Tools of the Trade

Originally uploaded on March 18, 2015
Last updated: October 13, 2015

I’ve been getting quite a number of questions on Instagram about the materials that I like using and would recommend, and I’ve been wanting to create this list since last year anyway, so I decided to compile everything for anyone who’s interested.

This did take a while because for the last few months, I kept adding to the list and it always felt like it wasn’t ready for sharing. But enough of that! I can’t keep procrastinating, right? I’ll just have to surrender to the fact that this list is always going to be flexible and I should just add to it whenever I find a new material that I love.

So without further ado, here are my beloved materials and recommendations!

Out of all the art media that I’ve tried, watercolor is the one that I’ve really fallen in love with and have been using almost everyday since I started focusing on it in 2014.

When I was younger, I was able to try some not-so-nice quality brands of watercolor from the school supplies store, most probably for school. And I never really felt attached to it until I tried it again for my wedding in 2013.

I re-discovered all the good feelings that came with using watercolors, especially the freedom of creating something that I didn’t quite have complete control over. Yeah, I know, it’s kind of ironic but I really do love working with a medium that encourages me to play with it and shows me the results of happy accidents (hello Bob Ross) along the way.

Top-Bottom, Left-Right: Daler-Rowney Aquafine Watercolors | Sakura Koi Watercolors | a set of metallic watercolors that I got from National Bookstore (can’t figure out the brand but I noticed that it’s no longer being sold there either) | Prang Watercolors | Winsor&Newton Cotman Watercolors Sketchers’ Pocket Box | Dr. Ph. Martin’s Radiant Concentrated Watercolors in Scarlet, True Blue, and Lemon Yellow | Daler-Rowney Luma Bleed Proof White (not watercolor, but I use it sometimes with my watercolored artworks) | Schmincke Horadam Watercolors (sooooooo excited to use these pans soon)

Here are some of the watercolors that I’ve collected so far. I know this is a lot, especially because I haven’t even tried all of them yet. I have this thing where I’m sort of scared to open and use the ones that I’m really excited to try out (case in point: the Schmincke palette). Super weird! But I just tell myself that I have others that I’m still using anyway, so I don’t need to open all of them until I’m out of my current set.

I also have several more Prang palettes than the one I’m showing here from the watercolor workshops that I joined last year. I’ve already given away two 8-pan sets, and will be saying goodbye to the last two sets soon.

Currently, I’m lugging around my gigantic Daler-Rowney Aquafine Watercolor Paint Slider Set that has 20 half pans in it. It also came with an Aquafine brush and the plastic case has several slide-out mixing trays and a removable palette. The colors are so brilliant and vibrant even if this is a student grade palette. The pans are also removable so when you’ve finished any of them, you can easily replace them with a new one or a different color.

Before that, I used to bring my smaller Winsor&Newton Cotman palette around. This is perfect for traveling because of its size and the colors are also really vibrant and can be easily mixed on the underside of the cover, so you don’t lose quality just because it’s smaller or has lesser colors. It also comes with a brush, but I haven’t tried using that yet.

I got my Daler-Rowney watercolors from Artland in Hong Kong, my Schmincke palette from Art Friend in Singapore, my Prang palettes from National Bookstore in the Philippines and the workshops I’ve joined, and my Winsor & Newton travel palette from Cass Art in London. Some of the same brands are now available in selected Fully Booked branches (their Greenbelt branch has the best selections). You can also check out Deovir Art Supplies.

Recently, I also purchased a FineTec gold palette from @swirlsandstrokesph that features 5 beautiful gold shades and 1 sterling.

The best thing about this palette (well, aside from the gold itself) is that I noticed that you really only need a little from the palette to mix with water, and it already goes a long way. A lot of people are turned off by the price of this palette but I always tell them that it’s worth it because it will last a long time.

At this point, I’ve used them every chance I get, and they still look brand new!

And here are swatches of my most used palettes.

UPDATE: I’m adding swatches for both my Schmincke Horadam 9-color full pan palette and my recently acquired Sennelier l’Aquarelle 24-color half pan palette.

Both European-made artist quality palettes give you a really vibrant and brilliant set of colors. Schmincke (sorry that I misspelled it when I was making the swatches) is a German brand while Sennelier is French.

