Brush is very important for painting.

Painting Watercolor


Once upon a time, there is a Buddhist priest called Koh-ho in Japan. He was not only priest, he had very much talent for calligraphy.

He every time drew a beautiful calligraphy. So there is a proverb that “Koh-ho no need to choice brush” that still remain .

It means, excellent talented master can do it well with any trifle or bad tools.


But you are not Koh-ho. And if you were Koh-ho, you much prefer using good tools.

Koh-ho was very talented, but may be he could do it better with good brush rather than bad brush. Then I make another proverb, “No one need bad brush”. This is eternal truth!


So, there is another question. What is good brush?


Which is Good Brush?

The most important point of good brush is, its firm. Spring and strength. It helps you draw a strong stroke.

And plus, it must be very smooth and contains water well.      


You see a lot of brushes at shop. But sadly you cannot know which is good for you at a glance.

And I, have never paid for a brush up to $10. So I don’t know how expensive brushes are.


Talk about brushes under $10. There is no difference. All similar quality.

But brush’s condition is different for each one, if they was made by same materials. It caused of keeping conditions.

So you will never know about it till you actually use it.

But you can image how is it by their materials.



There are brush made by animal hair and chemical hair.



Good brush is firm well and smooth, and contain water well. Animal hair is very nice to be brush. 



Sable is a kind of marten. You may know it as a fur for luxury wear. I recommend  this sable brush you must buy.

I guess the best watercolor painting brush is sable. With sable brush you will never be irritated for brush.


But now sable’s hair is very rare.  And very high quality Siberian kolinsky’s hair is also. 

So about painting brush, called “sable”  is contains other kind of marten’s hair also. 

But still brushes called “sable” are nice to use. 



Very popular as sable. Soft and smooth, contain water well. Very nice to draw, a little bit softer than sable. 

Sable and Squirrel are very small animal. So their long hair is rare and expensive.


Cow’s hair is very nice, similar texture to sable’s. But I have never seen cow’s brush in Japan so I have never used it ever.



Horse is also nice but a little bit hard for watercolor. Its texture is different by hair where was located. Horse is very cheaper than other animals.



There are pig’s, raccoon’s, mongoose’s brush also. But they are for oil painting. Too much hard and rough for watercolor.



If you are a vegetarian or a protester for real fur, you may not agree with animal hair brush also.

And animal hair is expensive to buy. Then, there are chemical hair’s brushes.



Nylon brush is made for acrylic painting. After dried, acrylic colors are never removed without remover. But remover get animal brushes damaged. Nylon never get damaged and very cheap. So I recommend it for acrylic .But for watercolor, It doesn’t include water well, and too much strong. 

But there are a lot of nylon brushes. Some of nylon brushes are better. If you buy nylon brushes, choice softer and not very cheap one.

I have never used but Winsor & Newton‘s brushes look nice, but not cheap…!

Cotman Brushes

University Brushes



Resable is Japanese watercolor company Holbein‘s product. This  using  nylon hair got special processing, to get real sable’s features. And then mixed up with real squirrel. Resable is better than just nylon. Very useful for watercolor, and cheaper!

Black Resable (Japanese)


And Winsor & Newton has similar products. But this brushes are expensive more than my real animal’s …!

Scepter Gold II Brushes



There are several shapes of brush. At the first, you need several size of round shape brushes for paint flowers.

And, thin and edgy designers type and rigger type also helpful.

For washing paper, or painting large space, wide and large flat shape brushes is useful. If you have 2 sizes, larger and smaller that’s enough.

I don’t care about flat brush’s quality very much. Round shape is important.


And, for watercolor, you can easily remove the color on the blush. So you don’t need to have many brushes. So you just buy some excellent round shape brushes.


2016ⓒ Atelier Kaori