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 Watercolour Brushes  Watercolour Brush Sets


Winsor & Newton Watercolour Brushes
Winsor & Newton
Watercolour Brushes & Brush Sets
Winsor & Newton Artists Watercolour Sable Brushes
Winsor & Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sable Brushes
Winsor & Newton Sceptre Gold II Brushes
Daler Rowney Watercolour Brushes
Daler Rowney
Watercolour Brushes & Brush Sets
Daler Rowney Aquafine Series Brushes
Daler Rowney Dalon Series Brushes
Daler Rowney Diana Series (Kolinsky Sable) Brushes
Daler Rowney Sapphire Series Brushes
Daler Rowney System 3 Brushes
Da Vinci Watercolour Brushes
Da Vinci
Watercolour Brushes & Brush Sets
Da Vinci Series 10 Maestro Brushes
Da Vinci Series 418 Quill Brushes
Da Vinci Series 1381 Vario Tip Brushes
Da Vinci Series 1503 Pocket Brushes
Da Vinci Series 5519 (Squirrel/Sable) Brushes
Da Vinci Series 300 Jumbo Watercolour Brushes
Da Vinci Series 488 Spin Synthetic Quill Brushes
Davinci Series 5073 Synthetic Mottler Brushes
Davinci Series 5580 Golden Synthetic Brushes
Davinci Series 5584 Golden Synthetic Brushes
Davinci Series 5080 Cosmotop Spin Brushes
Davinci Series 5530 Cosmotop Mix Brushes
Davinci Series 5830 Cosmotop Mix Brushes
Watercolour Brushes
Brush Sets

Chinese Watercolour Brushes
Ron Ranson Hake Brushes

Artists Brush Case - Art Brush Storage
Brush Care & Storage

Wooden Brush Boxes & Cases
Brush Holders
Brush Wraps

Artists Brush Shapes

Round brushes have a round full body that holds adequate pigment and taper to a sharp (sable) or near sharp (synthetic) point. A high quality round allows the artist to render a wide range of shapes and effects, holds a good charge of water, wipes up excess paint, and rinses out quickly. The extraordinary flexibility of this brush means it is the instrument of choice for "gestural" painters who want a lot of expressiveness in their brush marks. Rounds come in three subtle variations: the standard round, where the length out is slightly more than 4 times the belly diameter when wet, with a slight flaring in width at the belly, the full bellied round in which the length out is about 4 times the belly diameter when wet, with an exaggerated belly widening in the tuft, and the pointed round in which the length out is usually 5 or more times the belly diameter when wet, without any belly widening in the tuft. The cupping of the brush determines these brush proportions, and some brands tend to one or the other extreme in their "standard" rounds. These variations affect the carrying capacity and flexibility but not the pointing of the tuft.

Flat brushes hold a large amount of paint and are useful for blocking in large areas. These are chisel shaped brushes with a straight edge and are specialized as two types - the bright and the one stroke. The bright has an approximately square tuft profile (the length out is the same as the tuft width), usually with stiffer hairs; they hold less paint than regular flats, produce sharply angular stroke edges, and can be used more assertively in lifting, splattering, scumbling, and similar texturing techniques. The one stroke has a distinctly rectangular tuft shape with flexible, soft hairs; the tuft can smoothly release a longer stroke of paint and produces a more calligraphic range of brush marks. Flat brushes are ideal for laying down large areas of even colour or pure water, for shaping precise colour edges, building graded washes, and creating a variety of shapes less convenient to render with a round. Nearly all the strokes made with a flat leave an angular or straight edge in the brushstroke, so they are often used wet in wet (which disguises or softens these characteristic brush marks) or boldly in "angular" painting styles.

Mop brushes have a large quantity of very fine soft hair (usually squirrel hair) and can hold a large quantity of water when wet or can wipe up a large quantity of water when thirsty. They are best used for wetting paper, painting large, soft, fluid passages such as skies and colour blending. Unfortunately because they take a long time to dry and take more effort to rinse completely, mops are not the best brush for paint application, but they are exceptionally good for wetting large areas of paper or for blotting or blending paint that is already applied. Good mops come to a precise point and can be used for very controlled applications of water from thin lines to sky wide washes. The soft hairs severely limit the range of brush marks in comparison to a round, but this coarser, "out of focus" effect makes them ideal for softening edges, for lifting vague lights in backgrounds, and applying large colour masses.

