Here are a few of my favorite watercolor brushes. Some are pricey, but the Aqualon and Masters Touch are not that bad. Use a 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby for your brushes, if they are not already on sale.
A lovely, very inexpensive brush is the Creative Inspirations Dura Handle.
The Dura Handle brushes, which I found at a tremendous discount at Jerry’s last year, work very well for most watercolor paintings I do. These are terrific starter brushes if you are just beginning your watercolor journey, as are the Aqualon brushes.
One of the reasons I like these two brands of brushes is the resin handles. They will not split or crack when left in water for to long. Which can easily happen if you’re called away while painting. And the Aqualon handles are angled which gives you another painting tool to use in one brush. You can scribe the paper with the handle to create grasses, tree branches, details in flowers, etc. Although I prefer to use a cut up gift card, the handles do work for the same techniques.
I’m not going to lie here. I am a brush addict. I am always looking for the perfect brushes, whether for watercolors or acrylics. I have at least 100 brushes for each medium. The beauty of watercolor is your brushes will last a lifetime if you take care of them.
Watercolor painting is very gentle on brushes, unlike acrylic painting which is hard on brushes. Think about this: you are painting with colored water. You don’t have to press the paint onto a canvas, you are painting on watercolor paper. You can paint gently throughout the entire experience and your brushes like that. A few swishes with clean water and you move onto the next color, unlike acrylic brushes when you might have to grind your brush into the bottom of your water bucket to remove the paint before continuing on to the next color.
One very important thing to remember: Do Not Use Your Watercolor Brushes for ANYTHING But Your Watercolors! Keep your brushes separated and be careful not to use the watercolor brushes for anything but watercolors. You can use your acrylic brushes for watercolor, if you choose, but NEVER use the watercolor brushes for acrylics. It is an absolute sure-fire way of ruining them. In fact, should you use a watercolor brush for acrylics by mistake, just make it an acrylic brush after that.
I have my brushes on my work table, as I paint more than anything else. I have my watercolor brushes in a large square jar filled with toilet paper tubes. I have the brushes separated into rounds, filberts, flats, brights, angled, washes and liners. My most used brushes I keep in a brush holder. I have my travel brushes stored in my porchade box and my travel art box. I have my water brushes in the cupboard across the room from my desk. Which would explain why I never use them…
I have my extra brushes stored in my extra art materials tote. Because, what would happen if I didn’t have extras waiting in the wings? You know, in case something horrible happened to all my brushes at the same time and I was unable to paint when I needed to? Yes, I do realize how ridiculous that sounds, but what can I say? I have a need to have extra supplies for some reason…
I hope I have given you some ideas for brushes should you want to begin the love affair with watercolors or if you have already jumped into watercolors with both feet. It is a delightful medium and one I highly recommend.