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


Marc
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47 minutes ago, cmorse said:

 Rosemary & Co won't ship to individuals, I'm pretty sure they still sell through Wind River Arts in the US though.


That is correct - I’ve been in contact with them and will probably order a Rosemary & Co sable brush from them in the next week or so so try it out

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2 hours ago, WhiteWulfe said:

As in for the US?  Asking as they'll gladly ship to individuals in several other countries.

 
Correct - the US has imposed pretty strict laws about importing things like animal hair into the country, so they apparently can’t ship them to the US.

 

Wind River Arts here in the US went through the apparently involved and somewhat costly process of filing to be allowed to import them into the US as an authorized US distributor for Rosemary & Co … that’s my understanding at any rate.

Edited by Marc
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35 minutes ago, Marc said:

 
Correct - the US has imposed pretty strict laws about importing things like animal hair into the country, so they apparently can’t ship them to the US.

 

Wind River Arts here in the US went through the apparently involved and somewhat costly process of filing to be allowed to import them into the US as an authorized US distributor for Rosemary & Co … that’s my understanding at any rate.

I'd heard something about CITES paperwork expiring, and then something about a bunch of legal red tape and bureaucracy preventing them from renewing it. 

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37 minutes ago, WhiteWulfe said:

I'd heard something about CITES paperwork expiring, and then something about a bunch of legal red tape and bureaucracy preventing them from renewing it. 

 

The broad CITES agreement for sources of Kolinsky imported from China and Russia expired and the meeting that it would have been extended at was canceled due to covid. I believe this fall is when the meeting is happening now, so thing might change fairly soon. Kolinsky itself isn't actually banned, the name Kolinsky is just commonly used to hide sales of mongoose for India, which is banned.

 

If I understand it correctly it's not that Rosemary isn't doing the paperwork and certifying their brushes. It's that they don't want to do the paperwork for every single order that individual customers place. They are still doing it for large batches sent to retailers, they just don't have that many US retailers.

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Advanced tabletop and assembly line here. I paint for gaming, not for display -- although I do want to get those tiny eyeballs right. 👀

 

I still have some random natural hairs from ten years back. They've lost their point, but, for basecoats, a point isn't as necessary and flattening the brush will get the paint on the mini.

 

Washes will damage a brush (easier for washes to get into the ferrule), so I'd have some cheap natural brushes for washes.

 

You're supposed to avoid using metallics with expensive natural hobby brushes, and a big batch of cheap synthetics is disposable, so I use them for metallics and other stuff.

 

If you're going to do sand basing, you're gonna use a brush to spread the glue. Better to use cheap brushes.

 

I prefer 0 and smaller for hobby brushes, since I primarily use them for detail, not basecoats. You'll want to rinse hobby brushes frequently, even if you're still painting the same color.

 

EDIT: And if you knock over your hobby paint, guess which brushes you'll be using to mop up the paint back to the container. 😛

 

I just buy hobby brushes when they're on sale! 💸💸💸

Edited by ced1106
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I’ve used all of these (including Rosemary brushes from Wind River - very nice people, by the way), and I have favorites, but they aren’t necessarily consistent.  I used to love the DaVinci Maestro, but they got super expensive compared to their peers and I haven’t seen a need to go back. I will say that I got a few Reaper Kolinsky brushes at the last ReaperCon, and I really struggled to keep a coherent tip (although the painting conditions at the con were pretty challenging - it was ‘bad hair day’ weather for everyone’s brushes…).

 

My “go-to” is a Raphael 8404 size 1, but I’ve had some I loved and a few that just won’t hold a fine point.  I prefer W/N 7 series for real fine detail blends (size 1 & 0), but I’ve had some that were real stinkers.  I consider going from my Raphael 1 to W/N 1 a drop down in size.  I really only use the 0 for stuff like pupils/irises, catchlight in eyes, edging NMM.  For cost/performance, I like the nice rosemary (33?) for sizes 2, 3 or 4.  Larger brushes in Kolinsky sable seem extra prone to splayed tips. 

