Art materials, Reviews and Tests

My top 3 synthetic, cruelty-free, vegan-friendly watercolour brushes – Review

I am asked a lot about what my favourite brushes are, even more so now that I am running some online classes. So I made this video reviewing my top 3.

The first one is the ProArte Prolene Plus Series 007. This is my go-to brush and I can do everything with it, from soaking wet-in-wet to the driest dry brush work. Big washes and tiny details are equally tackled by this amazing brush, my favourite now for many years. It has good spring, it is well-balanced, and it has a good point without the bristles being too long. It isn’t very absorbent so it doesn’t carry too much paint, which in turn doesn’t flood my wet-in-wet washes.
Link to the Prolene Plus 007

In second place we have a newcomer to my brush pot: the Princeton Neptune faux squirrel brush. I tested it a few months ago and fell in love with it. It is extremely soft and allows me to layer wash after wash after glaze without lifting anything. It is lightweight and well-balanced and a pleasure to use but I find it too soft to do all the work, so it is on a time share with the 007.
Link to the Princeton Neptune

The third place goes to what could be considered a surprising choice: Major Brushes flat brush. The reason I say surprising is that this is a poor quality brush on the lower end of the watercolour brush price range. But this is exactly the point: It is stiff and scratchy, perfect for lifting paint. Because it comes in a tiny size (1/8 inch), it is perfect for lifting veins or highlights. Unfortunately I can only find it in the West Dean College shop but I have found an equivalent on the Jacksons’ website: the Handover synthetic Flat Brush.

Here is the video of my review of these three brushes:

Happy painting!

4 thoughts on “My top 3 synthetic, cruelty-free, vegan-friendly watercolour brushes – Review”

  1. Have you tried the new Winsor and Newton professional synthetic sable yet? They’re pretty amazing and unique. I got a pointed long one and wish I’d got a round as it behaves a bit more like a rigger than a pointed round. The thing that instantly struck me is they move in water exactly like a sable and I had to test all my other synthetic brushes and none of them moved in water that way. The one I got has a very soft point though and hasn’t worked well for details or lifting. But for washes they’re just like sable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, I haven’t, it sounds interesting 🙂 I’ll have to look into them… I generally prefer shorter bristles, as I can really load them with plenty of water and tons of paint to work wet-in-wet…

      Like

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