I also saw a 24-color Schmincke palette back in Daimaru Fujii Central where I bought my Sennelier palette, and it was a few thousand ¥ more expensive. Does that mean Schmincke is considered the better quality brand?

It doesn’t really follow because it ultimately depends on your preference as the artist and how you use the paints. I’ve read quite a few reviews where people have declared their preference for Sennelier. As for me, I’ll use them for a while first before sharing my verdict.

Again, it’s Schmincke with a C before the K.

I love that the Sennelier palette provides so many new and interesting colors, with their Cobalt Violet Light Hue, Viridian Green, and Payne’s Gray being my favorites. Even if I mixed my previously existing colors, I don’t think I would have achieved any of these colors on my own.

But then again, that’s probably true from brand to brand because each manufacturer comes out with their own version of a certain color. The reds of Schmincke is always going to be different from the reds that Sennelier produces, and this applies to all other colors and all other brands.

As mentioned in my Hokkaido Haul post, Sennelier also reformulated their paints in 2012 to include more honey in their mix. They use honey not only as a preservative but to give brilliance and smoothness to their paints. And the paints are definitely smooth! As soon as I put my brush on top of the paint, I could feel it. It was really easy to wet the paint and even with just a small amount of water, I was already able to get a rich color.

On the photo, the Schmincke colors look more opaque, but that might just be because I could have used less water when I was swatching them. Nevertheless, Schmincke’s Yellow Ochre does appear more saturated than Sennelier’s.

My Schmincke 9-pan palette came in this compact metal packaging. The outer surface was a shiny black, and it also came with its own fabric pouch to help keep the metal from scratching. Folding parts gives quite a lot of space for mixing if you don’t have empty palettes to work with.

The pans themselves were individually wrapped in foil and sit in the case snuggly, snapped into and secured by more metal parts. There was really so much attention to detail, but it was also quite difficult to take them out to unwrap.

They also look different compared to other brands’ pans because Schmincke pours their pigments into their pans in a liquid state, and they claim that this allows for a much higher quality of paints. That also means they don’t look as neat as other pans, as you can see splatter marks on the plastic pan.

As I used my Schmincke palette more, I did notice that the paint dried much lighter than when I applied it, something that I didn’t expect from a supposedly high-quality paint brand. I have heard this same complaint from some other artists too.

I love Sennelier’s packaging! The palette was made of metal too, with a matte black finish on the outside. There was also a lot of room for mixing. And if you take out the metal tray holding all the pans in place, you can also use the bottom of the case to mix your colors. As a bonus, it also came with its own watercolor brush.

The set also came with a color guide with all the names (and presumably the actual color in each pan when it’s on paper).

And that color guide serves another purpose too! It’s also meant to cover and protect the paints when you’re storing or bringing it out.

The palette itself contained brilliant and unique colors that took me a while to get used to, but now love using. I love how saturated my paintings look even after they’ve dried whenever I use my Sennelier palette.

On occasion, when I want to play with more than one palette, I mix paints from both my Sennelier and Schmincke palettes to create colors that I feel are more reflective of my style for that particular artwork.

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen my admission that I’m a brush addict (thank you to the people who said that there’s nothing wrong with that haha) and I wasn’t kidding.

Every time I’m in a store where brushes are being sold, I always take a look if there’s anything worth buying.

Currently, I carry most of my brushes in a canvas brush roll that I ordered from @boredandcrafty.

These are my favorite brushes to use.

Left-Right: The newest addition, a Hans Gold Sable 1 | Daler-Rowney Graduate Round 1 | Pebeo Orion Round in 4 I think (got this from a workshop) | Daler-Rowney Round 3

I have an affinity for smaller brush tips because I like detailed work, but before getting the smaller brushes, I used to just use the Pebeo for everything.

Here are sample strokes from my favorite brushes.

I also have a few water brushes (Kuretake Waterbrush in small, medium, and large tips) that a friend gave me, but I honestly haven’t tried them out yet because they feel so weird to the touch.

Every time I meet someone who uses a waterbrush often, I always ask how they use it. I’m planning to bring one of these when I travel again to test them out since people say it’s convenient because of its portability.

You can find Daler-Rowney brushes at Fully BookedNational Bookstore and Deovir Art Supplies also carry a number of good brushes for both professionals and hobbyists. For the Hans Gold-Sable brush, I got mine from Morning Light Art Gallery and Shop in Marfori Heights.

