Kids love watercolor painting! It’s an easy and fun art medium for kids to explore. You don’t need a lot of supplies to get started, a few inexpensive but great quality items are all you need.
These beginner watercolor supplies will get kids started painting and having fun!
There are so many great watercolor techniques for kids to explore and paint with! Take a look at my collection of watercolor painting for kids for some fun and creative project ideas.
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Using real watercolor paper for art projects makes all the difference and is so fun for kids to explore! And it can be quite affordable if you choose the right one.
There are so many different types of watercolor paper out there, however, that it can get confusing! Watercolor paper comes in different weights, in pads or on its own, in different textures and hot or cold press.
Keep on reading for a brief explanation of how to pick the perfect paper.
The weight of watercolor paper is measured in reams or 500 sheets of paper. So 140lb paper refers to 500 sheets of paper weighing that much altogether.
For the beginner and especially for kids, 140lb watercolor paper is the best. This paper can be cut or torn easily and is great for all types of watercolor projects.
Cold press or Hot press
This simply refers to the texture or surface of the paper. Hot press paper is smoother and cold press has more of a bumpy texture to it, which is great for holding paint and water.
Cold press paper is the most common type and the type of paper that we use.
Single sheet or pad of paper
Watercolor paper comes in large single sheets and also in pads of paper. The single sheets offer more options in the types of weight and texture but are more expensive.
I like to use watercolor pads, they are inexpensive, and work great for kids projects!
Plain white cardstock
There are three main types of watercolor paint to use, a pan set, liquid watercolors and watercolors in tubes. For kids, using a watercolor pan set or liquid watercolors is the best option.
Watercolor pan sets
Watercolor pan sets are inexpensive, come in a variety of bright colors and are easy to store and transport.
Most art and craft stores will have a few of these sets to choose from. This is the type of watercolor that we use the most.
You can use these watercolors straight from the set to your paper, or dilute the color with water in a paint palette depending on how dark you want your colors to be.
Liquid watercolors come in small bottles and don't have as many color options. But a little goes a long way and they will last for a while.
They are very convenient to use, and the colors are so bright and vivid that they are definitely worth using for the right project.
You can dilute liquid watercolors in a palette and mix the colors together for more options.
I like to use liquid watercolors to cover larger areas, like a sky or if I need a really bright color and my pan set doesn't have it. We used liquid watercolors as well as a watercolor set for this beautiful watercolor poppy art.
There are so many choices when it comes to picking out a good watercolor brush. Paintbrushes can get pricey but you don't need to spend a fortune to get some nice quality brushes for kids!
Brushes come in numbered sizes that are standard so it makes it easy when looking at all the different options available.
I like to have a mixture of flat brushes and round brushes in a variety of sizes. Flat brushes are great for doing a flat wash and covering large areas.
Small round brushes are good for detail work and larger round brushes are a great all-purpose watercolor brush for kids to use.
We tend to use #12 or #16 size round brushes the most.
Watercolor paint palettes are essential for mixing your paint in. It's nice to have a palette with a variety of sized compartments or wells to mix larger and smaller quantities.
Watercolor supplies you probably already have at home
There are a few more supplies when painting with watercolors that are nice to have. You most likely already have most of these at home!
We use painter’s a lot when taping down a sheet of watercolor paper.
Taping down your paper is helpful for a couple of reasons. It keeps the paper from sliding all over, which makes it easier for kids to paint on.
As you paint, your paper will become wrinkled, taping your paper down helps it to dry nice and flat. It also creates a nice white border around your painting.
I buy our painter’s tape at the dollar store, so it’s very affordable.
A wooden board
A wooden board is great for taping down your watercolor paper. Keeping your paper taped down, helps the paper to dry nice and flat.
I use scrap pieces of wood that I got at our local hardware store. Sometimes you can even get your watercolor boards for free by checking the scrap section! You can also get pieces of wood very inexpensively and cut to the dimensions you need.
Having paper towels handy when painting with watercolors is always a great idea. I like to fold a paper towel and have it near my painting to dab my brush on from time to time.
They are also great to clean up any unexpected spills that can happen.
I hope you found some helpful information about beginner watercolor supplies for kids and are excited to get started!
Watercolor projects kids will love
If you are looking for more art projects to try, take a look at our ultimate collection of amazing art projects for kids!
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