If paper, colour or texture is important when we are painting, the watercolour brushes are basic. We can find a wide variety of brands, so it is not easy to make the right choice. Therefore, today we present the most useful watercolour brushes and how we should take care of them.

collection of watercolor brushes for artist

Watercolour brushes we should buy

Painting with watercolours is equivalent to working with water. One of the characteristics of the brush is that it is absorbent. In addition, they must retain water well without losing flexibility.

It is possible to say that, against what many often think, it is not necessary to have many brushes. If your quality is good, with a few watercolour brushes we can do most of our projects. From experience, our essential are:

  • No. 5 round brush
  • No. 14 round brush
  • No. 40 Paletine
  • No. 9 Paletine
  • Flat brush nº 17

The size and shape of the strand

Although there are 5 watercolour brushes, not all have the same shape. There are several reasons. First, there is the shape of the ferrule (the metal piece that attaches the strand to the handle of the brush). A round ferrule does fine traces, even if the strand is thick. On the opposite, flat ferrules allow wide or thin strokes, depending on the position of the brush on the paper.

If you have started looking for brushes, you will have noticed that there are very different prices. Although we speak of the same type of brush, its quality largely determines the price. For example, brushes made with Mustela hair are often the most expensive. We can also find synthetics of high quality at a much more rational price. The difference? The Mustela hair absorbs more and better than the synthetic one. That’s why Mustela watercolour brushes are usually reserved for highly experienced professionals, while synthetics are most commonly used by amateurs.

typologies of artist brushes

Conserving brushes: how to care for them and save money

As we have seen, watercolour brushes are delicate. If we protect it properly they will last for years, avoiding unnecessary costs in renovation. Although it may be lazy, giving them a little attention is worth it.

When you buy a watercolour brush, the strand has a glue-rubber to maintain the shape of the brush. When it comes in contact with water, the gum disappears and we can use the brush as normal. Do not press the tip of the brush if it is still gummed. Otherwise, you would break the hair or irreparably deform the shape of the strand.

A practical way to transport your brushes is with a rolling mat. You can find them in natural or synthetic fibres and allow you to pick up or extend your brush collection in a fast and comfortable way. If it also has the same size as the brushes or is a little larger, you will ensure total protection.

Finally, the cleaning. One of the advantages of working with watercolours is that the brushes are cleaned very well. Just apply plenty of water. A very useful trick is to put some soap in the palm of the hand and rub the brush and then clean with water. That way would help you to eliminate any rest.

professional amateur watercolor painting

What did you think? We hope we have helped you in choosing your next watercolour brushes. And if you have any doubts, do not forget to tell us.

See you in the next post 😉