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Tutorials and artistic advices

Selecting your accessories for watercolor painting

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Besides paper, colors and paintbrushes, the three essentials, watercolor painting requires a few accessories. Don't worry, they're easy to find!


Aquarelle - choisir ses accessoires - La palette

1. Palette: a matter of taste


Palettes, indispensable for preparing colors, come in many models. plastic, porcelain, metal; with round and rectangular compartments... it’s your choice!

  • Its surface must be impermeable and satiny so you can clearly see the color you’ve made.
  • A lightweight, plastic or aluminum palette that is easy to carry and more manageable is preferable for working outdoors.
  • It is advisable to have a second palette, to avoid unfortunate blends.


2. Wooden board or frame: they have the same purpose


The paper needs to be attached to a stiff backing to keep it from buckling …

  • On a wood board: use a board that is larger than the sheet of paper so it can be attached after wetting with gummed paper or adhesive tape.
  • On a frame: The wood frame needs to be smaller than the sheet of paper, because you need to fold the corners around the strips of woods and hold them in place with thumbtacks or staples to achieve a tension effect. Major advantage: once the work is completed, there's no need to unfasten the paper.


Aquarelle - choisir ses accessoires - L’éponge

3.Sponge: make sure it's natural!


It is mostly used to wet your paper before painting, to dilute color, and to erase when necessary.

Go for soft, porous, natural sponges that won't damage your paper and can hold a lot of water.


4. Additives: seeking transparency


To add light and matter to your colors and more easily create white spaces.

  • Alcohol is added to water to make the paint dry faster. Use pure, 96°P alcohol.
  • Small drops of gum arabic, which comes as a solution, can be added to water to improve color retention and give it a denser appearance, with greater shine and transparency.
  • Drawing gum: comes in liquid form and is applied with an old brush.


See also

Selecting your watercolor paper
Choisir son papier aquarelle
Grammage, épaisseur, grain… Le choix du papier, une question de feeling ? Pas vraiment. Quelques conseils !
Watercolor blocks
Le bloc aquarelle collé 4 côtés
Designed for use in all situations, the block (4-sided glue pad) allows you to use all types of wet techniques without pre-treating the paper: It is the perfect companion for nomadic artists.