June 26, 2017 at 2:00 pm #84555
I want to get travel brush but can’t decide weather to get synthetic or “real” kolinski.
And then there is a choice between Da Vinci and Escoda… and what size? 6? 4?
I want something versatile that can be used at home and on location, I don’t paint too often, but when I do – I stay within A5 size or smaller. I also do some miniatures …
what do you guys use? recommend?June 28, 2017 at 8:03 am #84999
I really don’t care for water brushes (though I use them occasionally) so I have amassed a decent stash of travel brushes and reviewed several here: https://www.scratchmadejournal.com/blog/reviews-of-travel-pocket-brushes-for-watercolor
(Be sure to read the post comments… I think there’s some good advice there!)
Since I wrote that review, I splurged and bought the Cheap Joe’s travel brush in the 100-percent sable. I love, love, love it! But I will also say that their Pseudo Sable works like a dream and is excellent quality for the price.June 29, 2017 at 7:53 am #85379Jill GustavisParticipant@jill
Not sure where you would be shipping to, but if international shipping is an option for you, also take a look at Rosemary & Co. I really enjoy the 2 travel brushes I have from them. The medium squirrel mop is lovely, holds a LOT of water and has the tiniest tip, but I do have trouble fitting the big belly back into the sleeve without either crimping a stray hair or two, or resleeving it soaking wet. The R9 sable is wonderful though. I have a no6 which may be a bit large for your miniatures, but good for general ‘small’ work. I too don’t work that large. I’ll be looking at their site again when I can add a few more.
I also have an Escoda Reserva no4. which is good for small, but you may have to work very carefully to do the miniatures. The tip was good for it, but I had to make sure I didn’t put any pressure on it and start to spread out the belly.
As for synthetics, I have a few Prado brushes from Escoda, and they behave a lot like the Da Vinci Cosmotop line, if you’ve ever used them. Very springy, not as thirsty as a natural. I prefer them when I do lettering or folk style pieces and I want crisp edges versus any soft blending. If you want a softer edge, there’s also the Escoda Versatil line, I have a regular brush in a no8 which I enjoy and I’m sure the smaller sizes are just as nice.
Hope any of my experience can help, although I still switch up which I prefer based on my mood/work, so there may not be a clear answer until you’ve tried a few. Haven’t tried the Cheap Joes or DaVinci travels yet. Because of the cost and ethical concern associated with naturals, I’d love to find a synthetic to effectively replace them eventually. I’ll definitely be following along to the other replies!July 2, 2017 at 2:56 pm #86087
If you want really small travel brushes (that will fit in the small Altoid tin!) Whiskey Painters and Winsor and Newton both make natural hair reversible travel brushes. Both are rounds size 2 – I find the Whiskey Painter brush holds a lot of paint but is very soft. The W& brush doesn’t hold as much but is firm enough to give me a good fine line.
My favorites are my Silver Brush Black Velvet Voyager reversible pocket brushes. They are a blend of squirrel hair and a black synthetic filament. I love these brushes – in addition to some Escoda kolinsky sables I have and some miniature W&N Series 7 brushes, the full size versions of the Black Velvet brushes are the ones I use most frequently indoors. (The travel brushes are the exact same… had I bought the Voyagers initially, I definitely wouldn’t have had to invest in their standard sized round brushes as well.). The Voyager brushes are abut 1-¼” longer than the others when closed, but the upside is that when you open them up, you’ve got a really comfortable full sized brush in your hands.
I just ordered some travel brushes from Rosemary & Co., primarily because they are the only company I’ve found that had more than just rounds in their travel brush line. They haven’t arrived yet (and I have no idea how long it will take as there are no retail outlets in the US and I had to order form the UK) – but if you’re still deciding when they get here, I’ll be happy to give them a test run for you.
[Photo: The gold metal case is #2 Whiskey Painters, silver case is the #2 Winsor and Newton, the blue brush is a Cotman synthetic….came in one of their field kits… has medium tip control but holds less paint than the others… Black brushes are the Black Velvet Voyagers.
Hope this is helpful!July 3, 2017 at 12:09 pm #86323
Thank you for the reply and link to the blog post Tonya! a lot of useful ideas there !