UPDATE: I’m more used to water brushes now and have gotten several Pentel Aquash brushes, since I’ve been hearing such nice things about them.

I started using my Kuretake water brushes more and more since originally posting about them here, and have gotten used to bringing them for trips so I can easily continue making art while I’m away from home.

And as much as I liked the portability, my Kuretake water brushes leaked heavily. Even when I wasn’t pressing on the water chamber, water would be spilling out of the tip and made painting precise strokes a difficulty. Sometimes I ended up with really muddy-looking artwork.

So I searched the internet for better alternatives and found myself buying the Pentel Aquash water brushes (fine and medium) because I kept reading about how they didn’t leak, and that was the most important thing for me when it came to water brushes at that point.

True enough, the Pentel Aquash water brushes I got didn’t leak like the Kuretake brushes did, unless I pressed really hard on the water chamber. The water would leak a little from the area where the tip connected with the chamber, but twisting both tightly to make it more secure plus pressing more lightly on the chamber while painting fixed the problem.

I’m really enjoying painting with my Aquash brushes and have been using the fine tip constantly!

You can order Pentel Aquash water brushes from CreateCrafts.ph.

UPDATE: I’ve changed paper preferences, from Berkeley to Canson Montval.

I used to buy Berkeley watercolor pads (180gsm, 24 sheets) for my everyday painting, but the quality has degraded since the start of 2015. Although affordable, the new paper is much softer to the touch and can’t take heavy washes anymore.

One of the other things that I don’t like about it is the paper is a yellowish color that makes it harder for me to clean up my work when I digitize it.

It is pretty cheap for beginners though, but can be a bit frustrating to use if you’re not the patient type of learner. Another alternative for practice is the Canson watercolor pad, look for the one with a hot air balloon on the cover, with paper that’s more white. I don’t particularly like this watercolor paper either but it’s now better than Berkeley.

I’ve grown fond of using the Canson Montval Aquarelle pads (300gsm, 12 sheets) instead, even though they’re pricier than the previous two I mentioned just because I have been doing more painting for actual work compared to practicing. If I remember correctly, they sell for P300+ in National Bookstore and some online stores.

Despite the price, I like the higher quality that I’m able to achieve with my paintings just because the Montval paper cooperates better with my techniques and style.

And whenever I want to work on an even higher quality watercolor paper, I buy a sheet (around cartolina size) of Arches watercolor paper in 300gsm from National Bookstore and just cut it up into several smaller sheets. I get about 8 small sheets from that bigger sheet of watercolor paper. I really like the texture of the cold press Arches paper, which is very toothy, and can hold my paints really well.

I started using pens frequently again this year because of my #365positivewords project. Most of my pens are from Muji.

I also got Kuretake ZIG Wink of Stella (glitter) and Wink of Luna (metallic) last year, from Scribe Writing Essentials. The silver brush pen on top is a prize I got from attending the Christmas Calligraphy Exchange.

I also have a small collection of brush pens and calligraphy tools that I got from different local stores and while traveling. The various nibs and holders are from Scribe Writing Essentials and The Craft Central.  I got my inks from Craft Carrot.

Before getting into watercolors, my main medium was colored pencils. I used to draw one-of-a-kind designs on kraft cover notebooks for selling, but I realized that it wasn’t making me as happy as I thought it would. And I got tired so easily from all the shading!

Nevertheless, I still keep these colored pencils in case I think of using them again or even incorporating them into my watercolor work.

Lately, I’ve been using pencils for my #365doodleproject entries, as well as for sketching before I paint.

Left-Right:  Staedtler 5B and 6B | Pilot Color Eno mechanical pencil, loaded with pink lead | Muji Hexagonal Polycarbonate Mechanical Pencil 0.5mm | Rotring 300 Lead Holder 2mm | Faber-Castell Eraser Pen

Ever since I started painting full-time, I’ve also been bringing around a huge bag full-time. It’s not good for my back, shoulder, and posture, but it was definitely good for improving my craft because I could practice anytime and anywhere (as long as there was a big enough table around).

I bring all my necessary tools in a durable canvas bag that I bought years ago.

I also have several cases for my other tools: the canvas brush roll for my watercolor brushes, a Filed pen roller for my calligraphy tools and brush pens, and a Muji pencil case for my Muji pens (although I use the detachable case from my Filed pen roller for these too).

