Most people prefer to use their own materials for watercolour painting. It makes the experience much more personal and doesn't impose conditions on the artist.

I have some drawing boards and easels available, so if you're flying you needn't worry about bringing these bulky items with you!

If you have your own paints and paper, please bring them along.

If you're wondering what you'll need, here's a list I would recommend:



Winsor & Newton artists quality tube paint
Winsor & Newton artists quality half-pan paints

I would strongly recommend a small selection of artist's quality paints. They're more expensive (as they use genuine pigments), but you will get much better results from them.

Watercolour paints come in two formats:

Pans are dry colours in plastic holders. These are ideal for artists on the move as they are easy to transport and ready in an instant. They'd be my choice.

Tubes need squeezing out onto a palette before use and are usually more wasteful. They're trickier to use on the move, but good for geting large amounts of colour mixed quickly. I use tubes, but more often when I'm in the studio.

A basic colour list that will work in 99% of situations would be:

  • Alizarin Crimson (permanent). Genuine alizarin fades unfortunatley.
  • Cadmium Red
  • Lemon Yellow
  • French Ultramarine
  • Cerulean Blue
  • Raw Sienna
  • Burnt Umber

If you wanted to add a few more:

  • Light Red
  • Sap Green (please, please avoid Viridian Green!)
  • Payne's Grey



Travel brushes for watercolour

Soft brushes intended for watercolour. You get what you pay for. Sable are generally the best, but there are some good synthetic brushes for a fractin of the price.

I'd choose sizes 12, 6, 4 and 0 which will cover most eventualities. You could add a much larger 'mop' brush for large washes if you wish.

It's possible to buy travel brushes that fold into themselves to protect the bristles. These are really useful, but not essential.



Block of Arches watercolour paper

Watercolour 'blocks' are great for painting outdoors. They're pads of paper gummed on all sides to minimise buckling when the paper gets wet. Otherwise pads or loose sheets are fine, just make sure the paper is made for watercolours.

Arches, Winsor and Newtonn and Saunders are among many reliable brands.

A 30cm x 40cm size is useful, but if you prefer to work smaller or larger, please do. Look for 'cold pressed' or 'not' surface texture. This is medium texture and the most useful for most paintings.

A smaller (A4 or A5) size sketchbook might also be really useful for trying out ideas.

Materials Pack

If you wish, Jon can order a pack of materials for you in advance, ready for your arrival. This must be ordered and paid for at leat 3 weeks prior to the course start date.

Materials are at cost price, ordered from 'Géant des Beaux Arts' art supplies store in France.

The materials pack consists of:

Art holiday France | Watercolour paintHalf pans of Winsor & Newton Professional artist's watercolour paint:

  • Permanent Alizarin Crimson
  • Winsor Lemon Yellow
  • Cadmium Red
  • Cerulean Blue
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Raw Sienna
  • Burnt Umber

Art holiday France | Watercolour paint tinMetal box for paints

  • 12 half pan capacity Gerstaecker Empty Watercolour Box. includes a fold-out mixing palette and a thumb ring. The metal ring allows simple and safe use of the watercolour box as a palette in the hand - advantageous when painting outdoors. The fold-out palette offers plenty of room for mixing new shades. The practical and shapely Gerstaecker Empty Watercolour Box is made of sturdy metal.


Art holiday France | Watercolour paint brushesBrushes

  • Set of three Léonard Watercolour Brushes Set. 3 high-quality round brushes which are particularly suitable for contours, delicate features, details and washes. The brushes are in a plastic wallet. The set of Léonard Watercolour Brushes consists of: 1 size 4 Kolinsky sable brush, 1 size 10 pure squirrel hair brush and 1 size 3/0 synthetic Similhair wash brush.
  • One Daler-Rowney Graduate Round Wash Brush The Daler-Rowney Graduate Round Wash Brush is a special watercolour brush ideally suited to large scale painting, very wet applications, washes and base coats


Art holiday France | Arches watercolour paperBlock of quality watercolour paper

  • 31cm x 41cm Arches Aquarelle Watercolour Block containing 20 sheets of 300gsm, 100% rag, mould-made paper. It is suitable for all watercolour techniques, gouache and acrylic. Arches Aquarelle Watercolour paper is white, acid-free, air-dried and surface and internally sized. It has very high colourfastness and archival permanence.

Price for all items above: 125€ payable seperately to Jon by arrangement.


We are hoping to offer two watercolour painting holidays for 2021.

The painting holidays will run from Monday afternoon to Friday lunchtime.

For more information please contact us to be kept up to date with 2021's dates.

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