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.
How 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.