Don’t judge a brush by it’s price……

Over the years I have spent a fair amount of money on watercolour brushes and much like a good pen I often become very attached to them.      I have never had one specific brand that I favour but I do know a good brush when I see and feel it, and so imagine my surprise when I was recently introduced to a brush that ticked all the boxes, but is incredibly inexpensive and from a maker I don’t usually give a second glance to.

Rapid watercolour/gouache demonstration – using inexpensive brush……

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The criteria for a good working watercolour brush is that it should hold a good amount of paint and maintain its shape after each use.   It should also distribute paint evenly over the surface. 

The top brush in the following image is an expensive brush – one I have had for several years and am very attached to….cost approx… £60.00

The bottom, Graduate Daler Rowney Oval Wash cost £2.99 and works extremely well.

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Initially, I thought it would fall apart within a day or two or suddenly lose its bounce, but instead it continues to work beautifully.      I will write another review on it in a few months after its had a lot of action.

Another rapid tree watercolour demonstration using the inexpensive brush. 

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Four brushes from the range….all costing between £2.40 and £2.99    These watercolour marks are my way of testing brushes.

20-11-15 - 1 (86)Of course I had to give them the Magical Hummingbird test….

rapid hummingbird movement sketches…..using inexpensive brush

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It’s important to mention that I don’t own stock in Daler Rowney:) – I am simply passing on a good tip.      I do hope to purchase more of these brushes so that I can take some to Portugal in April…         They are perfect for playing with….and everyone knows how important I think it is to PLAY…..

Happy painting and have a lovely weekend….

A Bientôt


34 thoughts on “Don’t judge a brush by it’s price……

  1. teagan geneviene

    You never know where you’re going to find a great “find.” Dear Janet, you could produce a master piece with nothing more than Q-tip cotton swabs! ❤ 🙂 I especially like the first painting. Perfect for today. Have a thriving Thursday. Mega hugs!

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Teagan….one of my favourite tutors at art school. William Spike, used to take us out painting and make us use twigs or anything else we could find…reminding us all that if we are artist we can paint with anything….I will definitely give the Q-tips a go:) Have a beautiful weekend filled with colour and magical hummers…Janet. xxx

  2. ShimonZ

    How wonderful that after all these years, the mind that leads the hand that holds the brush still has the flexibility to try an unknown product. That in itself is cause for celebration.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Shimon, You are so right, and I am so grateful that everything is still working:) I try not to project into the future and just take it all one step at a time…and yes celebrate the fact that I am still able to paint every day. Hope you enjoy a lovely weekend. janet. x

  3. Jet Eliot

    I really liked learning about your criteria with paintbrushes, Janet. I do a large amount of cooking and baking and have a similar process with certain kitchen tools. But I don’t have the hummingbird test for kitchen tools…ha. Also, how fun for you to be going back to your lovely art school in April. 🙂

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Jet….I often say that cooking is similar to painting in many ways. When I am talking about mixing colour, I often equate it to a good cook who can taste whether or not something needs a certain seasoning….Much like I know instinctively what to add to a colour mix to achieve what I want….and yes the tools would be very similar. I have palettes and brushes that have been with me for years…..and are very precious to me.
      Have a beautiful weekend. Janet. 🙂

  4. olganm

    Thanks for sharing. They are working very well indeed, judging by the results (mind you, I’m sure you’d manage to turn any brush into a magic wand). Have a beautiful and colour filled weekend.

  5. snowbird

    What a marvelous find! I will look forward to hearing how they perform after a few months. I bought some new brushes in Singapore for coppers and they are working out well too. Beautiful hummers as

  6. Mary

    Thank you so much for the brush information – it’s something that I’m still exploring (well will once I get back to color). Love your experiments, loose and free with amazing fluid strokes – your paintings always takes me to a beautiful place. The opener is a stunner! Have a beautiful weekend.

      1. Mary

        Thank you Janet, a wonderful weekend – a lot of yard work, same today before powerful storms come “raining” on our parade. Hope yours has been lovely too!

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Let me know what you think. I have introduced these brushes to a group I have been working with recently and thus far, everyone really likes them. I am off to give a workshop in Portugal on the 18th and will take some for participants. Enjoy the day…Janet:)

      1. Shelley Morrow

        They are good! I’m really pleased, especially the way I bash them around sometimes, I wouldn’t want to do that with an expensive brush. I’ve recommended them to others also. I’m going to Portugal May 15th but I expect you will have left by then?

      2. janetweightreed10 Post author

        Hi Shelly, I have just returned from Portugal having had a fantastic time. It would appear that we have missed one another. Hopefully we can connect another time….meanwhile very glad to hear that you like the brushes. All my group in Portugal loved them, and as you say you can bash them around without concern. When do you return from Portugal? Janet.

      3. janetweightreed10 Post author

        Enjoy your time there, and as I was working today using ‘the brush’ – I thought about you. As you say they are fantastic working brushes. janet:)

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