Choosing Watercolour Brushes.
Good day, my lovely reader!
Next in my “sharing some art tips” series are my watercolour brushes. In this case, they are more my thoughts and showing what I use. I was wondering if it was even interesting to have a post about it. But hey, I usually ponder too much if I should do something, so I decided to just write it and hopefully it will be of use for some of you out there.
The thing is, there is no “set in stone” rule when it comes to watercolor brushes. Even if something is set in stone, you can always break…that stone. You have your high-end brands and brushes with no brands at all. Next to the brushes with synthetic hair, you have brushes with real tail hair from e.g. red marter/mink hair (koblinsky brushes) or a similar animal like squirrel.
The main differences between a brush with real hair and one with synthetic can be roughly categorized in two elements, the amount of paint/water that it can hold and how well it holds it shape. The downside is that brushes with real hair can cost A LOT of money. For the amount that I could spend on one red sable watercolor brush, I could get a set with five brushes.
If you’re just starting out, you have to be smart with your precious golden coins. At least I try to be and, I wish I had golden coins.
Personally, I don’t have one specific brand nor do I have a favourite brand (yet). I have brushes from Reeves, Dick Blick and a while back I found sets of brushes for like a couple of euros each. Cheaper brushes can be very good. As long as the bristles are soft and keep a point when it’s wet, you’re good! The synthetic bristles can stain though, especially when you use dark colors (cobalt, black). Just make sure that you thoroughly rinse out your brushes after each session. The bristles will stain, but it will not affect the colors in future paintings.
The brushes above are the same set of brushes. The brand is Loisirs créatifs and I got ten brushes for 4 euros. The brushes are labeled as “hobby brushes”, have synthetic bristles and you can use them for any type of paint (oil, watercolour and acrylics). The four on the left are never used and the ones on the right are used very frequently over a period of two years. You can see that the shape is still fairly the same. There is still a “point”, but the brushes are stained. I promise that I’m not nibbling on the handles.
All in all, a very good quality and price balance with these. I’ve used them for almost every painting you see floating by on Social Media. Since this post is going to be super long if I go through all my brushes, here’s a list of the ones I use the most.
1. Art Discount Watercolour Brushes.
These are the round ones and I absolutely love these. I got them from my friend Claire over three years ago and I use these for almost every piece I create so far. They hold their shape and plenty of paint for a good wash in your artwork. You can see more by going to the official website.
2. Artigo, Golden Synthetic Brushes.
I only use these for large washes of paint. They hold lots of water in the bristles and these keeps me from going back to palette after one stroke and this also keeps your paint looking more “fresh”. No idea if they still sell these as my sister kinda borrowed them when she was in high school.
3. Blick scholastic, Golden Taklon, Script Brushes.
These brushes I use mostly for my Inky Ladies. The fact that they are script, means that you could e.g. write with them. I tried, I failed for now. I use them for adding quick thin lines with black ink and then I use a different brush to let the ink bleed over the rest of the paper. They hold a lot of ink and keep their shape very well as well. I love using them for thinner linework or details. You can find them more on the Dick Blick site.
5. Loisirs Creatifs Brushes.
These are the same in the second picture in this post. Like I said above, they hold their shape very well and I’ve use them in almost every painting I did. I bought them from an Dutch craft store online, De Kwast, but it isn’t listed anymore.
This is it! These are the main brushes that I use. What all these brushes have in common is that they are soft and they hold their shape well. If you’re on the look out for brushes, just flick your thumb through it and feel the bristles. You can also see if it sheds. That’s a no-no. It can shed eventually, but this shouldn’t be the case if it’s still in the store and you aren’t even painting yet.
Hope it’s a bit helpful and please note that I am not sponsored to do these reviews. They are my own thoughts based on how I create my artwork. They can work for you or give you a starting point, but don’t send me letters via a penguin, telling me that it didn’t work and you ruined your drawing.
Till next time!