Monday, 10 September 2007

My watercolour brushes

My current favourite watercolour brush, that I use 90% of the time, is a Manet grey squirrel mop number 3 (reference 448). You can see on the picture the shape of the tuft and plastic with wire to bind the hairs instead of a classic ferrule.

  • This squirrel mop has excellent watercolour holding power. You can make long marks on the paper without having to recharge the brush with paint on the palette.

  • More importantly, it can hold a lot of paint while maintaining a perfect point, which makes it the perfect tool to paint all sorts of marks, including fine details. Squirrel is the finest hair available.

  • The brush is well balanced and easy to manipulate.

I urge you to try this sort of brush if you have not done so already. It dramatically changed my watercolour technique and brought it to a new level. The superiority of natural hair over synthetic ones is a natural power of absorption and water retention. This is due to the scales present on natural air, where synthetic hair is smooth.

This type of brush is expensive, but well worth the investment. A good Christmas gift idea. If you take care of it and store it properly, it will last you a long time.

To complete the set-up, I sometime use 3
Pro Arte brushes at the beginning of the painting process to do some washes:

  • A large flat brush, 1” Pro Arte Prolene 106 (Reference 50739493)

  • A flat brush 5/8 Pro Arte Prolene Plus Series 008 (Reference 50654772)

  • A round brush Arte Prolene Plus Series 007 (Reference 50655038)

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