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Artist Tips: Brushes and watercolour

Last month I was excited to chat with one of my collectors about brushes and all things colour. She had decided to enter the world of watercolours and had a Holbein Watercolour set (my paints of choice) on the way. What a great journey she has a head!

During our chat I got thinking about the equipment I use to create my work and wanted to share my tips on brushes, specifically for bright watercolours!

There’s so many great choices for brushes and so much of it comes down to personal taste. I encourage you to get a few and start experimenting! The big difference you will notice is in the texture of the brushes, and their shape.

I personally prefer flat brushes and don’t actually own any large round ones! I think this is a little unusual for a water colourist but there’s method to the madness. I prefer flat because I find it picks up the colour better and gives me more control when creating colour blocks in my pieces. They give me a better ratio of colour to water, about 50/50, whereas I find rounded brushes pick up less paint and more water. A beautiful effect but I’m looking for bold colours and textures in my art in comparison to the light transparency of a very wet watercolour effect.

My go to brushes for the larger sizes are 1/2″ and the very largest I use is 3/4″. I use the 3/4″ to prepare the paper – for my 350gsm paper I wet it all with clean water then dry with paper towel before painting.

There’s so many great choices for brushes and so much of it comes down to personal taste. I encourage you to get a few and start experimenting! The big difference you will notice is in the texture of the brushes, and their shape.

I use flat 1/4″ brushes for the less prominent colours and 1/2″ for the bigger colours. I use round brushes, 2 and under for detail work.

As for brands, I just go for whatever I like the look and feel of! I often just go for what comes in a handy pack at the art store and only use brushes that are soft. I highly recommend running your fingers over the bristles to get a feel for what you might like. At the moment I’m using these synthetic brushes because I liked the long handle and they had a great variety!

Have you just started painting? I’d love to hear how you going!

Sigourney Young xo

May 14, 2018

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Hi, I’m Sigourney

I’m a synesthesia artist that will be forever found with paint on my nose, dancing around the studio in my yoga pants. I love travel, gluten-free brownies and working from the home studio I share with my husband. My goal? To bring you into the world of synesthesia and to create a space online that celebrates the colour and meaning of music.

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