Watercolour brushes

by Oct 20, 2020Art Supplies


…overlooked by beginners, treasured by experience!

Jane starts a mini series on brushes. This time she is looking at the ranges of watercolour brushes available from synthetic squirrel through to the Series 7 Kolinsky Sable brush. See part 2 where Jane looks at brushes for acrylic paints and part 3 – brushes for oils.

What makes a brush good for Watercolours?

Watercolour brushes have very soft bristles and are designed to hold a lot of water for washes and paint.

The best brushes give the artist the most control over the flow of the colour from the brush onto the paper. Watercolour brushes hold a fine point and fall back into shape after each stroke. They allow an artist to lay colour down on the paper evenly and consistently.

Note: As Gouache has the same handling properties as watercolour paint a good Watercolour Brush will be a good Gouache Brush!


Squirrel Hair

Genuine Squirrel Brushes

Genuine squirrel brushes are noted for holding plenty of water. They are also known as mop brushes, they are commonly used for painting large areas. As you can see in this picture they hold their tips to a point beautifully.

Pure squirrel mop - genuine squirrel hair brushes

Synthetic Squirrel Brushes

This range of brushes are a synthetic squirrel which are incredibly soft and ideal for watercolour.

These brushes are £3.95 each or you can have any 4 for £14.50

Great value brushes.

Squirrel brushes hold lots of water as do the synthetic brushes.

Synthetic squirrel brushes

Natural hair brushes

Natural hair brushes hold their shape better when wet. These do come at a cost so if your starting out a synthetic brush will do the job.

Synthetic soft bristle

A good synthetic hair brush has a place in watercolour painting. They possess a greater spring in the bristle, they are more resilient and if looked after have a much greater lifespan.

These characteristics make them suitable for watercolour painting techniques that demand greater control, and crisper bolder marks. So don’t discount the synthetic brush.

These brushes are also part of the deal at £3.95 each or any 4 for £14.50. The great thing is that you mix and match any brush and any size.

Pure kolinsky red sable brushes

The red sable extended points sometimes called a reservoir brush because of its capability to hold an immense amount of water. The centre made from pure sable which acts as a precise rigger with the squirrel hair on the outer.

sable brushes

Series 7 Kolinsky Sable brush.

Series 7 brushes are made from only the finest kolinsky sable hair in rust proof, seamless nickel plated ferrules with black polished handles.

An expensive brush but they are the very best you can get for your watercolour.

Winsor & Newton make the Series 7 Sable brushes.

We hold a small selection of the series 7 brushes and if we haven’t got the size you need we are able to order for you.

Series 7 sable brush

When choosing the best brush or brushes for your work we strongly suggest that you handle the brushes you are choosing between. Gadsby’s stock a great range of brushes and have experts on hand (if needed) to help with your selection.

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