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Brushes: Raphael, Davinci Maestro, Windsor & Newton Sables Series 7, Rosemary & Co Series 33


Marc
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I'm doing a bunch of research on brushes and I want to get a few good brushes.

 

I will also get a few decent synthetic brushes for other / less exacting things of course, but I've decided I want a few good ones as well - a size 1 for sure and then maybe a size 0 and/or 2 as well 

 

I consistently hear good things about Raphael, Davinci Maestro, Windsor & Newton Sables Series 7, and Rosemary & Co Series 33 - these seem to be the go to brushes for most mini painters.

 

So, my question is, of those brushes, which one do folks think is best? Or maybe a better question would be, which of the above brush to folks her prefer, actually use most?

 

Thanks!!

Edited by Marc
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I've used all those brushes at one point or the other, with the exception of the Rosemary and Co.  If I had to choose, I'd probably run with the Raphael's as they were the best bang for my buck - though they're all pretty nice to work with.  Full disclosure: I now paint exclusively with synthetics (veganism) and I achieve the same results or better as I did with the more expensive sables.  

 

The Egg

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18 hours ago, Marc said:

Interesting!

What syththetic brushes do you reccomend?

 

I'm currently using Raphael Kaerell synthetics, which I'm pretty happy with.  They're holding up well, and aren't stupidly expensive. 

 

YMMV 

 

The Egg

Edited by Egg of Coot
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I'd recommend getting either a size 2 or 3 rather than a 1 and 0. Smaller brushes just mean that the paint dries on the brush faster and with any of the quality brushes you listed the tip of the size 0 and tip of the size 3 will be equally as fine for detail work. Pupils are about the only reason to use a brush smaller than a 2.

 

As far a the brush I use the most goes, it's cheap size 2 synthetics of amazon that were 50 for $9. 80-90% of a mini can be done with a cheap brush just as well as with an expensive brush. Then use the nice brushes for that last 10-20%.

Edited by cmorse
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I love my Raphael 8404's for acrylics, although lately I've done a lot of work with my Monument Hobbies synthetics, probably because they're a size 6 round.... 

 

For oils, I absolutely love my Jackson's Onyx brushes, only downside is they don't offer a dagger striper.... 

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Thanks everyone.

 

I’m definitely looking for brushes to use with acrylics, not oils.

 

It’s starting to sound like, despite all the buzz I see around about Raphael, Davinci Maestro, Windsor & Newton Sables Series 7, and Rosemary & Co Series 33 - most folks so far here tend to use synthetics instead?

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I prefer Kolinsky brushes to synthetic.  I reserve synthetic (or older sable) for larger stuff, base coats, and jobs that cause wear, like aggressive textures and drybrushing.  When I used synthetics for general painting, I noticed the tips would wear out (curl or fray) quickly.  Kolinsky brushes have given me long service, but I am very careful with them, rinsing frequently, minimizing paint in the ferrule, cleaning when needed.  Raphael 8404 is my favorite so far, but I've used WAMP (Rosemary) and WN S7 and I like them, too.  Reaper Kolinsky was okay, too, but the hairs lost their point more quickly.

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You'll find it pretty common for people to do the bulk of their painting on each mini with cheap synthetics and then to their finishing work with a kolinsky. Having one or two Kolinskys is a bad thing. I strongly recommend against paying lots of money for "good" synthetic brushes. The difference is quality control and the branding, not the quality of the nylon fibers. If you buy 50 brushes for $10 you can toss to wonky ones yourself (or use them for things that the wonkiness doesn't matter) and have far more brush life than you'd get out of one $14 brush.

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3 hours ago, Serenity said:

Reaper Kolinsky was okay, too, but the hairs lost their point more quickly.

 

I have only been seriously painting for about two and a half years now, and the only Kolinsky sable brushes I have tried were Reaper.  One is the best brush I've tried, but the hairs seems to be falling out after a couple years so I use it very sparingly now.  One is pretty good, but it is a detail brush that only retains a point briefly before I need to reshape it.  The other two were not very good at all.  It may be that I am not properly caring for them (though I think I am), and I have probably overused the one great brush, but the whole experience has me hesitant to spend money on even more expensive brushes.  I suspect I'm not a good enough painter for brush quality to make a huge difference anyway.  I have a bunch of medium-quality brushes from craft stores, some synthetic and some real hair, that all seem to work just fine for me.

 

But I'm still thinking about getting at least one really nice brush.

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12 hours ago, cmorse said:

You'll find it pretty common for people to do the bulk of their painting on each mini with cheap synthetics and then to their finishing work with a kolinsky. Having one or two Kolinskys is a bad thing. I strongly recommend against paying lots of money for "good" synthetic brushes. The difference is quality control and the branding, not the quality of the nylon fibers. If you buy 50 brushes for $10 you can toss to wonky ones yourself (or use them for things that the wonkiness doesn't matter) and have far more brush life than you'd get out of one $14 brush.


Wait … did you mean to say “Having one or two Kolinskys is a bad thing.” ???

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I have used Windsor and Newton Series 7, Raphael and Da Vinci brushes. All kolinsky sable. There are differences between them but not in quality, as far as I can tell, and I have at least one of each in my paint brush holder. Like others here I recommend a cheap set of synthetic brushes for base coating, metallics, primer, etc. plus whatever kolinsky brush from the brands you mentioned is cheapest/easiest to find for detail work. 

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I /LOVE/ my Rosemary & Co. Series 33's. Downside is that, as of last I checked (which has been a while now), they don't ship them to the US. So something to think about if you are located in the states. They do however also make my favorite synthetics, their Eclipse series. They can be put through quite the abuse.

 

Game Envy makes some pretty solid Kolinsky Sables as their Artist's Arsenal line that I like.

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