Brushes are the key to watercolor painting so choose the best affordable.
Do not buy expensive brushes unless you know how to use and look after them.
Sable fur has curved tips for unique nesting of filaments into a fine point.
Sable brushes are not resistant to ill use but the modern synthetic brush is.
Though synthetic filament is not as good as sable it stays truer over long term.
Synthetic filament lasts very well as long it too receives sympathetic use.
Sable hair has more air pockets along its length therefore holds more water.
Brushes are made from other natural fur filaments but not as good as sable.
Brushes are also made from sable and synthetic mixes yet are still expensive.
Fortunately there are very good 100% synthetic brushes at very reasonable cost.
No reason to buy inferior brushes just to save money - expensive in long run.
Best of the synthetic brushes will last and be good enough for most work.
I have a pullout brochure showing 50 different types of artist brushes.
Each type consists of a range of sizes for all types of artistic painting.
Always buy your brushes with such a catalogue in front of you for guidance.
In the moment it is easy to pick the wrong brush and you may make a mistake.
For example a designer's watercolor brush is longer than an artist brush.
Round brushes are traditional for watercolors but one-stroke flats are for lettering.
I always use flat brushes except for fine line work.
Flat brushes come in equivalents to the round but in various widths.
This means their filaments react more or less in the same way as the round.
The Hake is a different brush - from Japan stitched-up donkey hair but keep wet.
Superseded now by a Hake in which the hairs are sealed - to hold them firm.
Comes in 1, 1.5 & 2 ins widths buy one for clear water or light washes.
Twice the cost of the Japanese brushes but better to use and better-cost value.
Wide brushes are best for beginners starting to paint with watercolors.
Special brushes exist for particular purposes a few are mentioned here.
The Rigger for painting long fine lines wires ropes and er... rigging.
Use an oil painter's half inch but worn down hog brush for mixing watercolors.
Buy a fan brush just so you have one for one for dry blending watercolors.
Use a fine brush for signing paintings but its better to use cool brown watercolor pencil.
Beginners buy the 100% synthetic not mixtures simulated sable brushes.
Buy all of the even #s round brushes up to #24.
Do not buy sable brushes until you know how to paint and to look after them.
Only buy a sable in the largest size if you can afford it and are able find one.
Maximum natural sable size is 14 synthetic sizes go three more sizes up to 24.
One 1 ins flat nylon.
Three Hakes widths of 1in 1.5ins and 2ins.
Also try one-stroke brushes for varied width washes.
Brushes must be preserved and kept clean to avoid recourse to harsh cleaning.
Do not leave brushes dirty between sessions - always clean to a habit system.
Rinse first in dirty water to ensure pigment is eased from brush core.
Filament ferrules should be nickel keep clean but not left in water unnecessarily.
Rinse in clean water until it is obvious the brush is clean and does not smell.
Do take care - do not touch except filaments until last to bring to point use no grease.
Make brush-cleaning part of desktop cleaning discipline at end of each session.
Keep brushes not in use filament up in three jars according to size group.
Larger jars upside down over each to keep dust out but devise some air circulation.
Black red or other lacquer on handles will flake off if allowed to remain in water.
This makes brushes horrible to use plastic handles are not good.
Get to know the type of work various brushes are best suited.
John Blenkin: Texts are info only - no guarantee neither given nor implied.
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