Here is the unruly child, the one that will not be told and is going to show you exactly what it wants to look like!
Yes, for me watercolour is all about riding the wild side, don’t try to tame it, let it be what it will be and you will embrace one of the most expressive mediums. Although most often referred to as for beginners, which it most certainly is, you should always be ready to hold your breath and be brave!
There are certain traditions with watercolour, full of calm and tranquil and if that is what you enjoy then that is great, but watercolours’ best quality is its ability to move when wet, and the wetter the better! Let the paint flow in unexpected directions, learn to embrace the paints choices rather than impose your own and the work will take on a loose and free dynamic that no other medium can quite capture. And if it decides that today is not the day, well… thats kids for you! Put them to bed and look forward to the unexpected antics of tomorrow.
I won’t repeat my opinions of what quality paints will do for your work, take a look at my post about acrylics and much the same applies. However, unlike acrylic your surface for watercolour is every bit as important as your paint choice, i would almost go as far as to say that you can’t skimp on the paper. Buy the very best that you can afford, most recommend 140lbs/300gsm but I would say that this is the minimum weight to consider. The wet into wet technique demands it otherwise your paper will turn to tissue and become a soggy mess.
Get quality brushes too, these will last you a very long time, most likely forever if treated with respect. There are such a vast array of brushes to choose from out there but one bit of guidance is to avoid packs, buy them individually so that you can have a range of tip shapes, many packs come with the same shape just differing sizes. Check that the fibres/sable have a good spring back, they should hold a good shape, unless there is a specific design aspect such as with a mop or hake.
My materials page provides a comprehensive list of equipment that I recommend and if you follow the affiliate links you will get the exact product and help to support all of my art courses at no cost to yourself.