Y’know, I don’t feel qualified to talk about the quality of watercolour brushes; with Watercolour I always feel like a humble student – constantly striving to control chaos.

Paintbrushes smHow and why specific brushes help me do that is a bit of a mystery to me. I know I need small brushes to do small jobs and big brushes to do big jobs, but as far as the delicacies of riggers and flats. I don’t tend to use those. Yes, I’ve got them – because that’s what all the books on watercoloring – which one reads when one is just starting out – say that you need. I’ll probably use them at some point, I guess. But my current style doesn’t work that way.

Watercolour can be a tricky blighter, but I can tell that the older brushes I have, do seem to be a bit ‘blunter’ or ‘duller’ than the newer brushes. Which with the smaller brushes is certainly an issue.

I don’t tend to use the wateriness in my studio, but the paints I use are still in pans.

Each to their own, eh? I’m just used to using paints in pans. I like the immediacy of flicking my brush from one pan to another to blend colours together. (I can’t be bothered even with the idea of having to pick up a tube and unscrew/screw the lid on in order to squeeze out some paint)

After 6 years of using watercolours I feel that I still have so much to learn.

Watercolour is a terrifically tricky medium to master. And painting itself is not something that can be learnt from reading about it. Or even carrying out a series of masterclass ‘how to’s’, or practical lessons from a book.

Like everything else, you’re only going to master watercolour by … erm … painting with watercolour.

In one of my favourite guidebooks, “Watercolor Essentials”by Birgit O’Connor, she writes;

Watercolour moves like no there medium. Just add water, and the pigment takes on a life of its own.


2 Comments on “Paintbrushes”

  1. redharparts says:

    Amen, brother. I bought all those brushes when I came back to art 3 years ago. Now I use one real brush in the field. I often just use the plastic water brushes for the convenience.


  2. I’m glad I’m not alone.
    I think it’s a bit like any hobby, I guess. When you’re first starting out and, desperately wanting to succeed at it. We often throw ourselves into buying ALL the paraphernalia and extra things, when all you ought to be concentrating on is actually cracking on and doing it.


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