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Brush Recommendation Needed

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Heya all!

 

So I've realized that I'm in dire need of putting in a brush order (need to finish those Gen Con minis!). I have used W&N and DaVinci Maestros for years now (the Maestros are my favorite brushes). Given that, there are a lot of good Kolinsky sable brushes out there nowadays and I would like to experiment with a few more brands. I'm curious to know what you guys would advise me to try, so I decided to ask! ::):

 

My preferences:

 

1. Thinner brushes. Can't stand the W&N Miniature series; with my preferred brushstroke they are useless to me. ::(: So no wedge or filbert shapes, please. ::):

2. High-quality Kolinsky sable. I will gladly pay a bit more for good quality.

3. No long artist brush handles, or I'll put my eye out for sure! :;):

 

If you can give me a specific series, even a size, along with brand, that would be awesome!!

 

Thanks all,

 

--Anne, lookin' to blow some birthday money!

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I like the Escoda Tajrmyr series. Good short handled brush, bristles tend on the long and thin side compared to Maestro and Series 7 (probably 1 size smaller than the equivalent in the other lines). Also a bit cheaper than the Series 7 and Maestro brushes (if I recall correctly).

 

I use a #1 or #2 (I can't remember, and I'm at work) as my main "traveling" brush these days.

 

But, that said, I don't think that the Tajmyr brushes are as good as the Maestro brushes, so I don't think that you'd gain anything over the Maestro brushes that you have. I still prefer my one Maestro #1 as my main brush. I am itching to try one of the Raphaels.

 

Ron

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Miniature brushes that are used to do nail art. I have two different brands on my desk which are Kolinski sable - Alibba and Trekkel. There are probably a few dozen others as well - since these both have very similar construction (down to the spacing on the ferrule crimp), I would guess they are made in the same Korean factory and branded once they get stateside.

 

Very short handles, so your eyes should be safe. You have a lot of choices for the bristles, a striper or mini striper might work well enough for your needs. They also have the interesting 45 degree detailing brushes (come in useful from time to time...though I still find control more difficult with the bent tip).

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I'm stumped on brushes too. I used WNS7 for a while, then switched to Davinci Maestro, and that brush went bad in three months. So I went back to an old WNS7 and I LOVED it after the Davinci, but then my cat destroyed it and none of my other WNS7's are in good shape. I'm tempted to try the Rafael too, but I don't know which one.

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My DaVincis usually last a bit longer than that, say six months at my usual rate of usage (a fair number of hours per week) but then I use them selectively (they are my lining/layering/fine detail brushes; all other applications I use Reaper's workhorse Kolinsky 0/5 or a W&N 0 or 00). I do love the DaVincis and will still be ordering some new ones, but I did want to try something else too...

 

Maybe I'll try out one of the Escodas for fun, I can always use a new lining brush and they sound like they might be nice for that.

 

Interesting recommendation on the nail art brushes, Joe; where do you order yours from?

 

How 'bout it, anyone else out there use the Raphaels or something not brought up? Any other recommendations? ::):

 

--Anne

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The asian lady at the mall who does my wife's nails. ::D:

 

Not sure where she gets hers from though.

 

I tend to try a lot of different brushes - and have a lot on hand to play with from dirt cheap, to fairly pricey. For the most part though, I like the DaVinci's and haven't had any problems with mine.

 

What are you looking to do in particular though? Something which requires a lot of control or something which is a bit different. I know you don't want a filbert, but are you looking for more of a traditional round? Maybe a spotter? Softer bristles or stiffer?

 

Beyond those mentioned above - Isabey makes a nice Kolinski with a short handle. The bristles are a bit longer than a lot of other brands for the same size...which can be good or bad depending on your painting style. They call it a round - I would call it a striper.

http://www.dickblick.com/zz061/79/

 

Keep in mind, that Escoda's are a bit small compared to other brushes. Their #1 is about the same size as a #0 from W&N or DaVinci.

 

Rekab also makes a good brush - though they have handles that are a bit longer. Nothing that can't be fixed with a saw though. :poke: Biggest problem with the Rekabs is finding a supplier for them. They aren't nearly as popular here in the US as they are elsewhere.

http://www.aswexpress.com/discount-art-sup.../art-supplies/4

 

If you want more spring in your bristles - I like the Arches. They seem almost unnaturally bouncy. Again, it comes in handy from time to time. Again, they tend to have longer handles though.

http://www.dickblick.com/zz061/13/

 

In terms of my favorites...probably still the DaVinci Maestro - though the Rekabs are pretty close. However that is kind of irrelevant - everyone will have their own favorites...otherwise there would only be one company making brushes anymore.

____________

 

Took a quick look for links to the lines which I like from the manufacturers and added links to them.

