Watercolors are a great way to get your enamel designs together and see on paper first, to helps to know your imaginations view will be delivered in your final enameling design.
A set of Winsor Newton Travel Watercolors, with a block of watercolor paper that is Hot Pressed watercolor paper and a #3 Sable brush will be the best to get you started in watercolor painting.
The travel kit of colors have 10 – 12 colors, all you need to start designing your enameled project. A block of watercolor paper is just that. The stack of paper’s edges are glued together, because when it gets wet in normal conditions of painting with water the paper would warp, it prevents that. As hot press is more likely to warp than cold pressed, but it is a smoother paper than cold pressed. Great for small painting of detail. And I find a #3 sable brush is a good size to get the job done.
I begin my enameling classes and my own jewels with design time in watercolors. The paint can be used in layering very similar enameling, where I apply a layer of enamels and fire before applying another color, watercolors can be apply in one layer of color and let it dry before applying another.
One book that was useful to me is “Light up your Watercolors” by Linda Stevens Moyers. In her book she starts color with the medium color = value, then going to her warm colors = interest points, and then the cool colors this being her darks. We have to layer in a different order as our warm color would burn out if laid in too soon. So I apply them in the order of cool colors first -I start with my dark color, then medium color = value colors and last the warm color to produce the impact.