Is there anything better than new art toys tools to play with? I think not!! ;•) This week is going to be Tool Week here at Painted Thoughts as I seem to have acquired a number of new tools to share !
As some of you may know, I strongly advocate the use of waterbrushes for painting on location during the Imaginary Trips. They will change the way you work and the ease with which you work. You'll be more likely to sketch in the moment with a waterbrush as it is as easy to make a mark with one of these as it is with a pen or pencil.
So it comes as no surprise that when I spied a waterbrush at JoAnn's Etc. craft store, I just had to purchase it because it was one I had not seen before. Despite the $8.99 price tag, I decided to do it in the name of research. ;•) (Yes, I had a coupon, but I still think that's a ridiculously high price for a waterbrush, IMO!) It is a Zig® BrusH2O or Brush H2O, depending on where you're looking.....
This is the detailer brush. The brush tip is about equivalent to a size 2 in a round watercolor brush. If you enlarge the image you can see all the tiny, precise marks I was able to make with this brush. As nearly all complaints I hear about the waterbrush is "I can't do any details," this would seem to be a great answer.
CAUTION: This is a double-sided blessing. Yes, you will be able to get the nitty-gritty details into your sketch, but I would NOT take this out on location. Why? A) When sketching on location, you need speed, speed, and more speed. B) Details are not your friend (on location). Instead, I would rather leave this in the hotel room or at home then in the heat of the moment. C) See reason below.
I looked online to see the availability of this brush and was pleased to learn that Zig is part of Kuretake® and they are a company out of England. This means worldwide availability. The other thing I learned is there are other sizes....
Again, in the name of research, I ordered the other sizes. If you enlarge the image you can see the various marks made with these brushes. I just received them and have not yet created a painting with them, but I can tell you that I like them. And here is reason C) from above - the large point made almost as precise a mark as the detailer yet still gave me the ability to create a wash. The detailer does not have that versatility.
So here are the pros...nice, sharp tips • large water reservoir • plastic barrels are easy to squeeze without being too soft or too hard • good water control • option of different sizes • great availability • great price.
Now, of course, there are cons....the large could be larger. It is not quite the same as my large Holbein • the detailer will trip up the detail lovers among us • the barrel has a black "stopper/dam" and you are suppose to expel the air while holding the barrel under water so that is fills with water. I took the dam out (using my fingernail), filled the barrel under the faucet and replaced the dam. The problem with this is that if you lose that dam, the brush is useless.
I found the brushes at Marker Supply for $3.95 USD each. Shipping was nominal. I received them within 2 days of ordering. Unfortunately, this company only ships to the US and Canada, and I have not found a source online for international artists. Yet. (If someone finds one/know of a reliable online resource, please let me know.) See the update below!!
I am always on the lookout for replacement waterbrushes as the brush tips do wear out. I have been very dissatisfied with the ones on the market today. I have recently learned that Kuretake also makes the Niji waterbrush line. I have a set of Niji's, but they are different from these. My Niji's are also several years old. That may explain the differences.
UPDATE!: If you look down in the comments, Molly from MarkerSupply.com stopped by and said that yes, they do ship internationally!! YAY! Thanks, Molly!