Which watercolour brand and colours should I start with?

Jul 20, 2019

This would have to be one of the most asked questions when it comes to starting with watercolour - which brand and which colours should I learn to paint with?

The thing about that question is, you're ALWAYS going to get a different answer, depending on who you ask.

Here at The Watercolour Academy, we like to keep things simple, and all of our tutorials are based off a simple 3 colour palette.

You've probably heard of the primary colours. Maybe you learned about it back when you were a kid - you know the ones! Red. Yellow. Blue. The colours that can't be made by other colours, but can make all the others, right?

Well, things have changed a lil bit. These days, many artists prefer a more CMYK based system (like the colours your printer uses) so that they can achieve a much larger range of vibrant colours.

Buuuuuuuuuuut waaaaaaaait. Why can't I get all the colourssssss? All the sets are so pretttyyyyyyyyyy.

We know. We get it.

The thing with watercolour is - if you buy the cheapo supplies, you're not gonna get great results. Some people argue that a true artist can make do with any quality of supplies, and we believe that too, but a true artist isn't born the moment you pick up a brush, and most beginners need years of experience before they can do that.

So we want you to have the quickest and easiest learning journey with watercolour possible, which is why we recommend resisting the urge to buy EVERY colour from the cheapest brand, just because it *feels* like more bang for your buck. You'll get more colours, but they'll be inferior, and you'll have a harder time learning with them.

Instead, put your hard-earned cash towards QUALITY paints, but fewer of them.

Recommended commercial brand: Winsor and Newton Professional Series Watercolour:

  • Winsor Lemon
  • Permanent Rose
  • Winsor Blue (Red Shade)

Recommended handmade brand: The Watercolour Factory (our sister brand):

  • Primary Yellow
  • Primary 'Red'
  • Primary Blue

Once you've got your 3 primary colours and you're ready to rock and roll - take our FREE Colour Theory 101 class! You'll learn how to create 144+ colours from just 3.