Unable to travel to Chicago this week, I've been doing copies like the ones on the sketchbook page above. They're from Jan Kunz's “Painting Watercolor Portraits that Glow.” The Strathmore 5.5 x 8 Visual Journal with 90# watercolor paper is cheap and, while not the best paper, adequate for fooling around. Plus I thought I'd show you my complete dining-room-table/coffeeshop watercolor set-up. Besides the sketchbook, there's a Winsor Newton metal watercolor palette, 3-ounce water jar (set of three from Target), mechanical pencil, gum eraser, small DaVinci and larger Isabey travel brushes, Pilot fountain pen, and fancy pencil case to put everything in. The only thing missing is a box of tissues or some napkins.
The DaVinci brush is synthetic; unfortunately the Isabey brush is sable, bought before I realized there's no way natural brushes don't involve animal cruelty. It's not even that great a brush. All the brushes I buy now are DaVinci Cosmotop Spin synthetic brushes, which I like a lot.