The world looks better in watercolor


David’s Workshop Gear Info

Supplies ~ Equipment ~ Tech Specs

As this workshop is a unique combination of traditional Watercolor Gear with the addition of Hi-tech iPad and App. Please review gear needed to make the most of this workshop.

1st:     Recommended iPad Gear, App, and Stylus

2nd:    Recommended Watercolor Painting Supplies

Preferred Watercolor Gear for David Rankin Training Workshops

You cannot expect to achieve the best results using the cheapest paints, brushes, and papers that were designed for children in school.

These items are the basics that David uses extensively in his Training Workshops. He uses only professional grade Windsor Newton Watercolors and warns students against using "Student Grade" colors.

"If you are trying to learn how to play the piano... you don't try to learn on a cheap piano meant for children. Student grade watercolors do not react the same way as professional grade. And failing to achieve the proper visual effect you will naturally think that it's your skills that are lacking. But in fact... it's the cheap children's watercolors you are using."

This collection of colors is not complete. Most artists also own numerous other colors and many of the newest colors on the market. But this is David's basic Training Palette of colors. Also... although he uses Windsor Newton exclusively for training purposes... if you already own these colors in another brand that's fine. His greatest concern is not the brand but the grade.

If you can... train using Professional Grade rather than Student Grade.

Basic Palette of Colors

  1. Paynes Gray

  1. Neutral Tint

  1. Burnt Umber

  1. Burnt Sienna

  1. Hookers Green

  1. Indian Yellow


Gouache Colors

Gouache colors contain more pigment. And although any of the standard Watercolor Blues will work fine... David likes to use this very bold Gouache Blue.  But he doesn't use it as a traditional Gouache color. Instead he uses it in a traditional transparent watercolor manner. But because it contains a richer brighter blue it works well and creates a brighter palette.

  1.         Intense Blue (Gouache)


Spice Colors

These are very strong bright colors in their full strength. David refers to these as Spice Colors in that just a little of these colors in a painting's palette brightens the whole palette.

  1. Permanent Rose

  1. Windsor Green

   Blue Shade


Essential Training Brushes

David is a Master of Watercolor Brush Technique. And he uses only good brushes not cheap ones. Here again... you'll achieve far better results with good brushes. His favorite Training Brush is the Steve Quiller #7010 - 1" Wash Brush. Again... this is not a complete set of Watercolor Brushes. But these are the ones David Trains with primarily.

•1" Wash Brush

•1/2" Wash Brush

•Rigger ( Long Fat Body )


Essential Training Paper

David trains watercolor painters on Arches 140lb Rough paper. He states... "You can achieve the maximum variety of magical watercolor effects on rough papers. And even Cold Press does not allow for the variety achieved on Rough." So he highly recommends you come to class with Rough Papers for training. Arches is best... but there are many fine watercolor papers... as long as they are Rough. And again... stay away from cheap student grades of paper. They're meant for children.

•Arches 140lb Rough Watercolor Block  - 12 x 16"

This is the recommended list of Watercolor Gear that David uses to train artists. The most critical is the paper.

Although he uses Arches 140lb Rough Watercolor Blocks to train artists... if you cannot get Arches Watercolor Blocks... any good quality 140lb. “Rough” Grade of paper will do.

But avoid trying to train using cheap student grade pads of paper.

Recommended Pigments

iPad ~ App & Stylus

In this workshop David will train you in the procedures found in the cool new app... Paper by 53. However... this app only runs on Apple iPads... not other types of tablets. In addition... This app does not run on the first iPad1... You must have an iPad 2 or better. If you are thinking of getting an iPad... or upgrading one... David strongly suggest you check out Apple’s “Refurbished iPads” on their site...

You can save $100+ by shopping in Apple’s Refurbished Site... Click Here.

Once you’ve got your iPad... you’ll need to load the FREE APP onto your iPad. The App is Free... and comes with a couple installed features. But to make full use of it you’ll need to purchase the additional brushes & color Palette Feature... about $7-$8

Get your App - “Paper by 53”

Once you click this link to get “Paper by 53... it’ll take you to the entrance to Apple’s iTunes. Click this “View in iTunes” button

When you click the “View in iTunes” button... it will take you into iTunes

Once into “iTunes”

Click this “FREE” button to start the process.

In addition... you’ll need to get a Stylus. You can get a stylus most anywhere... even Target etc. But here is the one I’ve used for the past 2 years... and it’s a good one. Click the image of the stylus below and it’ll take you to to purchase it.

Click stylus to purchase

You’ll then need to insert your password just like normal in iTunes.

Suggested Watercolor Supply List

The whole purpose of this workshop is to rapidly upgrade a combined set of new skills with your traditional painting skills. And David’s Watercolor Painting Procedures are as unique as his iPad Procedures.

For the best results working closely with David in this week of focused training he recommends a specific assortment of Painting Gear. The Color Palette is the most optional. But the “Paper” is precise. Although over his long and colorful career he has painted on all of the various papers... he trains artists on “Arches Rough”. “You can create the most magical visual effects on Rough Watercolor Paper... easier... faster... and with more predictable visual results than any other surface. Although Cold Press is OK... it’s not as easy to create the best effects.”

So please review this Gear List below...

David paints only with Professional Grade Winsor Newton Watercolors. And although you can use virtually any of the great brands of watercolor on the market. He strongly suggests that you avoid training using the cheaper grade of paints... “These are made for children. They don’t have the same chemistry or pigment as professional grade paints. And they don’t behave the same. If you were serious about wanting to become a better musician... you wouldn’t practice on a child’s piano. So practice with the best paints you can afford. And your results will be far better right away.”

Cotman Brand paints are for children & high school kids... not adults!

David’s  book “Fast Sketching Skills”, by North Light Books, is now available from Amazon as an Ebook for Kindle etc.

Click Book to review on

This is not a required book for this workshop... but it does detail David’s remarkable and highly acclaimed Fast Sketching procedures and may help you on into the future.

Steve Quiller

Steve Quiller and David are artist buddies and fellow workshop instructors. And since David has been recommending Steve’s 1” Wash Brush #7010 for many years... you can purchase your brush directly from Steve & his wife Marta directly!

Click Here

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