UPDATE: I’m also using the FILED pen wrapper and FILED pen capsule now.

I’ve been using both the FILED pen capsule and FILED pen wrapper constantly these days to bring my brushes and pens with me.

The pen capsule holds my regular brushes and is my main choice for when I have a lot more materials to bring around when I work outside of my home, since it’s a lot bigger than the pen wrapper.

The pen wrapper is more for my water brushes and two of my pens for inking work, when needed. It’s the perfect choice when I don’t want to bring a lot of things with me.

The other tools I work with: two different plastic palettes (since it’s harder to bring around a porcelain one), a ruler, an eraser, and my favorite find – my Faber-Castell collapsible water cup.

Last month, I also got a set of Pebeo gouache tubes. I haven’t had much time to play with them yet but I’ve been eyeing gouache for some time now and have been reading up about it, up until the point that I decided to just stop researching and go ahead with buying it.

Because the best way to research and learn a new medium is to use it! Right?

Here are swatches of the gouache. I made two versions of each color, one where I used nearly no water to get that chalky feel, and one where I used it like watercolor (but it still dried chalky).

I like the dried texture of it and it’s definitely more opaque than watercolor, even if you mix a lot of water in the paint. I know that I will definitely have fun experimenting with this and incorporating it into my watercolor paintings.

And then, there’s coffee. Coffee is most certainly an important (on some days, the most important) tool for me.

This very true and very beautifully calligraphed mug is a gift from Geli of Pluma.

That’s it! If you have any questions regarding any of these tools or just pursuing art in general, leave a comment below or e-mail me at starsfordreams@gmail.com, and I will gladly share what I know.

Happy art-making!

lorraelena_sign2

73 Comments

  1. Mitch March 18, 2015

    Thank you for sharing this to us Lorra! I have always wanted to ask what pencil do you use for your sketches, since yours look so clean after applying your watercolors. I hope you’ll also be able to post some tips on how to achieve that clean result. Some pencil marks are not erasable when covered with watercolor. Godbless!

    Reply
    • starsfordreams March 18, 2015

      Hi Mitch! Thanks for reading. 🙂

      I’m not sure how I can share about the cleanliness of my style because I’ve never really given it much thought haha! I just really like clean art so I think I naturally work to achieve that as well.

      But you’re right that pencil marks are permanent under watercolor, I have that problem too. For that, I just really try to minimize pencil marks as much as possible and not be so OC about making everything perfect with a prior sketch. Sometimes it’s best to let the watercolor do its magic. 🙂

      Reply
      • Mitch March 19, 2015

        Thanks for the response Lorra! That is right! It make sense na dapat minimal lang ang pencil marks. 😀 I need to practice more and see what works for me.

        P.S. It really feels good when ina-acknowledge and nagresponse and idol mo sa comment mo. Thank you and keep it up!

        Reply
        • starsfordreams March 19, 2015

          You’re so sweet, thank you! 🙂

          Just practice, and you will really see the difference. Good luck! 🙂

          Reply
  2. Kate March 18, 2015

    thank you for sharing your list! helpful for us beginners 🙂 we’ll be saving money from trial and error. 🙂 – happy recipient of one of the Prang sets given away haha

    Reply
    • starsfordreams March 18, 2015

      Thank you Kate! 🙂 I’m super happy that you’re making good use of the Prang set. Go go go lang!

      Reply
  3. Airees March 18, 2015

    Love your post, Lorra! Definitely worth reading! Love everything about it: photos, paintings and text! Ikaw na!

    Reply
    • starsfordreams March 18, 2015

      Thank you Airees! 😀 Ako na ang OC with details haha. Art tambay soon!

      Reply
  4. Dette March 18, 2015

    Love love love this blog post! And yay! There’s somebody who has more stuff than I do! So many references for future purchases. Despite various collections of different art stuff, my first love is still watercolor so its my staple in my office bag. My current watercolor faves are my Koh-I-Noor Watercolor Wheel and my Winsor and Newton Cotman Watercolors travel set. I’ve been eyeing the Dr. Ph Martin’s Radiant Watercolors but can’t decide which colors I should limit myself to. I am not so much of a brush addict but I find myself just sticking to 1 or 2 brushes when I paint. Ever since I discovered waterbrushes, I’ve been using these more frequently and very convenient for travelling and painting in coffee shops. I prefer the Canson watercolor pad than the Berkley though. I agree with you on the yellowish color (not that I digitize my work). I love your foldable plastic palette. Where did you get it?