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Cool! I have heard good things about the Isabeys, I think from Jennifer (Haley). I'll just Google the nail art brush brands you named and see what I find. :;):

 

Re: what I'm looking for, I'm a control freak (painting-wise!) in a big way. :;): My style is, as a fellow painter once put it, "very precise". I take joy in tiny little details and perfect blends. I want a brush that won't wilt when faced by something sculpted by Tom Meier (anyone who knows Tom's work knows his detail skills are INSANE). In particular I do a lot of layering, and my layering stroke is a feathering stroke--lots of tiny little very thin almost transparent lines of color, built up next to and on top of one another. So a longer, thinner brush is preferred, though not a "liner" per se (liners are usually too long and thin, I do need something with enough body to hold the amount of paint I need and keep it wet for long enough). I don't do a sideways stroke in general so the thicker, wedge-shaped filberts or W&N Miniatures are lost on me. The bristle size and shape of my DaVinci Maestro #1 is just about perfect, which is why I'm not looking for a replacement necessarily but more to expand my brush horizons and knowledge base by direct experience rather than "I've heard these are good"...and so on. ::): And there's always the chance I'll find something better!! :lol:

 

Also I will be looking to expand my collection with some slightly larger brush sizes. I am looking at working on some large projects (90mm models, and large-scale resin kits) coming up so I need to find a line that has a nice tapering bristle in a number 2 or 3 size brush. ::):

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The Isabey is a lot like a Maestro IMO. Good brush, but I don't use them nearly as much now since they are more difficult to get a hold of for me.

 

Rekabs have a similiar bristle shape and size to the Maestro, but it tends to be a little tighter in terms of control...so you might want to take a look at those if you can find them locally or if you can put a few other things together to order from ASW (the $11 shipping charge is a bit much for a single brush or two).

 

Escodas are a bit stiff for my tastes. They feel more like a regular sable or even one of the other natural hairs. Not nearly as much spring compared to a Kolinski.

 

The Arches are by far the springiest...so if I am picturing your painting method correctly, you might like them a good bit. Plus they are 80% off right now - which makes them hard to pass up.

 

For my larger stuff - I actually use flats more than rounds...so I can't offer much input there in terms of brush play. A good flat though is definitely a versatile tool.

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Raphael brushes are a good quality, have a fuller body like WN7s and great points. Several of the Rackham painters used them. I have one distributed by Scharff that is 10 years old and in perfect shape after painting many figs. It's one of those brushes that will do all the work in #1 except for eyes and liner stuff.

 

Isabey 6227Z brushes have excellent snap for control in tight places. They run very thin and long like liners so you need to order up in size compared to the average brush.

 

Rekab brushes mimic WN7 in design but the handles are low quality. They are softer with less spring than WN7.

 

Escoda brushes are good initially but wear out rather quickly for me. The first few weeks they are great and then become utility brushes. If you have used Vallejo brushes they are essentially the same brush. My Vallejo and Escoda brushes appear identical down to the triple crimp and manufacture in Spain.

 

Da Vinci makes several other lines besides the Maestro #10. I don't know which ones you have used. The #11 is like WN7s with a fuller belly. The #35 designer series has great snap in a longer tip design. Only tried one out once in #1 and put it on my list. The retouch brushes in general would be too much like WN7 minis and not to your loking but the Restauro is significantly longer and has a very responsive point.

 

I have been looking at the Arches brushes and from what Joe says I think I'll try some next time I buy.

Edited by thrush65

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Yeah - at casual glance the Rekabs look a lot like the 5 for $1 craft brushes due to the handles they use - but the brush tip itself is really nice.

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I bought 2 sizes of the Raphael brushes from Blick, but haven't started to use them yet. The tips are longer than a similar diameter W&N brush.

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Yeah - at casual glance the Rekabs look a lot like the 5 for $1 craft brushes due to the handles they use - but the brush tip itself is really nice.

 

I bought a set of Rekabs for kids and demos but they were better than expected so I used them myself. One of the handles broke in half for no apparent reason (fixed). BTW the new Priv. Press "Fine" brushes are identical to the Rekabs and made in Israel as well. I believe they are made by Rekab for PP. ASW usually has Rekab for about half the PP brush price.

Edited by thrush65

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I just got my Arches today.

 

Without actually defiling them with paint, here's what I'm seeing.

 

Yes, the handles are longer but that will be taken care of quite quickly.

 

The bristle bodies seem longer than my W&NS7. They do come to a nice point when wet.

 

I did a larger combined order and three of the brushes came without the promoted bristle protectors. I'm working on getting replacement brushes since the bristles took a beating in shipment.

 

Since I ordered different sizes than the W&N I currently have I really can't compare true sizes, not that manufacturers adhere to any kind of standard. These do seem more springy than the W&N tho, as noted above.

 

I'm going to give these a whirl while my current brushes are still useful. If I don't like them I want to be able to have time to find other ones I do like without having to scurry.

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I just got my Arches today.

 

[...]

 

The bristle bodies seem longer than my W&NS7. They do come to a nice point when wet.

How soft are they in comparison to the W&N Series 7s? I've heard that they're quite a bit softer (which ends up feeling mushy) to me, so I've been a bit reluctant to try them.

 

Ron

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Softer - but not mushy. When you apply pressure, the bristles will spread out nicely for thicker lines...but they spring back into place much better than a lot of brushes when the bristles are still loaded.

 

I use my Arches mainly for doing free hand because the bristles behave so well and will pop back where they are supposed to be. They also do work quite well for doing glazes where you will want to vary the coverage area based on the mini's shape.

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