I have been making color charts for my various medias. This brought me to a review of my watercolor charts, which I have in a folder and will be transferring into a binder.
There are several sets which are inexpensive and great starter sets for beginners. One of these is Marie’s watercolors. Another is Turner’s watercolors. My personal favorite beginner watercolors are VanGogh. Both the Turner and VanGogh watercolors can be considered artist quality materials. I prefer the Marie’s watercolors over the Turner watercolors, as the Turner watercolors include Maya colors which I find weak and useless in my personal art practice. Others may love those colors, which is great, but I cannot find a use for them at all. Marie’s colors are vibrant and I have lovely mixes with them. But my favorite beginner brand is VanGogh, hands down.
A lovely brand of inexpensive watercolor paper is Fabriano Studio Cold Press Paper. I use this stuff all the time. It is absolutely fine and reasonably priced. It works very well for nearly all my requirements. It’s perfect for the beginner watercolorist as well as the more experienced artist.
The best watercolor paper I’ve ever used is Arches. This is exceptional paper, the top of the line as far as paper goes and is priced to reflect that. The results are absolutely stunning. This paper is a joy to work on. I have Arches paper but I don’t use it often because it was so costly.
Remember, you will never be sorry to have made your color swatch books or charts. These will serve you well over the years. Even though it takes a bit of time to create them, they are well worth it.