    Reply
    • starsfordreams March 18, 2015

      Hi Bernadette! Thanks again for sharing my post to the FB group. 🙂

      I felt so happy too when I found an artist on IG that had more watercolor sets pa than I do haha! It made me feel that I wasn’t such a hoarder.

      For the Radiant Watercolors, it’s always best to start with the primaries because you can create the other colors by just mixing different amounts of the primaries. But I’m not really that fond of them because they ruined some of my previous works before. I’ll explain more nalang when we meet up. But you should still try them, in case they work better for you. And then I’ll ask you about waterbrushes naman haha!

      I got the foldable palette from Fully Booked.

      Reply
      • Bim July 28, 2015

        do you still remember how much you got it? awesome post btw! have a great day!

        Reply
        • starsfordreams August 5, 2015

          Thanks Bim! What item are you referring to in particular?

          Reply
          • bimbolera August 6, 2015

            the empty watercolor palette from fullybooked. i’ve been looking for that for quite a while but can’t find any 🙁


          • starsfordreams August 6, 2015

            I don’t quite remember how much, but I’m sure it wasn’t too expensive because I wouldn’t have bought it if it was. Maybe around P300+? If you can’t find any in Fully Booked, you can also try buying online from The Craft Central. http://thecraftcentral.com/products/mixing-palette


  5. Gielle March 18, 2015

    Hi! Saan po nakakabili ng Winsor and Newton? Hehehe I went to Deovir last time, wala pa silang tinda nun 🙁

    Reply
    • starsfordreams March 18, 2015

      Hi Gielle! Wala nga sa Deovir. You can try Fully Booked Greenbelt, which has the most stocks and brand variety. They might not have the portable sets now though because of the port congestion or maybe they haven’t reordered, so best to call them ahead of time to check.

      Reply
  6. Drea March 18, 2015

    LOVE this post! I’m totally geeking out on all the supplies and ang saya ko kahit photos lang nakikita ko lol. Mind if I do a similar post featuring tools I love the most? (Or am thinking of making a vid din, re our fb convo haha). I’ve been using van gogh, which is pricier than canson, but has the same gsm (200), and I love how it isn’t that absorbent, and how the paper’s thicker. Mas mahal pero sulit for me. That’s what I’ve been using for my recent painted books project. 🙂 I envy your art hangouts with Airees and Reg! Pwede bang pasalingkit kahit isang beses pag asa Makati area kayo haha. I’ll bring my materials din! 🙂

    Reply
    • starsfordreams March 18, 2015

      Thanks Drea! 😀 It’s always nice to get a comment from you.

      And of course naman, go ahead. Hindi naman ako yung nagimbento ng materials blog post haha! Go go lang, kasi interested din akong malaman yung mga materials ng ibang artists. 😀

      I’m really loving your #booksiwanttomarry series by the way. Natuwa ako na gumagamit ka ng gouache kasi I’m starting to use it too. Hingi ako ng tips ha! I’ll check out Van Gogh paper din. Saan mo nabibili?

      And balitaan kita kapag may Makati hangout kami! We’re always excited pag may bagong sasama na may dalang materials hahaha. Show and tell!

      Reply
  7. Drea March 18, 2015

    Regalo ni Kate, sa fullybooked gbelt daw! 🙂 I want to try Montval kumusta ba to?
    Hope to see you sa art in the park! 🙂 and yey excited ako makijoin alam mo ba matagal ko nang winiwish yan pero nahihiya kase ako mag ask lol. Pero be brave daw so kinapalan ko face ko haha. 🙂 lahat kayong tatlo na meet ko na! Nakita ko si April dati Natio and I asked her after online if sya ba yun sya nga daw! Nahiya ako maghi kase di ako sure lol but I hope I get to meet her too! 🙂 na formal, yung hinde stalker-like lol 🙂 thanks Lorra!!

    Reply
    • starsfordreams March 18, 2015

      Hindi ko naiimagine na nahihiya ka kasi ang confident ng vibes mo! Inggit nga ako kasi ako naman, sobrang anti-social hahaha. 😀 Soon soon!

