I've had the most wonderful summer experimenting and learning so much more about watercolours. It's been good to get out into the countryside on the outskirts of my community, as well as a bit of travelling that I've done this year, especially with a sketchbook. Everything began because I forgot something to draw with so I had to go straight to watercolours (something I've done with acrylics for years).
I already had a set of Peerless Watercolor Sheets and of Jane Davenport watercolours (brights) as well as a set of Art of Soil neutrals (a gift from my children) which I placed in an empty Altoids tin along with a travel mini Winsor & Newton and a Pentel water brush. I've now expanded my supplies to include another basic travel set (as small as the Altoids tin but it has 3 primaries & water brush, along with a pencil, sharpener & erasor (which I may not need after all) - beautifully vibrant colours and a Canadian company (Joan of Art). I also picked up the Derwent 1/2 pans (waterproof when dry) which I placed in a White Nights tin paint palette (I prefer the Jane Davenport as the mixing wells sit flat on that one) along with a few full pans that I filled with Daniel Smith and Winsor + Newton colours that I picked up on sale. Definitely won't be doing that again as it was messy! I also added the 3 neutrals from the Derwent set to the Art of Soil tin. Now I also have a Derwent water brush (really like it except that the lid does not fit on the bottom of the brush when painting) and a Princeton no. 8 travel brush to go along with my W+N no. 12 brush I've had for years (I have used it to apply acrylic glazes to my portraits). I'm really happy with this combination, though I would love another large travel brush.
As far as paper, I've been trying several different sketchbooks, both in shape and paper colour/type. My favourite so far, besides the 5.5x3.5 inch Pentalic which has heavier watercolour sheets, is a mixed media 5.5" square Hand Book by Speedball. My 8.5x5.5 Rae Dunn sketchbook is a great shape (my fave) though the pages are cream and wrinkle quite a bit but that's fine for a sketchbook. I also use a 6x4 inch HJ Permanent Sketchbook (a bit thick but great shape for landscapes) and 5.5x3.5 Field Sketchbook by Peter Pauper Press (perfect pocket size). I have also picked up a block of 9x12 cold pressed watercolour sheets to try on location. I just need to practice more first.
When I initially posted my 'error' of not including a drawing tool, another artist directed me to Reta Summers Cowley. She was a Saskatchewan artist that painted directly onto 1/4 sheets of watercolour paper without using a drawing so, necessarily, I had to order a book about her from our library. I think I may have seen her work at the MacKenzie Gallery in Regina many, many years ago. I also need to look into Dorothy Knowles work again...she's also a Saskatchewan artist who was initially taught by Reta at Emma Lake (a place I was invited for an art retreat years ago but the girls were so young then). I love the abstract quality and light in both of their work so I am inspired to keep going and seeing where this may lead.