I have drawn for as long as I can remember and painted, on and off for many years. Do you remember art sessions at school? I do. Much as I loved art, the lessons were usually horrible. From the cheap rolls of terrible paper to the mud coloured powdered paint and the insistence of a particular subject, everything about art lessons was enough to put most kids off. I just suffered them and did what I wanted at home! I swear that our art teacher must have been using the good stuff because the pupils certainly weren't.
Well, today it is a different story, I choose my materials and what and how I paint. But what of those who for example have children who are showing an interest but have no idea themselves? Normally, I would suggest going to a store and looking but the array of products is eye watering. Asking staff may mean they just don't know or almost worse, just try to sell you more expensive items than you need.
The most expensive item for a watercolorist is most likely to be the paper. While you may not want really expensive stuff if a child is going to do 10 paintings a day, you do still need water colour paper to absorb all that liquid. Go for what you can afford and work up from there! Most art/ craft stores have a range of brushes. Unless painting on a large scale,
something like these 3 will do. A fine 'rigger' for fine lines and detail, a flat one for flat washes and a general purpose one.
Everyone has their own preference for paints, some like blocks and some like tubes. I'm mainly a tube girl, but there are other alternatives. I'll show you in my videoWatercolours.
Watercolour kit is easily transportable and takes very little space. In fact, with some of the supplies in the video, you could even put it in hand luggage and fly! Don't see you being able to do that with oils!
Basic kit is also cheap. If adults tried to paint with the stuff commonly sold for children, many would have a hard time producing decent results, so why expect children to do better? Young people need to be encouraged to create, not put off. Having said that, if there is no talent or interest, not even the most expensive paints will make it better. Student quality paints from a known manufacturer are fine. If you are not intending to hang on to the art work, cheap, unknown brands may well be ok. They may not have the strength of pigment or staying power but will still be adequate if you are pushed for cash.
Part of watercolour is mixing your own colours, so you don't have to buy lots of tubes, the primary colours of red, yellow and blue, will do most things.
Palettes of paints can be great but often I find them too hard - wearing on the brushes and harder to mix but that may just be me!
So have a look at the video and see what you think, I hope it inspires you to have a go or at least get some kit for someone else to!