      Yung Montval di ko pa natry pero maganda naman reviews from other people na alam kong gumamit na.

      Reply
  8. Drea March 19, 2015

    HAHA nako ang mahiyain ko like you wouldn’t believe. Lalo na pag gusto ko talaga isang bagay haha I dunno why. Di halata na anti-social ka!
    I can’t wait to make a post like this in a week or so. Pag nakasingit ng oras. 🙂 Ang pagkakaalam ko, watercolor dries lighter diba, gouache dries darker naman, so consider that when mixing colors. Dun sa booksiwanttomarry project ko, ang pinakamatagal ko gawin yung base color since medyo challenge i-achieve yung colors na similar to the source book. I am discovering my love for gouache with this project, and I want to reach Maira Kalman levels of confidence with the medium in the future. I shall practice more! 🙂

    Thanks for the support and love for my project! Can’t wait to hang out with you girls soon, please do let me know ha? Yay! 🙂

    Reply
    • starsfordreams March 20, 2015

      Yup, watercolor dries lighter. Napansin ko rin nga pala yun sa gouache ko, parang nawawala rin yung tingkad niya a bit. Yung sa brand mo ba ganun din?

      More power (pang tita talaga haha) and kitakits soon! 😀

      Reply
  9. Drea March 20, 2015

    Hi Lorra!
    Yup! I think ganun sya talaga. But I like that about it! 🙂 🙂

    Hope you’re well na. Ako inuubo-ubo at hinihika pa din lol. Must be the weather.

    <3
    Drea

    Reply
    • starsfordreams March 20, 2015

      Ako rin! Grabe, 3 weeks na ako sa sakit na to. Pero feeling ko naman bumubuti na. Sana ikaw din. Get well soon. 🙂

      Reply
  10. KD March 23, 2015

    oooohhh im a watercolor hoarder and seeing this makes me feel like im normal 😀

    Reply
  11. kaye March 23, 2015

    Hi! Really love your work! <3 I also want to start learning how to use watercolor and just want to ask kung saan mo nabili un Winsor & Newton Cotman palette? Thanks so much and nakakainspire mga gawa mo! Hehe 🙂

    Reply
    • starsfordreams March 23, 2015

      Thank you so much Kaye! 🙂

      I got my Winsor&Newtown palette in the UK, around 2 years ago. But I know Fully Booked carries the W&N Professional line of watercolors now, just that it’s a bit pricey. If you’re still starting to learn, you can try more affordable brands like Prang and Sakura KOI (I think NBS carries both). 🙂

      Reply
  12. KD March 25, 2015

    may i know where you bought those daler & rowney graduate brush?

    Reply
    • starsfordreams March 25, 2015

      I got mine from Fully Booked but most branches only have limited stocks now. I think they still have a few round brushes in 4 or 6.

      Reply
  13. Juno April 3, 2015

    YOUUUUU AREEEE AN AWESOMEEE ARTIST!!!! GOD BLESSSSS YOU AND YOUUR CREATIVE HANDSSSS 🙂 *fangirling you right nooooow* :))

    Reply
    • starsfordreams April 7, 2015

      Thank you so much and God bless you too! 😀

      Love your name btw.

      Reply
  14. Kd de asas April 23, 2015

    Girl I badly needed that foldable mixing palette. Wala ako mahanap here 🙁

    Reply
  15. Nina Nill May 5, 2015

    Hi Lorra! Thanks for this post! What branch of National Bookstore did you buy the Arches watercolor paper? How much is one sheet? Mas sulit ba yun than buying the watercolor pad/block? Thanks!!

    Reply
    • starsfordreams May 5, 2015

      Hi Nina!

      I got the Arches paper from NBS Katipunan but they don’t always have it. I think Rockwell also has some in stock. I don’t remember the exact price but I think it’s P300+ for a sheet (cartolina-size) and it’s much more expensive than buying a Canson pad but a lot cheaper than buying the Arches blocks.

      Reply
      • Nina Nill May 5, 2015

        Thanks! Will check it out soon. I’ve been wanting to try Arches coz it’s the best paper for watercolor daw pero I find the blocks too pricey eh beginner palang ako 🙂

        Reply
  16. Aika May 22, 2015

    I super love this post! Thank you for sharing your art materials, it’s very helpful especially to us beginners whose been scouting new supplies to try. I’ve been wanting to try different watercolors, like Peerless / Van Gogh. I love my Sakura Koi kaso it still feels heavy in my bag. haha. Hope to meet you soon!

