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Watercolor Art Materials Roundup, Cymplified!

So! You want to make watercolor art but haven’t any clue what materials to use? Me too!

art friend loot
unplanned purchases (except for waterbrushes)

I started with the Prang watercolor set I had in college. I also have watercolor pencils. I bought the Derwent Inktense blocks and water brushes when I was in Singapore. I had paintbrushes from my brother (who also owned the watercolor set, I just bought the refills), from my mom, and from workshops. I bought one bottle of Dr. Ph. Martin’s radiant concentrated watercolor at an event. I have a big Canson watercolor pad and two small Daler-Rowney travel books. Recently, I bought the Sakura Koi watercolor kit. And that’s the beginning of hoarding, my friends!

I have these art things, but are they good enough? I feel like I am missing out on something, like gouache or Windsor and Newton.

So, I have been reading blog posts about materials shared by artists I discovered or followed. But, that doesn’t mean I have to buy them all! It also depends on my style, which I have yet to discover. This art materials roundup is simply a guide to give me an idea where to start, or where to go next.

  1. First is The Postman’s Knock’s Top Ten List of Art Essentials. Lindsey, the woman behind TPK, has a passion for art and calligraphy. She loves being creative and learning. I love that she encourages people to create and she even posted an entry about painting with watercolors for beginners, which you have to check out. There are lots of helpful tutorials on her blog.
  2. Abbey Sy, the letterer extraordinaire, shared a comprehensive list of materials she uses in this post. She recently published a book called The ABC’s of Hand Lettering. I bought it and loved it.
  3. A Filipino illustrator, graphic designer and craft hobbyist named Cynthia Bauzon-Arre gave her readers a rundown of her favorite watercolor tools. She’s so good at painting portraits and she even did album covers.
  4. Googling about watercolor supplies took me to and the post on the 6 supplies I’ll need to start painting watercolors. This is very helpful for beginners as it lists the basics and provides info on paper thickness, plus more.

Now, the next dilemma is… Where to purchase them here in the Philippines?

  1. Aika, a graphic artist who is into calligraphy, lettering, watercolor and digital painting, wrote a comprehensive post about arts and crafts shops in the country. She also checked the ones she personally tried and approved.
  2. Cynthia also has her own, albeit smaller, list of art and craft stores in Manila. It’s almost the same as the Aika’s.
  3. There’s also the Oil Paint Store with lots of painting supplies for watercolor and other media.
  4. Another shop I discovered is the Wildwood Art Supply, which carries “premium quality art supplies produced in Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Their goal is to offer hard-to-find materials while keeping prices affordable for beginning and professional artists.”

Are you interested in watercolor? Please share in the comments other links to art materials or art shops.


  1. I got a Daler Rowney tube set, travel set and paper from Singapore (Art Friend). There were a lot of winsor and newton tubes but they were individually sold and I did not know what colors to get. hehehe I have a beginner’s acrylic set (daler rowney) and goauche set (royal talens) from fullybooked in greenbelt. I got regular watercolor pan set from gaisano and basic watercolor set from daiso. I am eyeing on those Holbein 48-color set online ( I have to stop writing because I can go on and on. hehehe

  2. Galing! Watercolor is like a branding property of your blog. 🙂 I associate the topic with your blog na nga eh. Your love for the craft really shines through!

    1. Thank you, Toni!

  3. Anna Trogo

    Hi Cym! I buy my watercolor tools from FullyBooked and I also go to HeyKessy (Sakura Koi). I’ve bought a Gansai Tambi set from Craftcarrot recently too. I usually run out of paper so I hope your recommendations can help me find a consistent stockist!

    1. Thank you for sharing your suppliers, Anna! It’s wonderful to “bump” into someone who is into watercolor, too. 🙂

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