Waterbrush Critique

W14 11 16 LS WATERBRUSHES 2All waterbrushes have their problems, but we love them anyway, because they let
us travel lightly without carrying a mess of dirty water, and frankly, they are pretty inexpensive.  I want to talk about three that I use most often.

First is Pentel.  I have many of them, and love them because their point stays pointy longer.  I use them as waterbrushes and also fill them with a few Luma liquid watercolors to keep by the bed for middle of the night sketching.  Before I assign them to be used
with Luma, I test them because some of them are pretty leaky!  It doesn’t seem to be a normal problem, but I recommend testing any waterbrush you intend to fill with a colored liquid and see if it is going to leak.  The downside is they don’t hold much water.
Upside is they are a bit shorter, hold a point, and will fit into a small pack.

The second is Kuretake.  I’ve never had one that leaked easily.  It may be because of the little black cap on the top of the water-barrel, which, by the way, if you lose, renders your waterbrush useless.  I bought a set, and so tried the flat.  It is not great — mostly because it twists easily and so the “hair” has to be repositioned, which gets messy in the field.  It holds a good amount of water, which is also nice.

The third brand is new to me; a present for my birthday.  Sakura (Koi) advertised their waterbrushes having more water capacity.  It is more than Pentel but not more than Kuretake.  The flow is slower also, so no accidents of a rush of water flooding a drawing.  So far the tip has also held.  I will use it a bit more, but it may become my favorite brush.

There is a fourth brand, Holbien.  Holbien is hard to find in the states, and is akin
to Kuretake, except it hold a great deal of water.  I drips fairly easily, like Pentel.
The point doesn’t stay pointy, but here is the best tidbit: the screw goes the other direction, so before you take pliers to fill it, screw it opposite from your instinct.
(FYI I grabbed the pliers.  Fortunately it survived.)  I’ve not been tempted to buy another.

W14 11 16 LS M SUNFLOWER 1W14 10 21 AYA SUSHI 4 Stillman & Birn Alpha journal with a Lamy Safari pen, a Noodler’s giveaway pen, and various Noodlers ink. Daniel Smith, Holbien, QoR and Sennelier watercolors.


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About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
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9 Responses to Waterbrush Critique

  1. paulineleger says:

    thanks for the info and oh, that is such a lovely sketch! Love your handwriting.


  2. Rasz says:

    Great post and thank you! There are so many out there and they are not “cheap”, so trying every brand out can get expensive. You did a great job of pro’s and con’s! Could you please email me as I have a fairly new FB art page and would love to share this but don’t know how. I want to get it active and share all this great knowledge and your awesome work!


  3. Sammy D. says:

    Thanks – i needed this – both the brush info and that heavenly burst of sunflower shine :-).

    Am trying to get Hub and me signed up for health care which is always when computers AND printer begin to act up. I really do hate end of the year crap like this! WHY do we have to screw with this during holidays ?


  4. Sorry you had a problem with the Niji flat! I’ve had lots of them over the years, and happily only one had that problem. And yep, lots of leakage but nice points on the Pentel Aquash brushes…I’ve only had one Sakura, let us know how it holds up!


    • I can “fix” it each time I want to use it; it is just a bit of a pain in the field, and at home I have lots of flats. Will know as I use the Sakuras — only had them two weeks, so far so good. And I think of you every time I am mixing watercolors instead of reaching for a pan color . . .


  5. Pingback: Tools: Brush Pens | D.Katie Powell Art

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