From my August Newsletter:
The first time I tried to paint with watercolors I thought I would save money and buy just a few cheap supplies. Nothing turned out right. I was constantly struggling, and my paintings looked terrible. I gave up!
I stopped doing watercolors for a couple of years until I started to read a watercolor instruction book by Jan Kunz. In her books, Jan recommends using top quality, brand name supplies. Well, this should have been a "no brainer!" You can't get professional looking paintings with cheap supplies no matter how good a painter you are.
The pigments in the high quality paints are much more vibrant and longer lasting. The professional quality watercolor paper (such as Arches) has a very unique and beautiful texture that accepts the paints much better than the "discount" brand.
I was lucky enough to take a week long course with Jan Kunz years ago and learned many wonderful techniques. However, the most important thing I learned was "quality, quality, quality". Now that I am the teacher, I only use the best supplies (no matter what medium) to teach my classes so I can save my students lots of headaches!
For a list of supplies that I recommend and sell at Painting Paradise please visit http://www.kauai-artist.net/art_supplies.htm