Blue Skies Combo Class: Preclass

Welcome to the pre-class discussion of supplies needed for this class! This preclass lesson covers supplies for both mediums…first watercolor, then Copic!

Palette and paints

In this short video, see how the “blue skies” palette has been created, and get an idea what colors you might try out; you don’t NEED all the colors in this palette! See notes below. If you can’t see the video below, click HERE.

Notes about watercolor:

  1. If you own another brand, by all means try the techniques with paints you have. Results may be different but also could work well!
  2. The instructor uses Daniel Smith watercolors, which will be linked and listed below.
  3. You needn’t have a special palette for this class; but if you wish to create one just for plein air painting, feel free to set one up with colors you have.
  4. It’s STRONGLY recommended to pick up the Silver Brush/Black Velvet #12 round brush. While a smaller brush could work while painting a miniature version of the lessons, it’s well worth it to get the recommended brush.
  5. Swatch your blues before beginning so you’ll have an idea what colors look like when mixed in a light, thin version for a sky; you may find you like a dark color mixed with water rather than purchasing a light pigment. (Or you may want to treat yourself to a new tube!)

Click to enlarge

Daniel Smith Watercolor Tubes in my “Blue Skies” palette:

Choose at least one “sky” color and one of the greyish blues. Use a green recommended here or use your own.

Other supplies:

Notes: Included here are the palette and half-pans I use, but you can squeeze color out on a plate or a white tile. Be Creative tape is for putting the swatch key into the palette. BRUSHES: I really really really really recommend the Silver Brush #12, and painting 6x9s. If you really need to use a smaller brush, you’ll need to paint smaller; you’ll never cover that area with a tiny brush. There are two wide brushes here; in class I’ll be using the DaVinci on only one painting; but the Silver would work too.


Copic Marker

A few notes to start with:

  1. Recommended prerequisite is Copic Jumpstart.
  2. If you’ve taken Jumpstart, you may well have all the markers you need for this class!
  3. If you would like to take BOTH the watercolor and Copic versions of this class at a discount, click HERE. (Must be purchased together for the discount; cannot be ‘added’ later at the reduced price).
  4. It is highly recommended that you refill your markers – we’ll be covering a good bit of area, and full markers will eliminate streakiness.

Colors needed

A quick discussion of the colors; also see the notes below! If you can’t see the video below, click HERE.

  1. You’ll need one or more “sky” colors – B04 would be a good “intense” color I’d recommend but you can try other colors too.
  2. Be sure to have a few grays. C0, C3, and C5 are used in class, but you can easily swap those out for numbers one digit off, etc.
  3. The “optional” colors listed are used in lesson 4, a soft sunset sky; you can substitute other colors easily for those too.


You’ll want to use whatever paper YOU normally use. I use Neenah in class, and techniques may need to be adapted slightly for other papers.


Some colors are very similar – feel free to try substitutes. You won’t need all the greens necessarily, and you may want to substitute your own favorite greens for mountains and grasses as the ground of the images.

Optional Markers

Some of these colors are only used once in class – you can substitute others for them rather than buying just for one drawing, or treat yourself to a new color!

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