Home » Back To Watercolor Basics: A Crash Course On Watercolor For Beginners

Back To Watercolor Basics: A Crash Course On Watercolor For Beginners

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Step 5: Watercolor Brushes – Natural Vs Synthetic

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Returning to the subject of brushes, Steve discusses 2 main types: synthetic and natural. Natural brushes are usually handmade from sable hair, with kolinsky sable being the highest quality. They’re softer and hold more liquid (i.e. “charge”) than synthetic brushes, but are harder to come by due to how they’re made. Synthetic brushes are usually made of nylon, and hold about half the charge compared to a sable brush. But they’re cheaper and easier to find, so Steve recommends them for this watercolor basics course.

Always take care of your brushes by cleaning the bristles properly and storing them upright in a pointed shape. When you have a lot of brushes or travel with them, you can get a brush holder to protect them.

There are 3 things to look for in a brush: 1. The charge, the amount of water a brush can hold. 2. Resilience or “snap”, which is how well a brush returns to its original shape after you lift it off the paper. And 3. Its ability to come to a point. While a brush will eventually lose its pointedness, a good brush that’s taken care of can be extremely durable and versatile.