Best Paint Brushes For Watercolour

Posted : admin On 06.09.2021

Showing slide 1 of 8 - Best Selling. Go to previous slide - Best Selling. Xdt#725 5 PC Round Tip #00000 Paint Brush Finest Micro Detail Art Nail Model Kit. 5 out of 5 stars. (2) Total Ratings 2, $7.99 New. Creative Mark Rhapsody Kolinsky Sable Watercolor Brush Deluxe Gift Set of 5. If you're buying your first paintbrushes for watercolors, I'd recommend three round brushes: small (around size 3), medium (5-6), and large (12). Because of their versatility, they'll be all you need in the beginning. In fact, you could paint an entire painting with one medium round brush (I have) but it's a bit slow and inconvenient. Professional artist paint brushes use Kolinsky Sable, best known due to its resilient and supple frame, sourced from Siberian weasels, these brush tips maintain their shape and performance for years. If you’re just starting to use the medium the best watercolour brushes to use are synthetic, we have a wide range of brushes, including starter.

  1. Best Paint Brushes For Watercolor Painting
  2. Brushes For Watercolor
  3. Best Watercolor Paint Brushes 2020
  4. Best Paint Brushes For Watercolor Artists

Da Vinci Watercolor Series 5240 Deluxe Paint Brush Set, Natural Hair and Synthetic with Wooden Storage Box and Brush Soap, Multiple Sizes, 5 Brushes (Series 36, 991, 5530, 5550) 4.7 out of 5 stars103 $299.95$299.95 This luxury brush set makes the perfect gift for any professional artist.


While all artists need good materials, finding a high-quality brush should be a top priority for watercolor painters. With rising brush prices, more artists are trying other materials and will experiment with a variety of materials and styles before finding their favorite brushes. Artists who create large works will need much larger brushes than artists preferring small, detailed work.

In most cases, it’s better to select a few good brushes, such as a couple medium-size round and a flat brush instead of trying to collect a full range of sizes and styles. Good quality rounds and flats can provide most of the strokes which specialty styles offer. You can also experiment with different types of brushes to find the types of brushes to suit your painting style best. As a rule, Kolinsky sable hair still claims the highest rank among artist’s brushes although it has become a rare commodity. Synthetic brushes on the other hand have improved tremendously over the years.

This list will help you find some of the best watercolor brushes in 2021 available today based on their ratings and how well they meet the following criteria. Regardless of their material or style, watercolor brushes should have cleanly-trimmed tips, full bristles, and sturdy hardwood handles. The best brands will also have rustproof ferrules fastening the brush to the handle.

Many of these brushes would work for oil paints or acrylics as well, but it’s better not to mix media and to designate individual brushes for one medium only.

  • Ox/ Squirrel Brush
  • Sable Blend Brush
  • Sable Brush
  • Synthetic Brush

Faced with the vast array of watercolour brushes available from artists’ suppliers, even a fairly experienced painter might feel a little daunted. Diana Craig explains why round brushes are a good, all-rounder option and tests some of the best on the market.

Visiting an art shop or browsing any art supplies catalogue is a bit like looking into an Aladdin’s cave – it’s so full of goodies you don’t where to start. If you want to buy watercolour brushes, you’ll be confronted with rounds and flats, hakes and mops, filberts and fans and riggers.

In addition, you’ll be required to choose between a range of different fibres, from sable to squirrel to synthetic. You may ultimately want a comprehensive collection of brushes for a variety of different tasks, but for versatility it’s hard to beat a medium-sized No.8 or No.10 brush.

Calling these brushes ‘round’ is perhaps misleading because the heads more closely resemble a teardrop in shape, being rounded towards the base and slimming down to a point at the tip. It’s this shape that’s behind the versatility of the round brush, and a lot of work goes into getting it just right. The ‘belly’ (the bulbous part) needs to be in the lower part of the head. If it’s higher up, the brush will lack the required springiness. The belly is the brush’s reservoir – it’s where most of the wet paint is held. Applying gentle but firm pressure as you draw the brush across the paper opens out the head and releases the paint retained in the belly so that it flows onto the surface, to create bands of colour. Lightly touching the head to the paper means that less paint feeds through to the tip, allowing you to control your marks more and produce finer lines. Of course, you won’t be conscious of this process – it’s something you do instinctively.

