Watercolors are one of the most popular mediums for artists. They offer a wide range of possibilities and can be used to create delicate and beautiful pieces of art from landscapes to still lifes to flower paintings. However, like with any other medium, you need the right tools to get the best results. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the best watercolor pencil brushes that you need to use now. Watercolor pencil brushes are an essential tool for any watercolor artist. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and each one has its own unique purpose. The type of brush you use will depend on the type of watercolor painting you’re doing.
So whether you’re an experienced artist or a novice just starting out, these brushes will help you create amazing artwork with ease!
The best Watercolor Pencil Brushes are
I like to use the following watercolor pencil brushes, it doesn’t mean they are the best on the market but when I recommend something it is based on bang for the buck – what is good enough for the expense rather than the most expensive:
- UPINS water brush set – can be filled with water and then used to brush over watercolor pencils. You only need a small amount of water to activate the watercolor pencils with these brushes. The great thing is that come as a set of 12 but you can get by with 3 individual brushes but it’s cheaper to buy a set.
- ARTEZA make an actual watercolor pencil brush set that contain watercolor pigment in the form of a pencil brush. They are not refillable.
- Watercolor Brushes Set by Royal & Langnickel – these are dedicated and traditional watercolor brushes.
- Select Artiste Watercolor Paintbrushes by Princeton Artist Brush Co. – these are dedicated and traditional watercolor brushes.
- Watercolor Paintbrush Set by da Vinci. These are a little on the more expensive side and I got these as a gift last year. The presentation is great and perfect for travel. These are dedicated and traditional watercolor brushes.
These are just a few of my favorite watercolor pencil brushes. Each one has its own unique purpose and helps me create amazing artwork!
How to use a watercolor water brush
What are watercolor brushes and what do they do?
Watercolor brushes are specially designed for use with watercolors. They have a pointed brush tip that allows you to draw precise lines and details. The bristles in the brush tip are made of soft synthetic fibers that hold the color well and allow for smooth strokes. The stem of the watercolor pencil brush is usually hollow and allows for a small amount of water to be stored.
This lets you wash over watercolor pencils and activate the watercolor medium from the pencil and turn what is essentially a pencil drawing into a watercolor. Watercolor brushes come in a variety of sizes, from fine-tipped brushes perfect for detailed work to large brushes that can cover a lot of areas quickly.
Some of the best watercolor pencil brushes are made by well-known brands like Royal & Langnickel, Escoda, and Princeton.
These companies make high-quality brushes that are designed specifically for use with watercolors. Watercolor brushes can be found in both natural and synthetic fibers, and each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. Natural fiber brushes are typically made from sable hair, which is soft and absorbent. Synthetic fiber brushes are usually made from nylon or polyester, which are less expensive than natural fibers but don’t hold as much paint.
Now watercolor brushes and pencil brushes are useless without watercolor pencils. Which is why I use these watercolor pencils (or aquarelles as I usually call them).
Faber-Castell Watercolor pencils
I compared them to the cheap Aldi brand “Creative” watercolor sets that I gave my daughter and the key difference was how well the Faber-Castell pigment covered the paper with so little water compared to the cheaper brand.
The different types of watercolor brushes and what each is best for
Watercolor brushes only come in a few varieties and they try to match the traditional watercolor brushes that are on the market today. So I will describe the different types of watercolor brushes and then I will link to some watercolor pencil brushes to show you what options you have when it comes to purchasing those.
Watercolor brushes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from small round brushes to large flat brushes. The type of brush you use will depend on the type of painting you’re doing.
- Round brushes are good for detailed work and can be used to create both thin and thick lines.
- Flat brushes are good for painting large areas of color and can be used to create both broad strokes and thin lines.
- Filbert brushes are a type of flat brush with a rounded edge, which makes them good for painting both large areas and small details.
- Rigger/linear brushes are long, thin brushes that are good for painting fine lines.
- Mop brushes are large, fluffy brushes that are good for painting wet-into-wet and for creating soft edges.
There are also a variety of synthetic and natural hair brushes available, which can be made from sable, hog, or synthetic fibers. Sable brushes are considered the best quality, but they’re also the most expensive. Hog hair brushes are a good middle ground bristle even though I personally can’t stand them, while synthetic brushes are the most affordable option.
I have 3 types of brushes in my toolbox, a couple of round brushes in large and small. I have 2 flat brushes – small and medium and 1 rigger brush for that fine line work that I sometimes need when not using a Sakura micron pen. These are the brushes that cover my style of painting.
How to choose the right watercolor pencil brush for your needs
The first thing you need to do is decide what type of brush you need. Watercolor pencil brushes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so it’s important to choose the right one for the job.
If you’re going to be painting fine lines, then you’ll want a thin brush with a small point. For wider strokes, you’ll need a thicker brush with a larger point.
Once you’ve decided on the size and shape of the brush, it’s time to choose the bristles.
There are three main types of bristles used in watercolor pencil brushes: sable, synthetic, and nylon.
Sable bristles are made from the fur of a sable, which is a small mammal that lives in Russia and China. Sable brushes are considered to be the best quality because they’re very soft and have a natural ability to hold water.
Synthetic bristles are made from nylon or polyester and are a good alternative to sable brushes. They’re less expensive and they still hold up well.
Nylon bristles are the least expensive option, but they’re not as good at holding water as sable or synthetic bristles.
I have been using synthetic bristles for years followed by sable when I could afford them. I would stay away from cheap nylon bristles if you want to paint with watercolors. I reserve these types of brushes for little kids who do not know how to take care of them.
Watercolor pencil brushes tend to all use synthetic bristles and that is ok, the majority of the work will be done using watercolor pencils and the watercolor pencil brushes will be used to activate the pigment and work the paint into a painting.
Using watercolor brush pencils for the best results
- Use a light touch- Watercolor pencils are made with a soft lead, so using too much pressure will cause the lead to break.
- Work slowly and build up layers of color- Watercolor pencils are perfect for slowly building up layers of color. You can layer colors on top of each other to create new colors and effects.
- Use a wet watercolor pencil brush to blend colors- Watercolor pencils can be used dry, but for the best results, use a slightly wet watercolor pencil brush to blend colors together. This will create a beautiful watercolor effect.
- To use the watercolor pencil brush, fill the clear stem with water and gently squeeze the middle of the stem so that a little water comes out to the bristles.
- Wipe the water with your fingers to ensure that you don’t have a blob of water that will drop onto your paper.
- Once you’re happy with the wetness of the bristles, gently brush the watercolor pencil pigment and start working it like a painting.
- Gently squeeze and repeat the wiping step to add more water and keep working at the painting until you have the desired effect.
- Be careful not to overwork the paper- Watercolor pencils are very pigmented and a little goes a long way!
There are so many different brands and types of watercolor pencils on the market, it can be hard to know which ones are the best to use.
The best way to store your brushes so they stay in good condition
The best way to store not only your watercolor pencil brushes but any brushes is to keep them in a cup or jar with the bristles pointing up. This will allow the water to drain out and prevent the bristles from bending.
With watercolor pencil brushes, make sure you drain any remaining water from the stem as you don’t want to be using funky water the next time you want to paint. It also helps prevent mold from forming inside the brush stem.
Best Watercolor Pencil Brushes You Need To Use Now – Wrap up!
Watercolor pencil brushes can be a great addition to your arsenal and offer you a lot of versatility in your paintings. With the right care, they can last you a long time. Be sure to check out the different brands and find the ones that work best for you and your painting style.
Cover image Drawing gear by Anna Wolf Art