I recently discovered your blog (<3)July 3, 2017 at 12:12 pm #86324
wow, a lot of useful info Jill! Thank you! How I wish my budget was unlimited so I can try all of them 🙂 I have yet to acquire natural hair brush, so I need to give it a tryJuly 6, 2017 at 8:47 am #86834
My Rosemary & Co brushes finally arrived yesterday…. I didn’t order the pocket rounds because I already have so many of them, but I got an assortment of their other sable travel brushes and the R9 Squirrel mop. I’m pretty impressed with the brushes. They have better loading and are easier to control than my other natural hair travel brushes and its nice to have the option of a one stroke, rigger and small filbert in the travel size. The mop represents the first time I’ve used a pure squirrel brush and I’m a convert now. It gave me a perfect, even wash in its first pass (see photo). If you were going to add just one more brush to your travel rounds, I would definitely recommend this mop.July 8, 2017 at 8:39 am #87229Cindy CParticipant@cindy
A note on fitting the travel brush back into the case without crimping any of those “expensive” hairs…. I carry a small compact of “The Masters Brush Cleaner and Preserver” – .25 oz travel size (comes in many useful sizes), which many of you already use. Clean your brush in water, roll your brush around in the brush cleaner and leave it on the brush to dry. This will hold the bristles together so you can put the cap on the brush. Masters Brush Cleaner is safe to use and is beneficial to your brush head. When you are ready to use your brush again, just rinse in water and you are ready to go!July 8, 2017 at 10:20 am #87236
Thats a great tip, Cindy. I use Masters to clean all my brushes and always leave a coating of it on the brush after it’s clean (haven’t done the “roll around” thing… usually just coat my thumb and forefinger and lightly apply while shaping the brush). I found that little travel size in a kit that also had the bar soap and a Kiss-Off stick (both of which I didn’t really need), but haven’t found the .25 oz size independently. Do you know where that size can be bought by itself?July 10, 2017 at 9:14 am #87550EK O’ConnorParticipant@ek-oconnor
I have some from all over (Rosemary & Co, Cheap Joes, etc.) but my favorite is a set from Zecchi.it: Pocket case of wood containing 4 travel Marten Kolinsky brushes n. 2-4-6-8. The case is a beautiful little wooden one that fits in your hand and feels good (like a smooth rock feels good to hold), but it’s not as small or as thin as metal or plastic cases. I also like the way the brushes stand up in the case. Though I often prefer to work with synthetics in larger work, for travel, I love the Zecchi brushes. For something smaller, pocket or mini palette size, the tips in comments above are excellent.July 24, 2017 at 7:59 am #89881Kate PowellParticipant@kate-powell
Wow great info thanks for the feed and comments! I’ve not bought any yet, not happy with the WN that came with some kit… I take a couple of my favorites in a toothrush holder!July 24, 2017 at 8:40 am #89888
This is great feed, and I found the wash photo of the Rosemary squirrel mop very helpful. What a pretty wash! I wish squirrels worked in my hand, but I push too much when I paint to use a mop. Their lack of snap causes so much frustration with me, but I see other artists use them with masterly results.
EK, if you have time to post a photo, I’d really like a peek at that Zecchi set. Unfortunately, I don’t know anywhere in the States to find that brand, but it sure sounds lovely!July 24, 2017 at 8:41 am #89889
Gosh, that’s a pretty wash! Thanks for posting the photo. Very helpful!July 24, 2017 at 8:44 am #89893
The Zecchi set sounds lovely. I tried to visit their website, but my Italian is a little rusty. I checked Jackson’s and they don’t carry this brand. If you have time to share a link to the product, I’d love to know more about this set. I don’t think I can get my hands on one, but I sure would like to see it! Thanks.July 24, 2017 at 10:48 am #89959Jill GustavisParticipant@jill
Tonya, this is the link I looked up when I was curious about the Zecchi brushes mentioned. I don’t know for sure if it’s the same set, but it’s awfully beautiful none the less. Don’t know if they ship to US, but like you said, I just wanted to see it and drool a little, lol. 🙂
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