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The Abundant Realms of Brushes (Umpitsu Brush・Kotsugaki Brush・Menso Brush・Kegaki Brush)

2020-06-28

In Western paintings, there are only a handful of types of brushes for drawing lines and creating detailed work. However, …….

・Umpitsu Brush

・Kotsugaki Brush

・Menso Brush

・Kegaki Brush

there are a variety of brushes used in Japanese paintings. In fact, did you know that these paintbrushes can be used for more than just Nihonga (Japanese painting) and calligraphy, based on the quality of the bristles?

In this article, I would like to show you the wonders of Japanese painting brushes by introducing the characteristics of each of them!

 



「Umpitsu Brush」

Used for: calligraphy ink, watercoloring, colored ink


Tokusei Choryu
4,000JPY


Umpitsu brush is commonly used for the basic drawings. It can be adjusted from fine to bold strokes depending on the way you carry the brush.

Especially, this Tokusei Choryu brush is made of a mixture of wool, deer hair and raccoon hair, which makes it soft and suitable for water-based paints, such as watercoloring and ink painting.



First of all, get a larger brush and learn to control drawing the thickness of the lines, this will allow you draw both thick and fine lines with ease when you started getting used of it,

Water-based or non-viscous paints are highly suggested.




「Kotsugaki Brush」

Used for: calligraphy ink, Iwaenogu (natural mineral pigments), watercoloring, colored ink


Gokuhin Sakuyo
1,900JPY


Similar to Umpitsu Brush, Kotsugaki Brush is also commonly used for drawing every kinds of thickness lines.

It’s truly a magical experience when it comes to paintbrushes, some artists would say “It’s fine for me to draw any kinds of lines by only using Sakuyo brushes.”, or some would prefer Sokumyo brushes, therefore, there is no correct answer for “Which Kotsugaki Brush is the best”.

However, Gokuhin Sakuyo brushes are usually introduced as a recommendation for Kotsugaki Brush at PIGMENT Tokyo.

Gokuhin Sakuyo Brush is made of weasel, rabbit, wool and deer hair. It has excellent durability and fine tip, so it can be used for all kinds of ways such as drawing and coloring.

Comparing to regular Sakuyo brushes, it is firmer and stronger as its size goes smaller.



Umpitsu brushes for drawing thicker lines.

As for the fine lines, medium to small size of Sakuyo brushes are well advised!

Same as the ways of using Umpitsu brushes, once you learn to control the thickness of drawing lines, you will be able to find a greater variety while expressing your arts.

Needless to say, Sakuyo brushes are also heartily recommended for use with water-based and low viscosity paints.



「Menso Brush」

Used for: calligraphy ink, Iwaenogu (natural mineral pigments), colored ink, acrylic paints, tempera paints, oil paints etc.


Kolinsky Yuin Menso
1,700JPY


Menso Brush is often used for drawing details. 

For writing lines, the brushes are usually thin and come with long bristles. And for painting, the brushes are mostly round tips with short stiff bristles.

As for Kolinsky (a type of sable-hair) Menso Brush, it can be used for all types of drawing because it’s firm enough to withstand even high viscosity paints.

Especially, Kolinsky Yuin Menso brushes are quite similar to Designed Menso brushes, however Kolinsky Yuin Menso brushes are more flexible and have slightly more bristles, which allows you to draw lines smoothly.



Kolinsky Yuin Menso Brush is suitable for hatching, and also capable for drawing steady, fine lines.

As the description says, it can be used regardless of the viscosity of the paint, making it a great choice for every painters!

Nevertheless, The World of Menso Brushes is filling with wonders.  

It may be an eye-opening experience by trying with different products and finding your very own paintbrush!



「Kegaki Brush」

Used for: calligraphy ink, watercoloring, colored ink


Aoki Kegaki
2,500JPY


As the name implies, Kegaki Brush is commonly used for drawing tremendously fine lines, such as the hair of human scalp. 

Particularly, Aoki Kegaki Brush by Yoshiaki Aoki, consultant of PIGMENT Tokyo Laboratory.

The brush is made from the hair of weasels that live in cold environments in China, so the bristles are extremely dense and fine.

Therefore, the bristles can be clump together easily and vastly maneuverable too!

Moreover, the tip of the brush is long and stiff, which makes it capable for drawing steady, fine lines.




As you can see, Kegaki Brush is more suitable for drawing fine lines than a Mensho Brush.

Comparing to Menso Brush, the amount of paint that can be hold is fewer, therefore it may not be ideal for high viscosity paints.

We would recommend Kegaki Brush for those who wants to draw fine lines like needles.


Hope you've found the one that you’re interested in!

For example, even in the same kind of Umpitsu Brushes, different types of bristles lead to different drawing styles!

Hopefully you'll discover the one paintbrush that's perfectly right for you!

Profile

Art Materials Expert of PIGMENT TOKYO

AKIRA OYA

Born in 1989 in Tokyo Master of Fine Art and Design at Nihon University College of Art While working at PIGMENT TOKYO as an Art Materials Expert, he also continues his artist career composing visual art works.

Born in 1989 in Tokyo Master of Fine Art and Design at Nihon University College of Art While working at PIGMENT TOKYO as an Art Materials Expert, he also continues his artist career composing visual art works.