Favourite Watercolour and Gouache Brushes

I absolutely love discussing the details of art supplies. I can talk about that endlessly! Here are some of my favourite brushes.

(From top to bottom)


1. Silver Black Velvet (Rounds, size 2 and 4)

The brush I use the most! It is a blend of squirrel hair and synthetics. I work with pan watercolours which requires a bit more scrubbing to get the paints to reactivate and perhaps I have a heavier hand. Over time, this can dull the tips of softer natural hairs. I find this brush to be much more durable and still keeps a sharp point over a year of constant use. I find the sizes to be a bit smaller than other brands so selecting up might be worth considering.


2. Jackson's Kolinsky Tajmyr Sable (Round, size 8)

I got this brush in a set. The smaller sizes have since worn down but I still constantly use this larger size for wet on wet techniques and small washes. Note that due to recent changes in hunting/brush export regulations, the availability of Kolinsky hairs has diminished and prices gone up. I'm excited to try synthetic mimics in the future though!


3. Escoda Reserva Kolinsky Sable (Round, size 2)

After my friend recommended me Escoda I quickly fell in love with their brushes. Beautiful tip and the best natural hair properties for me. The craftsmanship and small factory of the company in Barcelona is charming and I feel their passion for brush making. The travel brush version with gold coloured metal cap is so gorgeous too.


4. Pentel Neo-Sable (Rounds, size 0,6,14,18)

A hidden gem of a brush! Synthetic sable brush that holds a sharp point and is stiff enough for heavier mediums such as gouache. I found it is able to keep a point longer than standard synthetics (white taklon, toray etc.) and I don't notice much staining either. Unfortunately, I don't think it is readily available in North America at the moment. I bought mine in Hong Kong and on a Japanese shopping site.

Thank you for reading till the end! Let me know your favourite brushes by connecting with me on instagram: @natalie.illustration

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I am a children 's book illustrator based in Toronto, Canada!

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