It started twenty-five years ago, in a basement, in Princeton, New Jersey. From this small beginning, Howard Kaufman launched the Princeton Artists Brush company and today, it is one of the largest brush suppliers in North America. Dedicated to creating the finest in synthetic brushes, their NextGen brushes include the Neptune, Catalyst, Polytip and Princeton Velvetouch.
I was given a 4-brush package of the Princeton Velvetouch – Series 3950 to try out, along with a size 6 Round and Long Round, so that I could explore the differences between the two.
The first questions that popped into my head were “What makes these brushes different from others?” and “Why are they called Velvetouch?”
Princeton Velvetouch First Impressions
The answer was apparent as soon as I picked one up. You know how some pens have rubber grips – they’re easy to hold, and more comfortable? Princeton Velvetouch brushes have that feel. They aren’t rubber and are more velvety, but they’re light and easy to hold on to.
They are escape artists though. They roll easily and right off the table if you aren’t careful (guess who wasn’t careful – good thing they’re sturdy brushes).
The Princeton Velvetouch bristles are a multiple-filament synthetic blend. The bristles are firm enough to have good spring, holding their point, and snapping back quickly. They are mixed media brushes, so you could also use them for acrylics, inks or oils. I don’t think I’d want to switch back and forth between media though, just because I’d worry about contamination.
They hold a moderate amount of water and pigment with a good even release. I was impressed and these will be daily-use brushes for me. I need a brush that I can use for small detail, but also broad sweeps of color. The rounds size 4 and 6, and the long round size 6 will be perfect for the daily postcards that I paint to put in my hubby’s lunch bag.
The brushes that came in the 4-brush set were the:
- Round – size 4
- Long Round – size 8
- Angle Shader – 3/8″
- Wash – 3/4″
I’ve been using these brushes extensively over the last couple of weeks and feel this is a great basic set for smaller paintings. I would want a larger wash brush and round if I was painting larger than 8 x 10. The angle shader is a good size for painting grasses or items that need similar long, angled strokes. The round 4 is wonderful for small details, and the larger long round is a good general brush, flexible enough for fine lines to broad strokes.
I was asked to compare the Round and Long Round brushes, and the best way I can think to sum it up is to say that the Long Round is a little more. It’s a little longer, it tapers a little more, and the tip is a little finer. It has a little more spring and creates both a finer line with the tip and a broader sweep when used on the side.
It costs a little more – about $1 USD. Is it worth the extra buck? That’s going to depend on your style and what you like to paint. It might be worth investing in a long round if:
- you’ve been using a round, and can’t get the detail, the line work or broad sweeps you want
- you like to use a brush for lettering
- you like to use a brush to tangle, doodle or illustrate
One warning – because the brush has longer bristles it does handle … you guessed it … a little differently. If you are used to a round, the long round may take some practice. It shouldn’t be long though (pun intended) before you’re swiping that brush across the page with flair.
Long Round vs Round
To get the feel of the long round brush, I did a painting to test the variety of line and brush work I could get – everything from down-right drawing with it to sweeping ripples across the page.
As you can see, this is a flexible brush that provides a wide range of strokes.
I spent less time with the round because I was more comfortable with it, since it is the type of brush I’ve used most often. It did everything I expected of it, in a controlled and responsive manner.
For the next painting, I used all six brushes. Most of the fine line work was done with the long rounds, size 6 and 8, the ripples with the angle brush, and the background with the wash brush.
I’m painting a garden in an Accordion book as a birthday present, so I thought I’d end this review with a video showing you one of the two-page spreads I painted using all of the Princeton Velvetouch brushes.
Overall Impressions of Princeton Velvetouch
The Princeton Velvetouch brushes are made with multiple-filament synthetic blend and a soft, easy to grip handle that feels velvety to the touch. They hold a good amount of water and pigment, with a nice, even release.
The long round is a little more than the round – a longer, more tapered, more spring and about a dollar more in cost. It would be a good brush for someone who needs just a little more versatility in their strokes, or who wants to use a brush for lettering, tangling or fine detail.
I was given the Princeton Velvetouch 4 brush set and size 6 round and long round brushes for purposes of this review. I received no other considerations, though this post may contain affiliate links which help support Doodlewash. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.
I’m a self-taught artist who dances about with all sorts of artistic mediums. My main loves are Watercolor, Zentangle and Ballpoint pen. The subjects of my work are many and varied and change at whim. I’m a little bit crazy, but doesn’t that come with being an artist? At my Life Imitates Doodles Blog, I post a list of resource links for Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways three times a week. I also write reviews, hold giveaways and share my art work.