Do you have a watercolour wishlist? This is the time of year in our family when we are all putting together Christmas wishlists. Surprise gifts can be a real delight. They can be a disaster too. At some point, we’ve all had an unexpected gift we really didn’t want. Awkward!

As a giver of gifts, I always want to know that the gift will be well received. This approach also supports my sustainability drive. Our family guideline for Christmas gifts is that they should be modest and something that we know the receiver really wants. Wishlists are fantastic.

This morning I was thinking about my own lists and it struck me that once I started painting, mine became predominantly items related to my studio in one way or another. I’m often asked about my preferred materials. Here’s a list of the watercolour supplies I enjoy.

Watercolour wishlist – my favourites

  • The Pro Arte Squirrel mop – great point and big belly to hold lots of paint
  • Swordliners – this set of three is really good value and fabulous for making fine lines and elegant sweeping strokes
  • Sketchbooks are always fabulous. I’ve enjoyed using Seawhite products for some time now. This is their travel journal (translates to ‘sketchbook with pocket’), and of course, the classic concertina sketchbook
  • Two Rivers handmade watercolour paper. The quality of the paper you use is possibly the most important element in watercolour painting.
  • Arches paper is another solid choice for watercolour support.
  • Saunders Waterford from is a reliable good quality paper
  • Seawhite watercolour sketchbooks are known for good quality at an affordable price
  • My favourite travelling palette is the Daniel Smith half pan ultimate mixing set
  • If you want to create your own palette then the smaller Daniel Smith 6-colour set will allow you to add your own additional paints from the tube. I love being able to do this.
  • And for a little extra colour to play with, there are the new 36 dot card sets which have big juicy splodges of paint and provide lots of colour exploration opportunities. Mineral set or Confetti set.

I realise some of these recommendations are for supplies that aren’t inexpensive. But what better time for a bit of high quality than at Christmas?

If you’re starting out on a watercolour journey and want a basic list of supplies, I would recommend the following minimum starter kit:

I love getting new art supplies for birthdays and Christmas. There’s something thrilling about the creative possibilities they embody. If you’d like me to put together other art supply lists for you, do drop me a line and let me know what categories you’d find useful.