    Reply
    • starsfordreams May 22, 2015

      Hi Aika! Thank you for always being encouraging and supportive, and for reading this post too! 😀

      I’ve been wanting to try Van Gogh too because I see a lot of other artists using it, and it looks really pigmented. Another brand that I want to try is Holbein. 🙂

      My bag is always gigantic and full of materials since I bring my “office” everywhere haha! I would love a more compact set again like my Winsor&Newton Cotman set. You can get that too if you want to splurge a little. It’s super small and the paints are highly pigmented already, even for a student grade set. 🙂

      Hope to meet you soon too!

      Reply
  17. Jm June 13, 2015

    What branch did you get you sakura koi watercolor? Im dying to avail one. Thanks 🙂

    Reply
    • starsfordreams June 15, 2015

      I got the Koi in Hong Kong, from one of the stores along Sai Yee St. in Mong Kok. If you’re from the Philippines, it’s also available from several art sellers including Hey Kessy.

      Reply
  18. Rj September 22, 2015

    Greetings! Just want to know where and how much did you get your Faber Castell polychromos colored pencils? Hope to hear from you soon!

    Reply
    • starsfordreams September 23, 2015

      Hi Rj. I got the Polychromos set from Kwong Yick Art and Design Materials in Hong Kong. At that time, it was priced at HK$820.

      Reply
  19. Aikko October 21, 2015

    Hi Lorra!
    I am a huuuuge fan and I follow you on Instagram. I love how clean and out together your works are. 🙂 I signed up for your and Arlene’s Bloom Workshop, unfortunately, I was not able to make it. Too bad, I was looking forward to meeting you.

    Anyway, just wanted to ask how you digitize your work, what scanner you use and how do you adjust the image?

    Thank you!!
    Aikko

    Reply
    • starsfordreams October 22, 2015

      Hi Aikko! Thank you for your kind words. I hope to meet you one day. 🙂

      As for digitizing, I just scan using a regular scanner (Canon) and then edit on Photoshop, and it’s mostly to achieve a more realistic look for the digital version of my painting. Since my scanner is really old, I think I got it almost 10 years ago, it doesn’t really scan very well and the image looks washed out most of the time. I just adjust the Levels or use Curves so I can make it look like the original painting.

      I hope that helps!

      Reply
  20. Ness November 6, 2015

    Hi Lorra!

    I’m a new fan! I love your work/style and your blog–kakatuwa feeling while reading them! Ang gaang ng feeling haha! 🙂 Hope to meet you soon and attend one of your workshops! <3

    God bless,
    Ness

    Reply
    • starsfordreams November 6, 2015

      Hi Ness! Thanks for your sweet message. I’m glad that my work and blog have that “magaan” feeling, which I really try my best to aim for. I want to spread happiness! 🙂 Hope I will be able to conduct more workshops in the future. See you then. 🙂

      Reply
  21. stehpi November 12, 2015

    Ahhhh~ your works are so inspiring!
    Btw, I was wondering where you bought your pilot color eno mechanical pencil. I have the red one, but I can’t seem to find any lead for refills….

    Thank you po so much!

    Reply
    • starsfordreams November 12, 2015

      Thanks Stehpi! 🙂

      I bought mine years years years ago at National Bookstore. I haven’t been able to find the colored lead refills locally either, and was only able to buy again when I saw them during a trip abroad. 🙁

      Reply
  22. pave November 12, 2015

    Magkano nyo po nabili yung water brush?

    Reply
  23. Glenn November 13, 2015

    Hi and good day, Lorra. I’ve went back into rekindling my enthusiasm for watercolors and I have been trying out a number of stuff to see what items work for me, most especially with brushes. Then I came across into these water brushes which somehow piqued my curiosity and would like to try them out.. but I heard water brushes are somewhat “hard-to-find.” Would you recommend a particular store or shop in Manila or Q.C. that sells these apart from those who are selling online? Thank you 🙂

    Sincerely,
    Glenn

    Reply
    • starsfordreams November 16, 2015

      Hi Glenn! Welcome back to the beautiful world of watercolors. 🙂

      I think water brushes are no longer hard to find these days, since there are a lot of online stores that sell them already. I have only tried out the Kuretake and Pentel Aquash water brushes, and would recommend that you get the Aquash since it leaks less and has a finer point. The finer point makes it more flexible for me since it can make thicker strokes when I put more pressure on it but can still create the fine details that I like adding in my work.

