Which Brushes Should You Use As A Beginner To Watercolors?

Art Blog | 11 Nov, 2012

Are you interested in watercolor paining but are not sure where to start or even unsure as to what you need? ArtisanHQ’s guide to which watercolor brushes should be used for the beginner painter is here to answer some basic questions and offer advice on what you need to begin your watercolor painting dream.

If money is a factor and you cannot afford the so-called ‘best’ watercolor paint brushes then don’t worry, because as a beginner it is important to remember that you are just starting out with watercolors so therefore only need the best of what you CAN afford. Watercolor paint brushes range from under $10 for a set and are known as entry level brushes and the costs for a masters/professional set can easily lead you into the high hundreds! Entry level brushes are fine for the beginner watercolor artist as it is the technique you are trying to perfect with mixing up your washes and the way you control the brush more so than the final outcome of your paintings.

You can get many sets of brushes with there being a wealth of manufacturer’s aiming their products to beginner watercolor artists but if I were you I would invest in a decent size 8 round brush and a1-1.5 inch flat brush. If your budget can afford it then aim for natural hair on your brush like a red sable which has a magnificent longevity as well as unparalleled application of the watercolor paint itself. The bristles also remain intact for much longer and do not fall out of the head of the brush like many cheaper alternatives seem to. If you cannot justify the costs for the red sable brush but are still concerned with purchasing a great quality brush then you should aim for a good quality synthetic or synthetic blend brush. Being synthetic it is obviously made from man-made fibers and reacts slightly different than that of say a sable or squirrel hair brush. So of the two, the synthetic and the synthetic blend, it is better to steer towards the synthetic blend because it still holds many of the characteristics of a full sable brush without breaking your bank balance.

Now you have an overview of the fibers used for watercolor brushes you can add to your set to kick start your art work. I would recommend getting these brushes to fulfill all you’ll need for tackling washes, detailed and general watercolor work,

Size 8 round brush (Your main brush for adding almost any feature within your painting)

Size 4 round brush (detailed work)

Size 2 round brush (very detailed work)

1 inch flat brush (for washes such as skylines or foregrounds)

With these classic brushes you will be one step closer to achieveing the watercolor paintings you have been itching to paint. Good luck.

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