What Brushes Do Watercolor Artists Need?

Jul 26, 2023


How do you know what art supplies are worth spending money on? How do you choose the right paper or paints or brushes from among the plethora of options available to you?

If you're serious about improving your watercolor skills, you'll want the tools you use to this end to support this goal. So, today, I am going to introduce you to four quality watercolor brushes that will not break the bank - but will help you enhance your paintings.

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Use These Watercolor Brushes to Level Up As an Artist

Many professional-grade brushes use animal hair (from oxen, cattle, sable, squirrel, etc.), which makes them quite expensive. The ones I am going to talk about today, though, are synthetic. Still, they are comparable to their more expensive counterparts. 

These are the brushes I use the most, and I stand behind each of them.  

A Quality Large Mop Brush That Doesn't Break the Bank

Raphael Soft Aqua Brush - Quill, Size 8, Short Handle - $40

I use this brush to paint large areas of my painting, like the sky and the ground.

Its attributes include:

  • Holds a lot of water and pigment
  • Long-lasting and holds up nicely
  • Affordable - on the cheaper end of quality brushes

A Medium-Sized Brush for More Control

Miller's Psuedo Sable Brush - Round, Size 14 - $30

I used this brush when I'm painting that large, connected shape

Its attributes include:

  • Holds a good amount of water and pigment
  • Comes to a point at the end 
  • Offers a little more control than the mop brush

A Small Brush Best for Directional Lines

Custom Shop LL-00 - Long Linger Pinstriping Brush #00 - $17

This brush is perfect for fine lines - like branches, power lines, or directional lines. 

Its attributes include:

  • Makes unique marks
  • Has a very sharp point when loaded up with paint
  • Holds a good amount of water

An Inexpensive Calligraphy Brush

Chinese Calligraphy Brush - $8

This brush is fun to play around with. 

Its attributes include:

  • Covers a lot of the page
  • Picks up paint really well
  • Longer handle helps you make looser marks

Supplies are an Investment Toward Your Growth as an Artist

I get it. A $40 brush is still pretty steep. It's not what some of us are used to spending on one utensil.

If you're still using some of the lower-quality brushes, that's okay as long as they are working for you. The important thing is that the tools you use are supporting your growth as an artist.

If you're not on the market now, bookmark this blog for the day when you begin to feel frustrated with your brushes - or the day you have some extra cash to invest in your art.

Having the right tools that support your goals alleviates stress. They make a difficult task a little easier to accomplish, allowing you the space to concentrate on a new skills and new challenges. 

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