Deb Ward, GWS, OWS, PWS, WSI - WATERCOLOR/WATER MEDIA - My passion is teaching adult “beginners”. Weekly classes in my home; workshops; classes for Cincinnati Recreation Commission. My work is nationally recognized and published - see “Featured” on my sidebar. I’m a Signature Member of Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana state Watercolor Societies, Cincinnati Art Club, past-President of Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society. Contact info below under “Class Information”

Thursday, September 10, 2009


We all have our favorite brush, don’t we! Mine used to be an Isabey sable, 1 in. flat. (Now I do still love it, but use it for my caseins and fluid acrylics).
Some years ago I was searching for inexpensive but good brushes for students and came upon the Ebony Splendor brushes (sold at ASW and Jerry’s). When I saw them in the catalog I didn’t hold out much hope, but when I got them and tried them I was really happily surprised. Since that time they have become my primary brushes and are what I recommend to my students. Due to their low price, when they become “scraggly” at the tip, I don’t feel compelled to hang onto them the way I would with a more expensive brush, I just throw them out and buy a new set – for the cost of a single brush! And if I happen to lose one, I’m not upset! You can get a set of either 3 flats (1/4 in., ½ in. and 1 in.) or 7 rounds – each set about $17-18 (of course the prices have gone up – mine were in the neighborhood of $12.99!). They are also sold separately. (And if you are counting – there are only 6 of the rounds in the photo; somewhere along the way I’ve lost one of the smaller ones).
I also like this Cheap Joe’s American Journey #8 round which was a gift to me – it’s got a great point.
Another one I like is this Black Velvet ¾ in. 3008S flat by Silver. It’s made of squirrel hair and black synthetic, but very soft and really holds a lot of paint. I purchased it at the Chicago Art Expo last year upon the recommendation of Karen Vernon. I can’t remember the price, maybe in the $20 range?
Some of us swear by sable, others like synthetic. Anyone care to share info about their favorite brush – what kind is it and why do you like it so much?


Vicki Greene said...

I have a Black Velvet #8 round that has a great point and I use it for just about everything. It was very inexpensive and works better for me than my expensive #8 sable.

Cindi said...

darn wish you had this thread 2 weeks ago.. i was trying to decide about brushes..

so armed with info from friends, i went the expensive route to see what the heck i was missing.. got them and so far im not that excited.. so yesterday i odered my old favorite brushes theulta round by loew cornell.. they are as good imho, as the ones that were 10 times the price.. they always keep a point, they are bouncy and they hold sufficient water, for me.. and if i need more water. plus i can always use my isabey or a large flat for washes.. i think the 14 is aprox $14.00.. and a big plus, if they start looking shabby, i can buy another with out robbing the bank!! altho i had this last set, for almost 7 years and i paint often..

will be checking abck to see others thoughts..

debwardart said...

Vicki and Cindi - thanks for your comments. It's always interesting to get new info - we can all learn from one another.

RHCarpenter said...

I've used the Loew-Cornell golden taklon synthetics since taking a workshop with Janet Rogers a few year's ago. They work great. I do have a couple of Kolinsky sables I use for wet-in-wet at times but reach for those LC's all the time. And like Cindi said, cheap enough to just order another 2 or 3 when they get a bit ragged.