One thing that I love about making traditional illustration is not just the surface I’m working on, or the brand of paint I swear by, but it’s the watercolor brushes that I use.
Each brush has it’s own style of mark making,
Each brush has it’s own flair.
The way the handle is held, the way the bristles dance back and forth on the painting, this results in it’s own personality.
It’s time to tell you about my favorite watercolor brushes in my studio: Princeton Neptune.
These watercolor brushes soak up a ton of pigment! Because they are so juicy, it limits the amount of times I need to dip back into my water tin or pack into my paint.
With the larger brushes like my #6 Quill, I’m able to make looser strokes to establish where my subjects are without fussing about detail.
With flat brushes like my 1 ½ Mottler or the 1inch Mottler, I can create continuous washes and brush splatters like no other.
What Makes Them So Special?
Using these brushes, especially the Princeton Neptune brand gets me excited to paint! But not only that, using them creates an effortless, and pleasurable painting experience. Because these watercolor brushes are synthetic squirrel-hair, they aren’t animal based, and they’re not as expensive!
…They’re also pretty, and make great tools for Instagram photo ops.
Do I Need Expensive Watercolor Brushes?
When you choose your first set of watercolor brushes, you don’t need to splurge at first. Start small, one brush at a time like I did. When you’re ready for the next step in your material arsenal, then go for one of the big dogs. Treat yo’self and reward yourself with a new brush once in a while. Before you make that purchase, I suggest going to a local art supply store and testing out brushes with a Buddha Board or practicing with your current ones at home.
What About My Current Brushes?
Work with what you got! I’m here to show you the wonderful world of great synthetic watercolor brushes! If you have your own brushes, test them out. Practice your mark making, switch up the way you hold them and practice different angles. Your materials will surprise you.
If you want to get your paws on the brushes I use, check out my materials list here!
Want to share your favorite brush brand? Let me know in the comments below!