All About My Watercolor Paint Brushes

In this post I share with you all the info about my best brushes! Using good watercolor brushes is CRUCIAL to how your paintings will turn out.  If there is anything you would want to invest money in for your painting, I would suggest good brushes and watercolor paper. 

High quailty paint is important too, but surprisingly not as much as a good watercolor brush and high quaility watercolor paper.

1. What brushes do I use?

Raphael Kolinsky Red Sable Brush: Series 8404. These brushes are extremely good qauilty and they hold a very fine point.  The other benefits are that they hold water very well and and as you press down on them the bristles and point spring back very well.  They are ideal for the fine details that botanical painting requires.

2. Where do I get them?

I usually order them online from There are other places to order them online but I prefer to order them from Jackson's (they are in the U.K. but I have never had an issue with payments or shipping).

3. How do I take care of them?

Watercolor brushes are pretty easy to take care of. The most important things is that you rinse them after each use with clean water and then form the point again with your fingers and then let them air-dry before you put them away.  I usally let mine stand in a jar with the points facing up in a jar to dry. If you do store your brushes in a plastic travel tube or roll-up case then it is best to let them dry before you put them away.

4. When do you switch brush sizes?

I usually start off with the larest brush I can use without the paint escaping the lines of my drawing, (usally a 6 or a 4). This makes painting the first layers quicker and the look of the paint looks more organic and not over-worked. Once I move onto step-2 I use a smaller brush to add contour lines to my painting, (usally a 2 or a 0). When I move onto step-3 (adding more depth and color to select areas of the painting) I use a smaller "spotting brush" which is a watercolor brush with shorter bristles. The size I use is a 1 or a 0 from the brand H.J 170 Kolinsky Sable brush. This is the only brush I use that is not from the brand Raphael. My  H.J brush is a little worn out and scruffy but it works really well for adding concentrated paint to small areas of the paiting without spreading the paint out too far. This is important because I want to leave plenty of the first layers of paint shining through.

I purchase my H.J 170 Kolinsky Sable brushes from Opus Art Supplies.  There are Opus art Supply shops locally wear I live that where I can buy these brushes. You can also order them online from Opus Art Supplies

I hope this helps you out on your painting journey! Feel free to reach out to me if you have further questions.


    • Do you have an alternate to H.J. 170 Kolinsky Sable Brushes? Can’t seem to find them anywhere. I am getting my supplies ready to follow your wonderful videos and learn botanicals. Thankyou.

      Vijaya Mallick
    • Thank you Laura

      I loved taking the workshop with you and look forward to all your blogs.


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