Watercolor Brushes: How to Choose Them, Use Them, and Care For Them
Watercolor brushes come in several grades.
The best are the pure red sable, and, although they are expensive, they will last a long time if you take proper care of them.
Cheaper brushes can be substituted, but a poor brush lacks the necessary spring and the point tends to spread in a short time.
Whatever type you select, I suggest that you obtain numbers 4, 8, and 12.
These three brushes will answer the purpose for any size you choose to work in.
A flat brush of single-stroke style, either ½ or 1 inch wide, will be a useful supplement for the pointed brushes.
It can be used for moistening the paper and laying large washes, and in straight painting.
Use a bristle brush for removing an unwanted passage of color.
The hairs of this brush will remove the paint much faster than the softer sables and will save the latter from unnecessary wear.
Rinse your watercolor brushes thoroughly after using, squeezing out the surplus water by placing the hairs between your thumb and index finger.
Reshape and place them upright in a container with the brush end up.
An occasional washing with a mild soap and lukewarm water will help prolong their life.
Make sure that all the soap is removed before storing your watercolor brushes.
No. 1 Sable
Sable brushes will serve for most of your work.
No. 2 Flat
The 1-inch flat brush is useful for large areas and backgrounds.
It will quickly moisten your paper if you prefer a preliminary wash of clear water preparatory to painting.
No. 3 Rigger
The rigger, with its chiseled edge, can depict the finest lines and sharp details.
No. 4 Round
The round bristle brush, while designed primarily for working in oil, is useful for removing unwanted areas of water color.
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