All 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.
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