 

monument hobbies sells some highly regarded synthetics.  I just got a few (they were unavailable for the longest time) but I haven’t tried them yet.

 

For darklining, nothing comes close to the Russian Roubloffs, but they’re a pita to get and really are a one-trick pony.  That said, if you want to darkline around a single strand of hair hanging across your bard’s cheek, this is the way!

 

 

 

 

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I’ve used all of the brands you listed except the Davinci. For the price point and quality my go to is Rosemary and Co both series 33 and 323. Although I bought them in bulk for myself and to at least 10 spares to use for when I teach classes directly from the company. I haven’t needed to buy any since they stopped shipping to customers directly. The quality is very consistent and I rarely see one that has issues. In the past for both the Raphael and Series 7 I saw a higher ratio of quality issues. However both are good when the quality is as expected. 
 

My main work horse brushes used for about 80% of my painting are size 2&3 Raphael Kaerell synthetic. For synthetics these last surprisingly long and hold a decent tip. I haven’t replaced the main two I use in about 2 years. I do clean them with brush soap and conditioner every 3 months or so. 

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1 hour ago, Marsya said:

I’ve used all of the brands you listed except the Davinci. For the price point and quality my go to is Rosemary and Co both series 33 and 323. Although I bought them in bulk for myself and to at least 10 spares to use for when I teach classes directly from the company. I haven’t needed to buy any since they stopped shipping to customers directly. The quality is very consistent and I rarely see one that has issues. In the past for both the Raphael and Series 7 I saw a higher ratio of quality issues. However both are good when the quality is as expected. 
 

My main work horse brushes used for about 80% of my painting are size 2&3 Raphael Kaerell synthetic. For synthetics these last surprisingly long and hold a decent tip. I haven’t replaced the main two I use in about 2 years. I do clean them with brush soap and conditioner every 3 months or so. 


Great info!

 

So, you clean and condition your synthetics with the brush soap? For some reason I thought that was just for natural hair brushes.

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5 hours ago, Marc said:


Great info!

 

So, you clean and condition your synthetics with the brush soap? For some reason I thought that was just for natural hair brushes.

 

You need to use soap that isn't harsh, but you don't have to use brush soap specifically. You might as well though. You'll want to buy some if you ever use natural brushes and it's one of those buy it once and it lasts nearly forever kind of things.

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7 hours ago, Marc said:


Great info!

 

So, you clean and condition your synthetics with the brush soap? For some reason I thought that was just for natural hair brushes.

Sure do, I use masters brush soap it helps clean them and prolongs their life. 

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I've used a Series 7, which I loved, and now a Da Vinci, which is also good. I think most of the usual suspects are good quality. I preferred  the "spring" of the W&N to the softer Da Vinci, but that's personal.

 

If you can, don't buy through the internet. I like to buy the brush in person, because there can be differences even throughout the same line. If you can, wet the brush to see how the tip forms (my art store here allows me to do that).

 

Don't go too small with a kolinsky. I started painting the eyes with a 00. But actually it works much better with a larger brush. I wouldn't go below a size 2. The size of the point is actually the same, but the larger tip retains the moisture better.

 

For the bulk of my painting I use synthetics: Talens, Army Painter, Reaper, you name it. Whatever is at hand. For painting metallics, I exclusively use synthetics, because the metallic pigments can be a bit aggressive on the bristles. The kolinsky comes out only for details and blending.

 

And cleaning your kolinsky after a session is a must. For me it's like a closing ritual after finishing painting. Because of that, my Da Vinci has been holding up for a few years now and is still going strong.

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On 8/8/2023 at 5:08 PM, WhiteWulfe said:

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.... 

 

On your Raphael 8404s, are those the water color versions? I'm a new painter, and I don't understand the difference between something like the "Raphael Pure Kolinsky Sable Round 8404" and something like the "Raphael Water Color Red Sable (Round)"  - thanks!

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