• Hardcover watercolor sketchbook that will stay flat when opened: Recommended: 7 x 10 Canson Montval Watercolor Field Sketchbook (spiral bound) or 5 x 8 Moleskine, Hand*Book, Strathmore or Pentalic brand watercolor journal (stitch-bound). The sketchbook must contain paper expressly for watercolor, not sketching paper for drawing or “all media”
  • Pocket watercolor sketch box, containing 12 pans (not tube paints) of watercolor. Recommended: Cotman Compact Set but other brands are fine. (Sets that have a “warm” and “cool” of each primary color, i.e. two yellows, two blues, two reds, plus a couple of earth colors such as burnt sienna, burnt umber and yellow ochre, will make color mixing easier.)
  • Water brushes – large and small sizes. Recommended: Pentel brand water brushes. You can get a set with 4 different sizes through Jet Pens. Niji water brushes are also excellent, but slightly more expensive.
  • Mechanical pencil. Recommended: Papermate Sharpwriter #2, but other brands are fine
  • A fine-line drawing pen, with waterproof black or brown ink (eg., Uniball Vision micro, PittArtists Pen-S, Staedtler Pigment Liner, Micron Pen #3) Brown, sepia and sanguine inks are fun to have for sketching nature colors.
  • Artist’s composition finder
  • A pocket-size Color Wheel
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Safety razor blade
  • Pocket package of kleenex-type tissues
  • A  2 – 4 oz. plastic spray bottle
  • A  2 – 4 oz. plastic squeeze bottle for refilling the water brushes
  • 6 – 8 pieces of approx. 4” x 6” watercolor “scratch” paper for testing color mixtures. (A mini pad of student-grade watercolor paper, a cut-up sheet of watercolor paper or a pack of watercolor postcards will suffice.)
  • A plastic 12″ t-square (available at Dick Blick, Joann’s Fabrics, office or school supply stores) or a small drafter’s triangle
  • An old toothbrush for spattering
    Optional: 8-10 photos of landscape — especially photos of The Clearing! — you may wish to have in your watercolor travel sketchbook
    In addition, students should bring:

A lightweight, easy-to-carry folding chair or stool for sketching outdoors
Some sort of small pack to carry supplies around ( e.g., a “handbag organizer” like my kit seen here, from the Container Store:

Anything needed to work comfortably outdoors, e.g. hat, sunglasses, insect repellent, sunscreen, water bottle
Where to buy supplies online:;;; Also Judsons Art Outfitters, which has viewfinders, color wheels and small spray and squeeze bottles
NOTE: When you buy your supplies, think small. Working outdoors requires compact, easy to handle equipment. Don’t bring the sorts of materials you might work with in a studio class, such as big palettes, big paper, big brushes or tube paints. You’ll enjoy the class more if you have the specific supplies on this list. If you have questions about the supplies or where to get them, please do not hesitate to call me: 404-402-6284


  • A Life in Hand: Creating the Illuminated Journal and A Trail Through Leaves: The Journal as a Path to Place, both by Hannah Hinchman
  • Artist’s Journal Workshop, by Cathy Johnson
  • Work Small, Learn Big: Sketching with Pen & Watercolor, by International Artist
  • Everyday Matters, by Danny Gregory
  • The Art of Urban Sketching: Drawing on Location Around the World, by Gabriel Campanario
  • The Watercolorist’s Essential Notebook: Landscapes by Gordon MacKenzie
  • Watercolor Journeys, by Richard Schilling

RECOMMENDED VIEWING: Urban Sketchers website