The Confusing World of Paint brushes

Good Morning,

How are you this happy Monday, the clocks have sprung forward, it's lighter in the evening... a real feel-good factor.

This week I have written a simple guide to watercolour paintbrushes. This can be a minefield and so confusing. I hope it helps and makes choosing paintbrushes less stressful.

First the news:-

  • Due to ill health, I have changed a few dates of workshops. Following are the new dates.
  • Monday 4th April, Butterflies in Acrylics & Mixed Media / £60.00/ 10 am - 3 pm... space available. ( Originally 28th March).
  • Saturday 2nd April & 23rd April Watercolour Hare, Prosecco & Chocolate/ £35.00/ 1 - 4 pm. Limited space is available.  Please call or email to book a space. ( Originally 26th March).
  • Kids' Easter workshop/ Easter decorations using tissue paper' stain glass' technique:- Wednesday 13th April/ £15.00/ 10 am - 12 noon.

Fortunately, I'm nearly ok now and the normal schedule is resuming.

The Confusing World of Paintbrushes  ( for watercolours). 

Brushes are an important element in watercolours. When I'm looking for new brushes I tend to go for good quality synthetic hair that keeps its springiness and point. 

The brushes I use are reasonably priced, not expensive as I use them for so many different painting media. Beyond washing and cleaning them I could really look after them better. 

However, I don't buy cheap brushes as that is a waste of money. They fall apart and don't have a generous 'belly' capable of holding plenty of colour.

I tend to use a mixture of flat and round brushes and manage happily with a handful of 'favourite' brushes I use regularly.

Cleaning your brushes properly after use, especially the metal ferrule, will keep them in good condition longer. 

I never throw old brushes out but use them for masking fluid/ PVA as this ruins brushes.

Quick Guide to Watercolour-brush hair:-

Kolinsky Sable:- The best, very expensive, immensely strong, yet supple & springy.

Red or pure sable:- More moderately priced, springy & strong, yet fine & soft.

Squirrel Hair:- Softer & cheaper than sable, it doesn't point well & has little resilience. A less costly alternative to large-sized sable wash brushes.

Ox Hair:- Strong & springy, quite coarse, doesn't point well but good for square-cut brushes.

Synthetic Fibres:- These can be a little stiff with less colour holding capacity than animal hair.

I hope this mini-guide helps next time you are choosing your paintbrushes.

Have a great week,

Amina x


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