Just as we use knives, forks, spoons, and chopsticks for different meals, selecting paint brushes depending on paint mediums and purposes is quite necessary as well.
For example, when using paint straight from the tube on the canvas, it should be painted by a hog brush with stiff and elastic bristles to create the rich texture of oil paint on the canvas.
On the other hand, when working with animal glue and mineral pigments which are water-based, sticky, and require applying layers, brushes made of goat hair or deer hair can apply the right amount of the paint on the surfaces.
Now, what kind of brush is best for transparent watercolors, which are also water-based and painted by diluting them with water? Let's take a look at the paintbrushes available at PIGMENT TOKYO.
① Squirrel Brush
Squirrel hair is soft, easy to handle, and absorbs water well. If you are new to watercolor, it’s good to begin with one of these brushes. The tip of the brush is well-formed, so it is easy to control drawing from thick to fine lines.
Squirrel brushes are also commonly used for makeup, so you might have already seen these brushes outside of the art world.
However, as of 2022, squirrel hair is getting harder to obtain. Therefore, now is the perfect chance to get yourself one.
Since nylon brushes are artificially produced hair, it is less expensive than natural hair brushes. The MOLLIS Round and MOLLIS Oval brushes are available at our store.
The nylon used in these brushes is soft and absorbs water well, making them ideal for watercolor paints.
The Oval brush has a tapered tip and can paint various expressions, from painting flat backgrounds to detailed works.
③ Kolinsky Brush
If you are looking for a brush to paint details, SK Meteor and SK.stars are the perfect ones for you.
Kolinsky is a type of weasel found in Siberia and China. Its hair is smooth, flexible, and has moderate stiffness, therefore, the Kolinsky brush is also suitable for acrylic and oil paints as well as watercolors.
SK Meteor has a long tip that is perfect for delicate, soft expressions and long curves. It is also suitable for drawing signatures on paintings.
Compared to the former brush, SK.stars has a shorter tip and moderate thickness, making it suitable for delicate drawings such as two-dimensional composition designs, drafts and perspective drawings for architectural designs.
As with squirrel hair, Kolinsky hair is also getting harder to obtain these days.
④ Goat Hair Brush
Brushes made of goat or horse hair which are designed for Japanese painting can also be used with transparent watercolors.
However, if you want to utilize the characteristics of watercolors that can quickly create gradations, we recommend using a brush that can create both soft and strong brush strokes easily.
Among our paintbrushes, the Unpitsu brushes, the Menso brushes, the Saishiki brushes, and the Kegaki brushes are also suitable for use with brushes ①〜③ above. The Unpitsu brushes, in particular, can be used in combination with the Oval brush, which is also easy to control in terms of making soft and strong brush strokes.
⑤ Hake Brush
Since transparent watercolor does not become water-resistant after drying, the more colors are layered, the more the saturation of the painting decreases.
Therefore, when using a Hake brush for transparent watercolor, it is most likely used in the preparatory part related to dosa sizing or watering.
For this type of process, it is recommended to use the most standard Hake brush called “Painting Brush”.
If you would like to work with something a little thicker or stiffer, you can try using Dosa Brush.
Using different kinds of paintbrushes according to the paint mediums may sound hard in terms of management and cost. However, this little care would expand the potential of paints.
Moreover, if you are interested in a particular brush, you can try it out in our store, so please feel free to ask our staff when you come to visit Tennozu Isle.
Translated by Atsumi Okano and Nelson Hor Ee Herng
PIGMENT TOKYO Art Materials Experts