Joining in with the 15 Flowers eCourse is like doing some ‘art fitness’ (which, to be honest, I find a lot more fun than real fitness). And you don’t need all the glam fitness gear (unless you already have it – or have been looking for an excuse to get it) to start off.
The really good thing is that you don’t need to be a certain size to look good. It’s a well known fact that EVERYONE looks BRILLIANT in art supplies.
Essentially we’ll be:

  1. Drawing – so you’ll need paper, coloured pencils, an eraser and a sharpener, and
  2. Painting – some acrylic paints, a few brushes, some heavy paper (or ‘canvas paper’) and a stretched canvas (for our finale piece!), and of course some water and a palette (an ice cream bucket and lid will do the trick here)

To help you get an idea of how much these things cost, I have asked the lovely people at Murrays Art & Framing, here in Toowoomba, to be available to supply to Australian participants. They will happily chat to you on the phone while they walk around the store, helping you choose exactly what you need. They’ll then mail your order to you.

Please note: The prices I’ve quoted below, are correct as at Thursday 12 February 2015

Let’s talk about the Drawing bit.

Paper – I will be using an A4 Canson notebook (that came in a set of two, and which I’m now told was a Christmas special – sorry about that). But any type of visual diary or journal will be just fine.When I went down to Murrays,  we looked at three options (you only need one of these, or something like these):
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Coloured pencils – I use and recommend Prismacolor pencils (they’re lovely and soft) and you can buy them by the set or individually from art shops. If you can’t get your hands on Prismacolor, just don’t go cheaper than Crayola (which are super easy to find!).
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Sharpener – I don’t think I really need a picture here – I’d just recommend spending a dollar or two more and get a ‘good’ sharpener – Murrays has a Faber Castel ‘Grip’ one for $6.50.Eraser – once again, borrow one from the kids (Lord knows my kids seem to have stacks). Murrays has a ‘Dust Free’ (that sounds pretty cool) Faber Castel eraser for $1.95.

Now for the Painting bit.I use acrylic paints because they don’t smell (always a bonus) and they dry fast (I have four kids, end of story). I really like the ‘Fluid’ types of acrylics because they suit my style of painting, and need hardly any water on your brush to go a long way.Fluids generally come in bottles, not tubes – although the tubes are fine too, you’ll just need to mix a little water or ‘extender medium’ in with them to make them more … well, fluid!I LOVE LOVE LOVE Golden Fluid Acrylic Paints, and stock them in my studio. They are the TOP TOP TOP most wonderful, artist quality acrylics that I’ve ever used. They’re made in the USA, and if you can find/use/afford Golden (our Australian dollar isn’t helping at the moment, unfortunately), you should.

But if Golden is a bit of a stretch, and it often is for a beginner, and you live in Australia, please look at theAtelier Free Flow range.

And if Atelier doesn’t suit your budget, you could use Jo Sonja’s Artist Colours, or if you’re not in Australia, Liquitex Basics.

Whatever you do, DO NOT GO CHEAPER THAN JO SONJAS. Tubes of paint that cost $2.50 are not going to make you a great painter. In any way. Just don’t do it. That’s all we need to say about that.

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These colours, or colours similar to these (seriously, close enough is good enough here, we’re aiming for ‘similar but different’), are pretty much all that you’ll need (if any extras are added they’ll be listed on the website two weeks before we begin).Remember, you can mix and match different brands of acrylics! Click on the colours to see my notes about each.
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We’ll also use a little bit of Fluoro Magentaas well – I found this J Burrows brand of fluoro at Officeworks, and I’ve been more than happy with it. In general, fluorescent paints are very likely to fade (referred to on the label as ‘poor lightfastness’) so I only use a little, but the zing it adds is fantastic!
Brushes – I’ll be demonstrating the use of four different brushes during 15 Flowers.
To give you an idea of prices, these are very similar brushes available from Murrays, here in Toowoomba:

  • #12 flat bristle brush – AU $1.45
  • #12 Round Taklon (Neef brand) – AU $6.70
  • #6 Round Taklon (Neef brand) – AU $12.20
  • 1/2 inch Flat Taklon (Neef brand) – AU $7.85
Canvas – Over the first two weeks I’ll be painting my 15 individual flowers onto Canvas Paper. This is simply textured paper that is ideal for practice paintings, and if you paint a masterpiece, can be framed. I’ll also be using a ‘tear off paper palette’, but if you can’t get your hands on them, an ice cream bucket lid will work just fine.
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For our final week (Week 3), you’ll see me put together all the flowers that we’ve looked at in the first two weeks and paint a large canvas from beginning to end.Now, the size of your large canvas really depends on the space you have. Anything from 45cm square (18 inches) to 90cm  square (36 inches) will be fine. In terms of brands, Mont Marte, CreateArt or Liquitex will do the job. The prices on these will vary wildly, and you can find canvases in so many places – cheap shops, office supplies stores, and of course, art shops. I do prefer the thick edged ones (3.5cm deep) with folded corners (not cut).

Now, I think that’s everything!It looks like lots when I list out all the options you have, but generally you just need basic drawing supplies, and basic painting supplies. If you’ve got those, you can get started.And just in case you haven’t booked your place yet…


The eCourse begins on Easter Monday, 6 April.

Next week I’ll be answering all the questions I’ve been asked about the eCourse so far, so just email me if there is something you’d like to know. Thanks!