Basics: Colours & Paintbrush Experimentation


Here's the list of the materials used in Explore Shapes. In the coming days there will be more information about colours and materials used, but I'd like to go through the list before we start.

Brush techniques

Please see the video about paint brushes and techniques. This is a small but important project for you to join in. Try out the paintbrushes and paints on the Arches watercolour block, using the blue colours in your set, with Paynes grey added. No Inks, just watercolour, to get a feel for the paper, paint and tools to be used in the course. You will use this painted sheet in a future project, with textures as background.

Materials Explained

Golden QoR set of twelve colours

This paint set is used by myself for all projects in the course. It is the perfect collection to develop a broader range of colours. You are welcome to use your own watercolour sets as well.

QoR set of twelve watercolours

Golden high flow Black and White

High flow behaves like ink and can be used to create watercolour effects. It is highly concentrated and when mixed with matte (or other) paint medium or gel it will behave more like a regular acrylic paint. Drawing with high flow is done using a dip pen. I will explain the different uses and mixing it with watercolour paint and medium to create different effects to compliment traditional watercolour techniques.

Golden Matte painting medium 237ml

This medium is used by myself on my paintings, it is a very useful paint extender, and a way to control brush strokes, it is a barrier, a varnish and material for layering and collaging. Matte medium is a polymer liquid, it looks milky when wet and dries to a clear matte finish. It is not like PVA glue but in fact a liquid acrylic paint without any pigment.

Golden MATTE medium

Arches Aquarelle paper block or sheets

An important component to the course, using a good quality watercolour paper is helpful to achieve desired results.

COLD PRESSED 300gm 20 sheets blocks are ideal.

Arches Aquarelle


Please look at the video demonstration.

Paintbrushes recommended for Explore Shapes

Black fine liner

Pigment ink 0,5mm or a set with different size pens. Rotring or Sakuru are suitable

Watercolour paper

Arches cold press paper block NOT (as in the watercolour paper term indicating a textured surface somewhere between rough and hot-pressed paper) 140lb 300gm size 12”x16” or 10”x14” size. I am using 12”x16” in projects. Other watercolour papers are also good, not less than 300gsm paper weight. The paper has a slight texture, not smooth, and is 100% cotton.


  • Moleskine A4 sketchbook with watercolour sheets or similar, these are for additional drawings and experimenting and must be suitable to hold water and mixed media. Drawing is important in all my courses, and I encourage students to expand upon the daily assignments, using the topics or techniques to draw. Drawing in watercolour and paintbrushes are also a great alternative way to draw. Both sketchbooks and additional sheets of paper are used for mini-projects, drawings, experimenting, colour research etc.

  • Extra sheets of watercolour, at least 300gm NOT are required for the weekend projects. I use NOT cold pressed paper, but you can use the paper you prefer. Having paper on glued pads are easier than using loose sheets to be sized, but these are fine as well.

  • Masking fluid

  • Pencil.

  • Dip pen. I use Speedball’s map set.

  • (Optional) One sheet of heavier watercolour paper 450-500gm

  • Balloon, to be explained in due course.

  • Triangular silicon make up sponges: one small pack of six. These are commonly found in drugstores and pharmacies, not a costly item, but a great tool for stamping and transferring of textures.

  • Fruit: banana, lemon.

  • Vegetables: Romano or regular red pepper (capsicum), spring onions, sugar snaps.