help you find products that will inspire and illuminate the year to come.

I want to encourage you to buy the best you can afford at the time, especially if you think watercolor is a media you're going to pursue as part of your commercial art or if you want your illustrations to stand the test of time.  Cheap watercolors often utilize dyes, optical brighteners, or glycerin, which all shorten the lifespan of your art, and may make the media more difficult to use.  Both on this blog and on my Youtube channel, I regularly review inexpensive and cheap art supplies, so if you have any doubts, double check against my archives.  For a personalized recommendation, feel free to email me.

More information on paints
More information on papers
More information on brushes

I go over basic terms and vocabulary briefly in my Watercolor Gift Guide for Young Artists (9-13), and in great detail in Watercolor Basics: Watercolor Terms You Should Know.

You can find an overview of the basic materials you'll need to get started (or to provide someone with a fresh start) in my Materials You'll Need to Get Started post.

I know most beginner watercolorists start their journey at Michael's.  Later in December, I'm going to do a specialized watercolor artist tour of Michaels, but for now, please enjoy this general artist Michaels Tour.

watercolor supplies for beginners, recommended watercolors for beginners, watercolor recommendations



Paints:

A warning- super cheap watercolors (like Crayola) contain dye, which isn't lightfast, and glycerin, which yellows over time, making those doubly not archival. Please do not use these for commission or paid work.

Cheap watercolors such as Artist Loft make heavy use of optical brighteners for color intensity. These layer poorly, turn muddy quickly, and will flake off your paper's surface.
Top Row: Daniel Smith Dot Card, Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections in Tropicals
Bottom Row: Kuretake 12 Color set, SoHo watercolors


Most Bang for Your Buck:
Great for stocking stuffers!

Daniel Smith Dot Cards

Cheap Joes American Journey Watercolor Paint Samples
Joe's Sample Color Set of 4
Top Ten Sample Color Set
Quinacridone Sample Color Set
Joe's Essentials Sample Color Set of 12
Joe's Big Sample Set- 24 Colors

Kuretake Brush Pen Pocket Set


Inexpensive:

Pans:

Sakura Koi Field Watercolor Set
Review: Sakura Koi Field Set Mini Review
Tutorial/Field Test:

Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections Tropicals
Review:
Tutorial:

Prima makes multiple palette collections, but Tropicals is my favorite selection of the bunch.  Tropicals features a very usable selection of colors.  The prices for Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections vary on Amazon, so don't pay more than $20 for the paints and palette.

Lukas Aquarelle
This 12 color sketcher's set is perfect for travel, or artists who are just starting out with watercolor.  The colors are saturated and quick to activate, making it great for on the go painting.

Kuretake Travel Watercolor Set
Kuretake 14 Color Set
Not just for travel!  Compact sets like these are perfect for beginner watercolor artists, and provide a wonderful opportunity to learn color theory and color mixing.

Tubes:

SoHo Watercolors
Although I don't have a review prepared for these tube watercolors, I've used them in my watercolors and on my 7" Kara comic pages for years now.  There have been claims that these are not fully lightfast, and while I don't have the machinery to test whether these watercolors will last 100 years, I have done a bit of lightfast testing within my grasp (swatches in a sunny window, left for about a year), and find them quite suitable for my needs.  Some colors perform better than others, the only one I would outright avoid is Ultramarine Blue.  Great if you want bright, intense, synthetic color.

Recommended Colors (these are based on my preferences)
Urban Blue Violet
Transparent Red
Indian Yellow
Permanent Mauve
Opera Rose

Blick Watercolors
In general, Blick's store brand produces high quality artist materials at a lower price.  The Blick watercolors are excellent beginner tube watercolors, and can be squeezed into pans or a palette and reconstituted with water.

Cheap Joes Amerian Journey Watercolors
The storebrand for Cheap Joe's.  I don't have much experience with these, but other watercolorists say they perform well.

Grumbacher Academy 10 Color Set

Cotman 12 Tube Set
Although I've warned artists off Cotman pan watercolors in the past, I find their tube watercolors to be quite acceptable, and very affordable.  Blick sells Cotman watercolors openstock.

Nice:

Top: Yarka Watercolors
Bottom: DiVinci whole pans, Daniel Smith Essential 6

Pans:

Blick Exclusive Winsor and Newton Half Pan Set with Palette, 12 Pans
Although I've never reviewed Winsor and Newton Professional Artist Watercolors as a stand alone product, I regularly use the semi moist half pans to paint illustrations and 7" Kara pages.  While Winsor and Newton isn't for everyone, I've been satisfied with their performance over the years.

