Hey guys! A couple of my friends have been asking about materials to get if you're just starting out with gouache landscape painting, so I thought I'd pass along the materials list I got from my teacher, Jackson Sze. You can see nearly all of my kit here:
The only thing missing is my artists' tape, which I just ran out of, and my portable camping stool. Anyway, basic ingredients are (from left to right):
Paper towels. My friend Kirk recommended Viva because they're super absorbent. They feel a lot like those blue disposable shop rags.
Brush roll with different sizes of brushes. I just wrap my brushes in a dirty rag which doubles up as a rag to wipe the brushes on when they're too loaded with paint/water as I work. You can also use an old t-shirt for that. My brushes are all cheap red-handle Winsor Newton University (student grade) synthetic brushes. I've got a couple rounds from 00 to 6, which tends to cover everything but the initial wash at the size I work. For the wash I've got a size 10 synthetic sable round. I just picked up a couple brights the other week too. I really like using those for big planes of color, and splaying the bristles apart to get interesting patterns, but I'm still just beginning to learn about that stuff.
Some kind of water container. I use a fancy rubber-sealed container that was designed for oils/turpenoid, but it works just fine for water, and seals completely if I don't want to throw my dirty water out where I'm painting.
A spray bottle to keep your palette wet.
A palette. I just switched to a Sta-Wet palette, which has been working out well for me. It forces me to put out fresh paint, or at least keep my last batch of paint wet, instead of picking at hardened paint at the bottom of my dirty old palette.
Paints. I just stick to primary colors with white and black. I know you aren't supposed to touch black because it kills your saturation, but I really have trouble getting my darkest darks without it. Anyway, the primaries I always put out are pretty cheap: Flame Red, Spectrum Yellow, and either Ultramarine Blue or Cerulean, depending on what I'm looking at. Usually I'll put out both blues. I've also got some other colors on hand in case they help me get somewhere faster, but that'll depend on the subject. For example, we painted a coastal cliff earlier today, so I put out some earth tones to help me get the colors I wanted a little bit faster.
Something to paint on. I've been painting in my cheap sketchbook from Kinokuniya for several weeks now, but I recently got a Cottonwood cold press sketchbook to take for a test drive. The pages are basically illustration board, so they hold up to the water pretty well.
The items off screen are pretty important too: a portable stool/chair to sit on, and some artists' tape to keep your painting masked off. Other than that, you really just need a sturdy backpack, some sunscreen, a decent hat to shade your eyes, and something to paint!
I hope this write-up helped someone out, but in any case, if you made it this far, thanks for reading!