Best Paint Brushes For Watercolor Painting

The hair or fibre from which the head is made also determines how much paint it will hold and how well it will spring back into shape during use – and therefore how controllable the brush will be. The length of the handle is another factor to consider. Shorter handles seem to invite a tighter grip, and many artists find a length of around 15cm is the most comfortable to use and gives the greatest flexibility.


Holding a longer handle close to the ferrule offers increased control and thus finer marks; holding it further down for looser wrist action and freer brushwork.

BrushesBest paint brushes for watercolor


Sable is the aristocrat of brush hairs, with Kolinsky sable being the very finest. Red sable brushes are also of extremely high quality. The structure of this natural animal hair means that it holds liquid – and therefore watercolour – exceptionally well. It is also resilient, springing back into shape quickly. As always, though, you get what you pay for and sable isn’t cheap. But the good news is that, cared for properly, it can last for years. All of the sables tested performed well. In the No. 8 size, Da Vinci do a lovely Maestro Kolinsky that holds a good amount of paint and forms a fine point, and its long, tapering 17cm handle makes for real ease of use; an excellent choice. Rosemary & Co’s mail order selection offers a No. 8 Kolinsky that has good colour-retention properties but the head did not hold its shape as well as some others, and its shorter handle might inhibit loose brushwork. The Van Gogh range produced by Royal Talens includes a No. 8 red sable. Like the others, it retained a good density of colour and its slimmer head formed a fine point for detailed work but it had a shorter handle – the Rembrandt No.8 pure sable from the same company was better in this respect, while Pro Arte’s Renaissance No. 8 sable had a long handle and felt good to hold.
Sometimes using a larger brush than you think you might need can free up the marks you make, and among the No. 10 sables available, Rosemary & Co’s pure sable is a good choice, although the handle is shorter than some may like, while Royal Talens Rembrandt pure Kolinsky, with its good, full head, scored high on all points.

Brushes For Watercolor

Ox and squirrel hair
Although these are both natural fibres like sable, the difference in performance between the two groups is surprising. Manufacturers obviously strive for the highest quality but even they are limited by the nature of the material they are working with. Some of the brushes tested in this group recall those that used to come (and probably still do) as part of inexpensive children’s watercolour sets. They held colour fairly well but the heads seemed to be somewhat floppy with little resilience, which makes them harder to control and to achieve the marks you want. Of those tested, Rosemary & Co’s No.10 squirrel fared best.

Sable blend
Evolution driver download for windows. In an attempt to give their customers the best of both worlds in terms of both quality and price, manufacturers have come up with a clever solution: the sable blend, a mixture of sable and synthetic fibre. Pro Arte’s Connoisseur No.10 sable blend is a good choice here, as it holds a fair amount of colour, has a reasonable degree of spring and forms an adequate point for finer work; the same can be said of Rosemary & Co’s series 401 sable blend.

Given that there is not a scrap of sable hair in their composition, brushes made of synthetic fibres such as nylon are an impressive lot. Shape retention and the firmness and springiness of the head were notable characteristics of all those tested. Durability is another of their qualities. Da Vinci’s No.8 Cosmotop Spin could give natural-fibre brushes a fair run for their money. It holds colour well and the head is nicely springy and forms a reasonable point. Van Gogh selected filament No.8 and Rosemary & Co’s Designer No.10 are also springy, point well, and hold a reasonable amount of colour. If you can’t afford sable or even sable blends, synthetics are the way to go.

Best Watercolor Paint Brushes 2020


Best Paint Brushes For Watercolor Artists

  • Ox/ Squirrel Brush
  • Sable Blend Brush
  • Sable Brush
  • Synthetic Brush