Brushes: Free vs. Cheap

Working on my Raspberries painting, I am starting to realize that my plethora of brushes is sadly inadequate for the larger format I've been painting in. A #6 round just doesn't cover the page in the speed I need, and so I need to start shopping for some big guns for my arsenal.

I bought my first ever kolinsky sable brush last year. These are supposed to be the brush of choice for watercolorists, and command prices that aren't exactly in "starving artist" range. Winsor & Newton's "Series 7" brushes range from $20.00 (I think that brush contains about 3 hairs!) to nearly $300.00, based on size. The brush I bought wasn't quite so prestigious, running just over $20. But I don't really like it - it doesn't come to a point the way I would like, and it's kind of getting split ends already. Maybe I'm too hard on brushes...

When I got my Cheap Joe's order, they had included a free 20th anniversary brush. I love free stuff, and I love this brush! It's a synthetic brush, interlocked nylon, and comes to a lovely point. It's sturdy and my only complaint is that I wish it was's a size 6. I tried to find it on the web site, but couldn't identify it, so I contacted customer service and they helped me out. It's the American Journey Interlocked Synthetic and the size 6 is under $9.00 US! They even have size 32 which means that I should have no trouble increasing my stroke area while using a brush I can afford and enjoy. And when you use more affordable brushes, you don't suffer from nearly as much buyer's remorse if it doesn't perform up to expectations.

ArtAngela Fehr1 Comment