Winsor and Newton half pan watercolors are available open stock, so as you run out of colors, you can easily replace them.


Yarka St Petersburg Watercolors, 24 pans
When I first begain painting 7" Kara, I used a 24 set of Winsor and Newton watercolors, and a 24 set of Yarka St Petersburg watercolors.  My Yarkas are still stashed away somewhere.

Da Vinci Pan Mixing Set of 12
Da Vinci were recommended by Kabocha, who says they perform as well as Daniel Smith.


Tubes:

Daniel Smith 6 Essential Colors
Review:
Tutorial:

Mijello Mission Gold Watercolors, 36 Color set with palette
I mention this in the Young Artist gift guide, but this is a perfect set to get started with, at a phenomenal price.  Mijello makes a few grades

Holbein 5ml Watercolors, 24 color set
Holbein is an excellent brand, and while I don't have this particular set, I have many tubes of Holbein's Irodori line.  These paints perform well, and reactivate from pans well.

Da Vinci- Tube Mixing Set
A recommendation from Kabocha!  She says they're about on par with Daniel Smith watercolors, so I'll have to get my hands on a few tubes to try out.

Pre-Assembled Giftsets:

Inexpensive:

Kuretake Pocket Set
Includes waterbrushes and water bottle, all in a compact, pocket set!  A perfect micro introduction to watercolor- just add a block of watercolor paper!

Kuretake Compact Box Set
Includes waterbrushes, palette, etegami postcards, and more!  Everything you need to begin etegami watercolor.
Etegami tutorial
Etegami Demonstration Timelapse

Pricey:

Winsor and Newton Professional Water Color Compact Set
This was my first serious set, and the basis for my current palette!

Winsor and Newton Artist's Water Colour Half Pan Bamboo Box Set
Includes paints, paper, and a couple brushes

What about Gansai Tambi?

Gansai Tambi watercolors are highly praised in the craft world, and not without good reason.  Inexpensive, huge pans of paint, Gansai Tambi seem like a perfect solution to expensive watercolor palettes.  Keep in mind that gansai tambi watercolors do not handle like Western watercolors, and utilize a different type of binder.  The end result is glossy, saturated color- great if you work with a minimum of layers, or want intense color immediately.

Gansai Tambi watercolors are frequently used for etegami postcards.

Kuretake Gansi Tambi 12 Color Painting Set  
Gansai Tambi 36 Color Set

Liquid Watercolors:

Top: Dr PH Martin's Hydrus Watercolors
Bottom: Ecoline Liquid Watercolors, Dr PH Martin's Concentrated Radiant Watercolor

Hydrus
Pigment Based liquid watercolor.  Comes with an eyedropper
Swatch Video:

Royal Talens Ecoline
Dye Based.  Can be used to refill Ecoline watercolor markers.  Does not come with eyedropper.
Review:
Tutorial:

PH Martin's Radiant Concentrated Watercolor
Dye Based.  Comes with an eyedropper.
Swatch Video:

AVOID:

Daler and Rowney Simply Watercolor Tubes
Review

Daler and Rowney Cake Watercolor Sets
Review

Artist Loft Watercolor Sets
Review
Field Test

Just about everything Crayola, at least when it comes to watercolor.

Fun Stuff:


From top to bottom, in rows:
Brusho, Winsor and Newton Masking Fluid
Winsor and Newton Watercolor Markers, Ecoline Watercolor Markers
Spectrum Aqua watercolor markers, Zig Clean Color Real Brush
Derwent Inktense, Supracolor II


Brusho
Brusho is dye based, powdered crystal watercolor that explodes once it hits water.  I love using Brusho, but keep in mind that since it's dye based, it is not lightfast or archival.
Tutorials:
Lime Brusho Timelapse
Brusho Background Mini Tutorial
Using Brusho with Alcohol Markers

Great Brusho Accessories:
Small Funnels
Salt Shakers

Metallic and Pearlescent Watercolors:


Top Row: Artist Loft Pearlescent Watercolors, Yasutomo Pearlescent Watercolors, Twinkling H20's
Finetec Pearlescent
Winsor and Newton Iridescent Medium, FW Pearlescent Acrylc Ink, Pearl EX powder


Cheap:

Artist Loft Pearlescent Watercolors

Yasutomo Pearlescent Watercolors

Twinkling H20's Metallic Watercolors
These have quite a bit of color to them, and are great for glazing over existing color if you want a little shimmer.

