Songbirds in Watercolor Pencil, PreClass

Welcome to the preclass lesson where we’ll talk a bit about process and supplies for this class!

Photo resource

The images used as photo resource are available at Paint my Photo – you’ll need a free account there to access and download them. I do recommend supporting them financially if you find their service worthwhile; I set up a small donation per month so I don’t feel guilty using so many great pictures from there!


If you’ve taken Watercolor Pencil Jumpstart, you’ve likely got what you’ll need:

  • Watercolor Pencils: In this class, the demonstrations will be done with both Supracolor and Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils. Color numbers are provided for both those brands, with swatches so if you have a different one you can find colors like them. Class will not address ink pencils like Inktense, since they don’t lift, and some techniques will require lifting, but you can certainly try this course otherwise. Full sets are not required just because they’re linked; scroll down for a visual of the colors needed.
  • Brushes: Silver Black Velvet Round #8 and #12, and a flat is really helpful
  • Paper: Arches cold press. I recommend working with a full sheet and quartering it (see below on tips for how) – tape it with regular masking tape onto a board of some kind. That allows room to paint a full picture and decide how you want to mat or frame it depending on how the art comes out.
  • Spray bottle or mister
  • Tea strainer (any kind will do): Amazon
  • Pencil Sharpener, electric or handheld:
  • Optional: mat and frame your art! I keep a mat of each standard size near my workspace so I can quickly see how I’d crop it; so the one you see in the videos is a little grungy because it’s for that purpose. The two standard sizes:

Just to see the visuals of the supplies, this is the supply video from the Watercolor Pencil Jumpstart class! It’s nearly the same list (a few items not needed), so it didn’t seem worth trying to make another video. Watch the video below.


This is the color selection for this course, in two brands; match colors as best you can if using another pencil brand.

Full sheets vs pads vs blocks

You may not have purchased full sheets of 22″ x 30″ paper – while it may feel like a commitment, it’s not any more important than a pad! To “tear” it into quarter sheets (recommended for this class), fold it in half, a bunch of times back and forth, and once it’s softened enough to tear, gently rip it sideways; pulling it upward toward you can result in strange tears rather than the pretty deckled edge.

Pads can be used as is and come in a variety of sizes; I recommend using at MINIMUM 9×12 for this class, though the 11×15 sheets you’ll get from a full sheet are better/bigger to allow you to achieve backgrounds.

Blocks are not recommended by the instructor at all; they are “pads” that have adhesive around all edges. They can seem convenient since taping is no longer needed, but I find that the sizing of the paper is….weird. I just don’t get the same results. I don’t find it’s worth the exorbitant extra cost for premium blocks.

Housekeeping stuff:

I retain the copyright to the content you are learning in class. That means you cannot sell or give away the concepts from my classes – re-teaching my instruction, or anything contained or created within these lessons, to others. Yes you may gift your creations made with these techniques, of course, this stipulation is about not giving away my ideas taught here.) You may not post a video tutorial of your own showing your redraw of my content. But please DO make your own designs and develop your own style – and rock on! I love to see students making strides and taking this content and personalizing it with your own skills.