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Water. Paper. Paint. Three simple words, endless possibility

by Cass Art

From watercolour to ink, brush stroke to pen swoosh, hot-pressed pad to moleskine notebook. Whether you're an illustrator, a painter or just a creative note taker there's something for you in the Water. Paper. Paint. collection. 

We're blown away by what artists can do with just a few simple materials - no frills nor fancy tricks, just the worlds top materials shaped by creativity. Explore some of our Water. Paper. Paint collection here, with a few top tips from artists:


A material of wonderful flexibility, professionals and hobbyists continue to turn to this medium to create their work. The versatile nature of watercolour allows you to take it wherever you need to go, from sitting in your studio or garden to venturing round the country with a travel set in your pocket. We offer an extensive range of watercolour paints - perfect for all your creative needs. The Winsor & Newton Half Pans are great for slowly building up layered artwork, while the Cass Art Watercolour Paint tubes are brilliant for applying intense layers of bold colour. Our Cass Art Watrecolours are made from the highest quality pigments, with each colour offering the highest possible lightfastness and permanence ratings.


"Use a wet brush to create shapes on your paper before using colour - this defines an invisible barrier for the water colour to bleed inside and hlps control your application of colour!"


"18th and 19th Century painters like JMW Turner, John Constable, Thomas Girtin, John Sell Cotman and John Robert Cozens found the medium’s luminosity and its portability very much suited to the study of nature outdoors in support their theories of  the sublime and ‘Romantic’ painting.

By definition watercolour is a watery element and is able to reveal what is not yet known rather than express what is. In some sense the medium can still be viewed in the light of the Romantics because it can still be a rehearsal of sorts for large paintings or sculpture. Most sculptors’ concepts are hypothetical and begin and end as drawings. Watercolour’s speed of execution acts as a catalyst for thought and preparation."

Watch the video below to see Winsor & Newton Professional Water Colours in action


"Always have some kitchen roll on hand to apply to any watercolour mistakes. Dab the surface with varying degrees of pressure to lift unwanted paint"

Water based work doesn't just have to mean paint! With water based brush pens you can achieve very similar affects as watercolour with your work, they can be blended, watered down or applied in broad thick strokes - just as if you were laying down paint on a page. For example Ecoline Watercolour Brush Pens are filled with transparent dye ink and gum arabic, this means it can be combined seamlessly and intermixed with watercolour. Another option for bright and bold blended works are the Tombow Dual Brush Pens - combing a fine tip and flexible brush you can use it to create fine, medium or broad brush style strokes - and because these are also water based they can be blended just as you would with watercolour paint. 



Watercolour paper is available in both hot and cold pressed varieties: hot-pressed paper is smoother and has a fine grain whereas cold-pressed has a more textured surface. The Cass Art Jumbo Gummed Watercolour Pads are available in a range of sizes and are able to withstand heavy watercolour washes while Arches Aquarelle Watercolour Block is chosen by many of the world's leading watercolour artists, with paper made from 100% cotton fibre. If painting on the go is the thing for you then our Moleskine Watercolour Notebook is ideal for watercolours and sketching when you're out and about - the paper is identical on both sides which means that you can really maximise the 72 pages.


"Make sure you try out different kinds of papers when working with watercolour to find out the one you feel most pleased with. I personally feel more comfortable with a smooth surface"

Watercolour pencils are another brilliant way to combine drawing with watercolour techniques, blending layers of colour dry you can apply water to the page to transform your drawings into painting! Faber-Castell have developed a range of Watercolour Pencils - which you can use as a normal colouring pencil or add water to get the translucent and versatile effects of a watercolour paint. Artist Phil Maltz demonstrates the potential in our Cass Art Watercolour Pencils below, they are rich in pigment, smooth to use and a great colour range.

Watercolour pens, markers and sticks are another option for a slightly different affect - we stock a number of different options from the world's leading brands of art materials. Winsor and Newton are continually pushing the boundaries with their developments in materials - their Watercolour Markers and Watercolour Sticks - perfect for fine details or creating a different look.

Watch the Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer Watercolour pencils in action: 


At Cass Art we want to put a paint brush in every hand, whether you're a professional artist, hobbyist or student we have the tool for you, be it a quick painted sketch or a month long masterpiece. Our Cass Art sable, synthetic and hog brushes have excellent durability and can be used with a variety of painting mediums including watercolour, oil and acrylic. The Pro Arte Prolene Plus Synthetic Brush is perfect for those just starting out with watercolour while the Winsor & Newton Kolinsky Series 7 is ideal for professionals. 


"Make sure you always wash your brushes every time you use them! As tempting as it is don't leave it in solvent or water till the next day, your brushes won't last as long and the bristles will become mishaped. You'll be thankful the next time you come to use them that they're dry, shape intact and ready to go!"

If you're painting on the move an essential piece of equipment in your travel set is the Derwent Waterbrush. Specially created for artists who like to paint outdoors each brush has its own reservoir of water, so you don’t need to fiddle about with water pots, giving you more time and energy to devote to your art. Perfect for those who don't want to carry lots of awkward equipment around. They are a perfect companion to the Derwent Inktense Paint Pan travel set - unlike traditional watercolour, washes of vivid paint can be applied without dissolving previously dried layers.

Watch the Derwent Inktense Paint Pan in action used with the Derwent Waterbrush: 

Be bold in your painting and try something new with our FW Acrylic Artists inks. Take your brush to these fiercely bright colours and see what this material can do!, It behaves in very different ways depending on how you use them. Direct from the bottle that are bold and dark, but you can also dilute them for lighter tones and washes. One useful feature of FW inks is that they dry with a water resistant film, this means that you can overpaint dried works without washing it away or losing vitality, it is also highly light fast so the colour won't fade with time. 


"These inks are naturally very bright, use the colours as if you are painting with a soft body acrylic rather than a traditional drawing ink. Embrace the brightness and the fluidity of the material - allow them to create organic patterns on the page and go with the flow!"

Watch the video below and see the FW inks in action: 


Whether you’re working with a table-top easel producing smaller pieces or creating larger work in a studio on a painting easel, Cass Art has an art easel to suit your practice. All come with the same solid, quality materials and are perfectly adapted for en plein air work, in the studio or on the go. If you want to work from home than a table top easel like the Daler Rowney Simply Wooden Easel would be perfect for you - or if storage is an issue the Edinburgh Table Easel is a brilliant solution, as it comes with built in storage. For painting out in the landscape or city the Jullian Full Size Sketch Box Easel would be more suited, it also has a built in storage box so you can carry everything with you with the included carrying bag. If your studio space allows the Mabef M18 Convertible Studio Easel is an excellent option for working with both oil/acrylic, watercolour and inks - as you can angle the easel from vertical to horizontal. 


Pop in-store or shop online for everything you'll need to get you started with everything Water. Paper. Paint. Our staff artists will be more than happy to give you advice on materials. Don't forget to hashtag #cassart on social media to show us your creations.

For more ideas visit some of our how-to blogs: 

Francesco Lo Iacono's: How To: Create a Watercolour Fashion Illustration 

Veronica Ballart Lilja's: How To: Create an Abstract Watercolour Bird 

Phil Maltz's: Watercolour illustrated Houses

How to: Get Started with Brush Lettering

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