Nice:

Finetec Metallic or Pearlescent Watercolors
Or buy them openstock!
I love these, and have a few different sets- the pearlesents, the iridescents, and a few of the metallics.  Great coverage and loads of sparkle without appearing glittery.

Winsor and Newton Iridescent Medium
This can be added to your watercolor mixes for custom iridescence.

Not Watercolor, But Great:

FW Pearlescent Acrylic Inks
I love using these acrylic inks to ink watercolor pieces, or for splatter effects.  Available in brilliant colors including neons and interference colors.

Jacquard Pearl EX
This can be mixed in with your existing watercolor, or add a little water and paint with them.

Watercolor Markers:

Pigment Based Watercolor Markers:

Winsor and Newton Watercolor Markers
Review
Tutorial:
Watercolor Marker Workshop

Winsor and Newton Watercolor Marker Travel Set
Includes paper, brushes, and more, all in a carrying case.

Dye Based Watercolor Markers:

Dye-based watercolor markers will be more water reactive than pigment based markers, and are very likely to reactivate when water (or further layers) are introduced.

Ecoline Watercolor Markers
Review
Tutorial:
Step by Step Succulent with Ecoline

Spectrum Aqua Watercolor Markers
Review

Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers
Review
Tutorial:
Axolotl Illustration Tutorial

These might be my favorite of the bunch- they're definitely the most versatile.  Used on their own as waterbased markers or with water for watercolor effects, they're inexpensive, available in a huge range of colors, and the real brush is gentle on paper.

Watercolor Pencils:
I use both of these brands frequently on 7" Kara comig pages.  They're some of the best water reactive pencils I've used.  Don't mistake Derwent Inktense for Derwent watercolor pencils- Inktense pencils are indelible once wet, but deliver loads of vibrant color.

Derwent Inktense

Supracolor II

Masking Fluid:

Winsor and Newton Masking Fluid
This is the brand I use and have had best results with.

Pebeo Masking Fluid
This is the brand Kabocha uses and has had the best results with.

Masking Fluid Accessories:
Synthetic watercolor brushes
Brush Soap
Masking Fluid Pick Up


Palettes: 


Top Row: Empty Metal Palette, Half and Whole Pans
Round Welled Palette, Butcher's Tray


With paints, especially pick and mix sets, you need palettes!

Empty Metal Palettes

Empty Half and Whole Pans

Mixing Palettes:

10 Welled Round Palettes
Flower Palette
Butcher's Tray 


Brushes:

When buying brushes, I recommend you buy your larger, more expensive brushes in synthetics, which are very affordable.  From size 8 up, synthetics are a great way to have a variety of brush sizes without breaking the bank.

Synthetic:


Princeton Neptune Brushes
Mimik watercolor brushes
Cotman Mops


Recommended Brushes: 
Size 4 Round
Size 10 Round
Size 2 Round (for details)
Size 0 Round (for the finest details)
3/4" Flat (for washes)
1/2" Filbert
16mm 5/8 Mop (for washes)


Cotman Watercolor Brushes:
Mops
Flats
Filberts


Mimik Synthetic Brushes
Round 4
Round 6
Round 10

AND OR

Neptune
Round 4
Round 6
Round 10

Natural:

Squirrel:

Squirrel is an excellent natural fiber that has a large belly (useful for holding water and paint without it dripping all over your paper), but not quite as much snap as synthetics or Kolinsky.  Squirrel is great for midsized brushes- 6, 8.

Blick Master Pure Squirrel Round Brush
Recommended Sizes:
Round 4
Round 6


Kolinsky Sable:

Top to bottom: Creative Mark Rhapsody, Princeton 7050, Winsor Newton Series 7


Kolinsky sable is considered to be the highest quality material for watercolor brushes, and it's well worth investing in a few carefully chosen brushes.  I find Kolinsky sable to be excellent for fine details- as the fibers hold lots of water and the brush is capable of snap.  Kolinsky can be quite expensive, so I recommend using it for your smaller, detail brushes.

Creative Mark Rhapsody:
Round 2
Round 4

These are my mainstays- affordable, accessible, and perform quite well if properly cared for.

