How I Organize My Watercolor Supplies
Sometimes I think about what it would be like to be one of those people that comes over and organizes your home for you. I love organizing things, but I’m pretty sure I’m not good enough to be a professional home organizer. Mostly because in the end it’s not hyper organized, it’s just organized enough so that I can find all my stuff and my space doesn’t feel crazy.
So if you’re looking for some practical organization of watercolor supplies, keep reading for how I organize my paper, brushes, paints, and palettes.
Watercolor Paper Pads and Blocks
I’m starting with paper since I don’t have any real special way of storing it. I basically store my watercolor paper pads on a bookshelf with other books. I face the spine out if possible so I can see what paper it is easily.
For large sheets of paper (that I usually cut down to smaller sizes) I will lean them up against the wall behind the door of my office. When I ordered my large sheets, they came in a bag, sandwiched with large cardboard sheets. It seems to stand up nicely, so I leave them in there until I am ready to cut it up and use them.
If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about regarding pads, blocks, and sheets, I have a guide to watercolor papers that you can read.
I keep my brushes upright in a pencil holder that I got from Target. I think that this is the way most people store their brushes, upright (brush bristles up), in a container of some sort.
You can also store them lying horizontal in a drawer. Some of the brushes I don’t use often are stored this way. But, for the most part all of my most used brushes are stored on my desk in this pencil holder.
A note about brushes: After you’ve used them, the best practice is to allow them to dry laying flat. After they have had time to dry, you can store them upright. This way, the water won’t flow down into the metal part (the ferrule) and loosen or weaken the glue that’s in there.
I use tube paint for watercolors and I store mine in a clear organizer from Daiso. It cost me $1.50 and has worked out so far!
It’s split into 4 quadrants so I divided my tube paints between brands and sizes: Winsor & Newton Cotman, Daniel Smith, larger sized tubes (mixed brands), and some PearlEx powder I have from my calligraphy days.
I couldn’t find the exact one I have online but this one is a similar concept and looks like it would be good. If using a shallow organizer, I would lay my tube paints down flat in the tray.
The most creative and beautiful way I’ve seen tube paints stored is hanging them with binder clips from a board. If you haven’t seen this before, check out this photo and this photo for examples of what it looks like.
Perhaps if I had the wall space I would hang my tube paints, but I’m also a big fan of putting things away in drawers so my desktop and walls are less cluttered. I think it’s the minimalist in me that likes keeping them in a box inside a drawer!
I didn’t realize how many palettes I had until I took them out to take the picture below. I guess I’ve just acquired them over time as gifts or purchased myself.
I have two larger sized palettes (a 24-well and 36-well palette) that I tend to keep on my desk for easy access.
I store the rest of them in the drawer standing up next to each other so I can see them all and pull them out easily.
Below is a photo of the drawer of my desk that contains 90% of my watercolor supplies. The other 10% are on my desk or bookshelf.
You can see that I store the following in my drawer:
Box of Paints
Box of miscellaneous items like: brush cleaner, swatch stamp, masking fluid, a few bottles of liquid watercolor that I have
Miscellaneous brushes my mom had laying around that I’m not sure are watercolor brushes
Water brushes and larger sized brushes that I use less often
One of these days I’d like to inventory all of my art supplies (not just my watercolor supplies) and re-organize them better. But until then, this is my current set-up!
If you’re curious how I organize my watercolor paintings, I wrote a blog post about my simple system that you can read about here.
I hope that this post has been interesting or even given you some ideas for how you might organize some of your watercolor supplies. Let me know in the comments below if you’ve got any fun tips to share when it comes to organizing your tools, I’d love to know!
Thanks for reading,
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