Filbert brushes are oval flats that come to a point when wet and are usually made with soft bristles such as sable, mongoose or squirrel hair. They are used for blending or shaping washes and for washes where the width of the wash strokes must be varied e.g.: where a large wash area must be laced through smaller passages that require detailed manoeuvring with more of a tuft point. They are also great for foliage work due to their oblong blunt ends.

Fan brushes as the name indicates are brushes with a fan shape head. Although predominantly used for blending in oil or acrylic painting more and more watercolour artists are starting to experiment with these brushes. They are generally used for scrubbing out linear strokes and for drawing grass-like or twig-like clusters of parallel lines, for irregular line hatching or texturing, and for softly blending the edges of or gradations within wash areas. Different parts of the arcing fan edge should be used from one stroke to the next, to produce the greatest variation in the irregular line spacing.

Rigger brushes are noted for their long pointed length that holds a lot of paint. They are used for fine details and expressive line work and the brush was first designed to paint the rigging on boats in nautical paintings (thus the name). The long tip of a good rigger will hold a fair amount of paint and will disguise minor wobbling in the hand through the flexibility of the tuft. Also very similar to a rigger are Liner brushes (also script). These brushes are basically a rigger wrapped in a round brush. The hairs often do not come to a needle point (as in a rigger), so that the line rendered has a consistent thickness, which is scaled to the size of the tuft. The length of the liner tuft allows the line to keep a more consistent width than the line possible with a round, while the belly holds a larger charge of paint than a rigger which allows you to paint a rather long line for its width.

Spotters are stubby brushes with a fine point. Used primarily for retouching but they are also excellent for miniature and detail work.

Wash brushes look like miniature house painting brushes and extend the range of flats to much larger widths. They hold much more water or paint than a flat brush and release it over a wider area. Like mops, wash brushes are best for wetting large areas of paper or charging already wet wash areas with water or paint; their large size and blunt edge makes them unwieldy for certain paint applications, especially when the painted area is bounded by complex edges.

Japanese sumi brushes come in many styles and sizes. The gyokuran or koraku are basically calligraphic tools and they deliver elegant flowing strokes that characteristically change texture as the fluid in the brush is exhausted, from the wet beginning of the stroke to the dry finish. This tends to happen quickly, because the brushes have a poor carrying capacity and release liquid fairly quickly, and because the goat hair tufts are coarse and soft. For the traditional Japanese calligraphy, which develops a skill in handling the old kanji ideograms as artistic icons, this variation in texture has a lovely expressive effect. However in most other painting situations, it can be a nuisance.

Hake brushes are unique flat, wide brushes made with goat/sheep hair sewn into a plain bamboo handle. They are ideal for applying paint over large areas. The flat handle and the select soft hair give excellent brush control. It's an indispensable tool when used on delicate and absorbent Oriental papers. The hair is coarse yet soft and ideally suited to applying delicate washes and holds much more water while remaining soft & flexible. They are a good choice for washes and background work. They are also fantastic for achieving a huge variety of dry brush and other textural effects.

 Types of natural hair used in the manufacture of fine art paint brushes.

Fine Art Natural Hair Paint Brushes are made from stiff or soft hairs, which be either natural hairs or synthetic fibres. Soft brushes are ideal for thin paint which spreads easily, and for detailed work as they form a sharp point which allows for precision painting. Robust, hard brushes are ideal for pushing around thick paint and for creating brush marks in the paint.

Sable: The ultimate soft brush is made from the hairs on the tail of a sable marten; these taper naturally, so when they're put into a brush they form a point. Sable brushes are expensive, but are renowned for their softness, flexibility, and fine point. Kolinsky sable from Siberia has traditionally been considered the best hair for watercolour brushes.
Squirrel: Cheaper than sable, squirrel is a soft hair with little spring. Larger squirrel brushes work better than smaller ones because the mass of hairs together gives them support.
Hog/bristle: The ultimate hard brush is made from the hairs on the back of a pig (hog), which are strong yet springy. The bristles have natural split-ends, which increases the amount of paint they hold. Used for oils and acrylics.
Camel: Brushes labeled 'camel' hair are really made from other types of soft hair. Camel hair is unsuitable for brushes because it's too woolly.
Ox: Long, strong and springy hair.
Pony: Coarse hair that doesn't form a good point. Often used in cheaper brushes
Goat: Lacks spring, but forms a good point. Used in calligraphy and Chinese Brush painting.

Other Useful Articles.

How to clean your Paint Brushes.

Parts of an Artists Paint Brush

How to re-straighten hairs on a brush

How to ruin an art paint brush

Thursday, August 17, 2017