      Unfortunately, I’ve only ever bought water brushes from online sellers or during my trips abroad. I can’t really help you with brick and mortar stores since I haven’t done any research on that, and was already satisfied with the online store I got my water brush from. 🙂 If you want to try them out, it’s Create Crafts PH.

      Reply
  24. Ana November 19, 2015

    Thanks for sharing!♥

    Reply
  25. Glenn November 20, 2015

    Hello Lorra, thanks for the reply. No worries it’s okay 🙂 I’ll be checking out Create Crafts PH one of these days. Thanks again for the tip and wishing you all the best in your endeavors. More power to you and your wonderful blog.

    Reply
    • starsfordreams November 20, 2015

      It was my pleasure Glenn, and thank you! 🙂

      Hope you enjoy using the water brush when you get it. It took me a while to warm up to it but I use it almost everyday now. 🙂

      Reply
  26. Mrs. Babie January 26, 2016

    Hi Lorra! I’m a new fan! Wish you’d post more often. I keep coming back to this post whenever I want to research for brands.

    Hope you could post a longer review about Schmincke vs Sennelier. Or review on the Pebeo gouache set. 🙂

    Hope you’ll still have time to paint. I stopped painting when I gave birth (which was more than 2 years ago), and now I’m getting back on painting & found interesting & inspiring artists to follow. Would love to see more of your artworks. <3

    Reply
    • starsfordreams February 3, 2016

      Hi Mrs. Babie! Thanks for leaving your wonderful comment. 🙂

      I’m looking forward to having more time for blogging and making art, once the adjustment period of having a baby is done. Things are very challenging now, but we’re also having such a fun time getting to know our son.

      Reply
  27. Dindin February 18, 2016

    Hi Lorra! Thank you for sharing your art materials!!!

    Have you purchased new stuff? Would love to see an updated article of your stuff. (Eye candy!!!)

    Reply
    • starsfordreams February 28, 2016

      Hi Dindin! Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to buy anything new. Even sadder is I haven’t been able to paint anything either ever since I gave birth last month. But I’m excited to get back to it soon. I might have to stop buying new art materials so I can buy baby stuff instead though haha!

      Reply
  28. Iz February 28, 2016

    Hi! Lovely post!

    May I ask where you got the Sennelier watercolor set? 😀

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • starsfordreams March 6, 2016

      Hi Iz. Thanks! I got mine from Daimaru Fujii Central in Japan, as written in the post. 🙂

      Reply
  29. Nerissa Stargell March 17, 2016

    Greetings from Carolina!

    Reply
  30. ANTHONY March 20, 2016

    hello! im just here to ask where did you specifically bought your arches watercolor pad? what is the specific branch of national bookstore. all i can see in national bookstores or meriam websters are berkeley or corona. thanks for the reply! :3

    Reply
    • starsfordreams March 20, 2016

      Hi Anthony! I didn’t buy a pad. I just bought Arches sheets (similar to cartolina size) and cut them up into smaller pieces (around A4 size). But I know Arches pads are available in Fully Booked Greenbelt.

      Reply
  31. Kaye de los Reyes October 22, 2016

    Omg <3 Salamat po sa maraming tips 🙂 Napaka helpful po for beginners like me 😀 God bless po 🙂

    Reply
    • starsfordreams October 24, 2016

      Hi Kaye! Thank you. 🙂 I’m glad this was helpful. God bless you too. 😀

      Reply
  32. Jamie Oliver March 19, 2017

    Wow! Got 30 mins. Of reading this article but it helped me so much! Thank you for sharing and recomending us 😁

    Reply
  33. Mark Carlo Seno October 1, 2017

    I struggled searching for blogs like this. But this is the best. This helps a lot in my watercoloring. The stores and brands mentioned here are worthy of consideration.

    Reply
    • starsfordreams October 1, 2017

      That’s a big compliment. Thank you Mark! I’m glad this list has helped you despite being a few years old already.

      Reply

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