OR

Princeton 7050 Kolinsky Sable
Round 3
Round 4

OR

Escoda Reserva
Round 2
Round 4

And the most expensive last-

Winsor and Newton Series 7
Round 2


Papers:


Top Row: Kilimanjaro Cold Press, Fluid EZ Block
Middle Rown: Arches Blocks, Canson Moulin du Roy
Bottom Row: Stratmore Ready Cut Watercolor Paper, Stonehenge Aqua Hotpress, Canson Montval Field Book


Weights:

140lb
Decently heavyweight paper that shouldn't buckle or cockle when stretched.
300lb
Heavyweight paper (almost a board) that generally does not need to be stretched.

Pad Bound:
Can be run through an inkjet printer at home to print bluelines

Block Bound:
Doesn't need to be stretched

Cold Press, Pads:

Cellulose Based:
Fluid EZ Block
Canson Montval
Canson Watercolor XL

Cotton Rag:
Cheap Joes Kilimanjaro
I love this paper!

Canson Moulin du Roy

Arches
140lb
300lb

Cold Press, Blocks:

Arches:
140lb
300lb

Fluid 100

Mixed Paper Packs:
Cheap Joe's Watercolor Sample Packs

Hot Press: 

Cellulose:
Strathmore Hotpress

Union Square Hot Press
A textured hotpress that isn't bad to work on

Cotton Rag:
Fluid 100 Hot Press
Stonehenge Aqua Hot Press
Arches Hot Press

Thanks to Kabocha for the hot press recommendations!

Mixed Media Papers:
Strathmore 500 Series Illustration Board
Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media Paper

Watercolor Sketchbooks:
Canson Montval

Strathmore Visual Journal
Watercolor
Mixed Media

Canson XL watercolor



Other materials:

Someone just starting out is going to need a lot of basics!

Waterproof Pens

Top to Bottom: Copic Multiliners
Sakura Microns
Sakura Pigma FB, MB, BB


Copic Multiliners

Sakura Microns
These are available at Michael's and most hobby art supply stores in the art and scrapbooking sections


Zig Millennium 


Sakura Pigma FB, MB, BB
These three brushpens provide a variety of lineweights and are alcohol marker and waterproof.  I use these in many of my videos!

Sailor Mitsuo Aida

My go to for so many of my projects! 

Pens for Watercolor and Markers at HobbyLobby


Top Row: Faber Castel Collapsable Cup, Lyra Graphite Sticks
Bulldog Clips, Paint Key, Bamboo Brush Cup

Graphite Sticks
Soft graphite sticks are great for graphite transfers- a useful technique for transferring illustrations onto your watercolor blocks.

Cups
You can really use any, but I particularly like these collapsable cups by Faber Castell.  I recommend two dedicated watercolor cups- one for clean, one for dirty.

Spray Bottle

Eye Droppers

Paper Towels
Any paper towels will work, but I really love Viva paper towels, especially the ones with no texture.

Gator Board or Corrogated Plastic
I use this to serve as a support for my stretched watercolor pages.
Tutorial:

Masking Tape
I prefer the 3M blue crepe masking tape linked above- it adheres to the page without tearing the paper on removal.

Bulldog Clips
Binder Clips
I use binder and bulldog clips to help secure my paper to the board when stretching watercolor paper.

Paint Keys

Storage

Tiered plastic tackleboxes are great storage for watercolor tubes, unopened pans, empty half pans, and other small accessories.

Bamboo Brush Holder

Brush Roll

Clear Wax Crayons (or clear candles)
Useful for wax resist techniques


Travel:

Joe Miller's Travel Painter and Accessories

Education:

Free, Online:

Video:
My Favorite Watercolor Techniques
Glazes
Wax Resist


Written:
Top Techniques for Watercolor

Watercolor Basics: Step by Step: Glazes
Easy Blends and Fades


Tutorials: 
Video:
Detailed Chibi Watercolor Tutorial
Over the Garden Wall Watercolor Tutorial
Watercolor over Fountain Pen P1
Watercolor over Fountain Pen P2
Delightful Cosplay Couple From Start to Finish
Dots for Eyes Chibi Watercolor Tutorial


Written:
Planning Your Watercolor Illustration
Penciling
Stretching Tutorial
Washes
Blocking In
Rendering
Adding Shadows
Adding Details


Step by Step Illustration Walkthrough: 
Video:
Watercolor Basics Pencils
Watercolor Basics Stretching Demonstration
Blocking In Color
Rendering
Adding Shadows
Refining Your Image

Written:
Planning Your Watercolor Illustration
Penciling
Stretching Tutorial
Washes
Blocking In
Rendering
Adding Shadows
Adding Details


Panels and Workshops
MTAC Intro to Watercolor


Outside Reviews and Resources: