Watercolor brushes are all about the water. How much can it hold, how well the strokes help lay that water with paint, and what shapes can that watercolor brush make.
While there are a large variety of brands, qualities, shapes, and sizes only experimenting along with trial and error will determine which brush or brushes will be good for you and your style of painting. You also have to take the following into consideration the shapes and hair or synthetic materials used for that brush. Just as important are the paints and paper you use for your water color painting.
It is worth investing in good quality watercolor brushes. Just be aware that there are differences in the performance and durability of brushes. So for this section you can get some knowledge of brush types, various sizes, and what they really mean to help you in making a decision.
There are quite a few things you need to consider before you settle on which brushes you want. Should you get a natural, synthetic, and natural synthetic combined which is a blend of the two? Do you really need all the different types and shapes? I will be covering watercolor brushes for beginners and experts so please make sure you read that section also.
Right now i will go through the different sizes and shapes as this will be part of your watercolor brush decision making process.
The Different Shapes of Watercolor Brushes
The most common watercolor brushes used by most watercolorist are the Round and Flat brushes. That is not the limited of brushes available. Here a few others that will be helpful in the techniques and applications of watercolor:
Most common and versatile brush of the whole all the brushes. It can be used as a primary brush for painting broad strokes, fine detail and for washes. The round brush comes in a variety of sizes and shapes.
This brush is very useful applying washes and broad linear strokes. You want this brush for straight crisp edges.
This brush is thick bellied and can hold lots of paint pigment and water. Mop brushes do not all have the same head or come to a point. The more costly mop brushes do. This brush is mainly used for washes.
A wash brush is more like a flat brush usually wide and perfect for large areas and laying down washes easy. The look more like your traditional house painting brushes in their design.
Even though a rigger brush is typically small, its a round brush that has long hair and a thin point. It can hold a nice amount of water which is suitable for long lines, fine detail and scrollwork.
An angled brush is like a flat brush but it has an angled flat shape. It is great for curved strokes, edges and sharp corners. It can be used for washes as it is a flat brush.
This is another type of flat brush with an oval shape at the tip. This s a useful brush for blending. You can also paint soft round edges like petals for flowers since the tip is oval.
Cats Tongue Brush
This brush has a double use. It has a pointy tip for fine lines and its belly is flat for broad strokes and shapes.
This brush is flat but its hairs spreads wide in shape like a semi circle. This brush is good for making a variety of textures.
This is detail brush that is short hair and fine which makes it useful for small little details. You can use this brush for small and minor corrections and retouching areas.
This brush is originally from Japan has the characteristics of a wash brush for large swatches of washes similar to the wash brush.
Brush Features and Types
The brush hair or tuft as it is often called in the most important part of the brush for holding and spreading the paint. The two most important characteristics of the bush is the degree of absorbency, the spring or stiffness. There are two types of hairs you can choose from which are currently natural hair and synthetic hair.
Natural hairs are made from various animal fur. The most common are Tails of weasels, squirls, oxen, pony, goat and Kolinsky sable. Natural hair brushes depending on its source is usually more costly than synthetic.
Consider to be the top of the line brush hair taken from the tails of Siberian Weasels. The harsh conditions in Siberia give this natural resident tremendous resilience and suppleness. This hair has a distinct spring and snap quality. Kolinsky made brushes have the ability to hold more water or paint in its belly with the hair tapering to very fine point.
This is a much cheaper alternative to the Kolinsky sable. While it is a step down from a Kolinsky they are still considered high quality
ROUND BRUSH SIZES
FLAT BRUSH SIZES