What watercolor paint to use?  Its important to use artist quality paint as opposed to student grade.  It costs more but the pigment is stronger and lightfast. I do not claim to have tried all the different brands of watercolor, but I have tried several and the brand I enjoy and use is Mission Gold watercolors by Mijello.

I love the strong, clear color and that they stay semimoist in my pallet.  Mission Gold watercolors will not crack and break up in your pallet.  I do not have to mist my paints with water before using the paint to "loosen" them up which would also dilute the pigment.  I can start with my damp brush and activate the color and place it directly on the paper.  

Mission Gold watercolors are able to have such  strong color because of the thickening agent used, silicon dioxide.   It is water-insoluable which means it will NOT disolve in water. It will not change the color or intensity of the pigment.  

When I want opacity I add a small amount of white which means it can replace gouache. 

The cost of Mission Gold is very similar to other artist quality paints.  Because of the strong pigment, I use less paint making it  a better value.

Individual colors are sold in 15ml sizes.  One tube will last a typical painter many years.  Paints are also sold in smaller tubes in sets.  Check out the color choices before choosing a set.  They may include only 1 or 2 colors you would typically use.  I like the landscape intro pack because it has more of the colors I use.  The smaller tubes would pretty much fill up one of the sections on your watercolor pallet.  

Carol's Watercolor Pallet.  So how many colors do you really need?  Not that many.  Here are my standard colors and additional colors I have added for convenience and fun.

  1. ​Permanent Yellow Light  (yellow)
  2. Indian Yellow (I use for my gold or warm yellow)
  3. Light Red (that I use as my burnt orange)
  4. Orange  (rarely used, but nice to have)
  5. Scarlet Lake (coral color, I use for my warm red)
  6. Permanent Red (a warm red, like a color crayon red)
  7. Permanent Rose  (a cool red)
  8. Permanent Magenta (a hot pink)
  9. Permanent Alizarin Crimson  (a pink that can be very dark or very light with water)
  10. Manganese Blue (semi transparent light blue)
  11. Cobalt Blue II  (color crayon blue, cool, will not turn green when mixed with yellow on your skys)
  12. Peacock Blue (a phatho- Turqouise  color) 
  13. Deep Ultra Marine Blue
  14. Bright Clear Violet or Permanent Violet - Optional (for a purple if I am to lazy to mix it.  Magenta and Ultramarine blue make a beautiful purple)
  15. Olive Green
  16. Leaf Green ( light yellow green-optional)
  17. Van Dyke Green ( dark green-optional)
  18. Van Dyke Brown  (optional)
  19. Carbon Black (optional)
  20. Titanium White (optional)   I use Titanium white to make any of our Mission Gold colors opaque without changing the color to a lighter color; for corrections, to cover something up.​​

Carol Spohn Conversion Chart for Mijello Mission Gold WatercolorsNote: This is my conversion; there is nothing scientific about it.  If you buy one of my older packets and want to paint it with the wonderful Mission Gold Watercolors, this is what I am using now.  All colors are transparent unless otherwise noted.

Previous Colors Used by Me                          Mijello Mission Gold 

Azo Yellow LightPermanent Yellow Light
Quinacridone Gold
Indian Yellow
Quinacridone Burnt Orange
Light Red
Quinacridone Coral
Scarlett Lake
Quinacridone Rose
Permanent Rose
MagentaPermanent Magenta
Alizarin CrimsonAlizarin Crimson
Cereluen Blue
Cereluen Blue
Cobalt BlueCobalt Blue 2
Ultra Marine BlueUltramarine Deep
Quinacridone RedPermanent Red
PurplePermanent Violet
Green GoldOlive Green
Sap GreenSap Green
Andrews Turquoise
Turquoise Blue (semi –opaque)
Pro White or white acrylic ink

Titanium White (opaque)

Naples Yellow
Naples Yellow (opaque)

Burnt UmberBurnt Umber
Neutral TintNeutral Tint

Whenever I refer to Regular Painting Supplies as part of the tools to bring to a workshop, these are the supplies I am referring to, in addition to any special ones for a particular project.

  • ​Two water containers
  • Scissors
  • Spray bottle
  • Paper towels
  • Pop-up tissues (like a generic Kleenex)
  • Soft rag
  • Brushes:  Medium wash brush, Scharff #310 White Nylon round brushes #8 and #4 (I usually have brushes for sale)
  • A set of scrubby brushes, i.e.: Scharff Moon Brushes #222 in a variety of sizes #2, #4 , #6 and #8 and a #00 (these are used for corrections, I use a lot of them!)
  • A board to support your paper
  • A ruler, pencil and ruler

For workshops being held in my home

Your spot is reserved by calling Carol or emailing ​ at: carol@carolspohn.com   Please include name, phone number and email address.  If you have not painted with me before, you must mail me a check for the class fee to hold your spot. Space is limited.  Always bring regular painting supplies and your lunch.

Cancellation Policy: If you cancel a class with less than 7 days notice, and I can not fill your spot with another student, you will loose your class fee.  If requested, the class supplies will be shipped to you at your additional expense. 

 Painting Supplies and General Product Infomation

 Carol's Paint Pallet Preferences.  ​ I like the Mijello watercolor paint pallets.  My favorite is the Mijello Bulletproof Glass Palette for Watercolor 36 Colors (approx. $25 on Amazon)  or the smaller ​Mijello Martin Airtight Watercolor 18-Well  Palette (approx. $10 on Amazon)  The smaller pallet is big enough to accomodate all my colors.  (I would omit the Van Dyke Green and Brown because they can be easily mixed)

When filling your pallet with watercolor, fill the wells to to top.  DO NOT put a dot of paint in because it will pop off when dry and get lost.  Watercolor reactivates with water.  The paint stays good until the next time you use it.  I put the paint  in the pallet in the order of my colors listed above.​