You don’t need much to create these mini landscapes, but this is one project where a few, key ingredients can really make a difference. Because you’ll be working very quickly wet-in-wet, you’ll need supplies that can hold up under pressure. Here’s what I recommend.
[Links in the supply list go to products used in the tutorial; contains affiliates.]
Really good paper.
This technique requires a paper that can handle a lot of water, so student-grade or budget watercolor papers will rarely cut it. Also, a relatively hard-sized paper works best. I prefer 140# cold-pressed. Papers are personal, but I’ve used Hahnemuhle Cezanne, Stonehenge Aqua, and Saunder’s Waterford with excellent results and even budget-friendly Strathmore Windpower with success. I didn’t have much luck using heavy-weight papers or Arches, Kilimanjaro, or Fabriano.
Mostly transparent, single-pigment watercolors.
The only place I would use opaque pigments, if at all, are in the foreground elements. Avoid opaque and multi-pigment watercolors in the background wash. These can easily become muddy when mixing wet-in-wet. Also, opaques tend to have a limited flow rate on the page, and you’ll need good dispersement for this technique. For example, Phthalos, Quins, and Perylenes are mostly transparent and have great flow. You can see my current palette here.
- Artist tape
- Coroplast or other board
- Frisket or masking fluid
- Two high-quality brushes, one large and one small (IMO, Isabey are the best!)
- Rubber cement pick-up eraser
- Optional: toothbrush, salt, white gel pen, etc
- Water & towels, of course