Watercolour artists are the tech geeks of the art world. No other group of artists will spend so much time talking about materials and techniques in such detail. When I meet another watercolourist for the first time the conversation is usually a series of questions that goes like this.
1) Do you stretch your paper?
2) Why not?
3) What brand paint do you use?
4) What kind of brushes do you use?
5) Where do you stand on Masking fluid?
We never get to a sixth question because this is when a conceptual artist comes over and beats us up.
My answers to these questions usually are.
1) No I don’t stretch my paper.
2) I paint with a dry technique, and I find the paper if it does wrinkle can easily be flattened.
3) Winsor & Newton artist quality watercolours, and Winsor & Newton Designers colour gouache.
4) I use all types of brushes, but I find if I spend a bit more money on a high quality brush it will last forever, and save me money in the long term.
5) I never use masking fluid. I prefer to paint freehand. However it can be useful if you are painting a complicated pattern, and using the white of the paper to create highlights and line.