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Other than one time when they really irritated me (screwed up a payment I made, then referred the shortage that they had created to collections -- don't recommend using their Amazon payment option if it still exists), I've been very happy with Dick Blick. Quick service, good prices, and (other than the one I just mentioned) good customer service.

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Are "these good ones"?   No. They're all mediocre brushes at best.   Good brushes are made of Kolinsky Sable, by a very few manufacturers: Winsor & Newton, Raphael, da Vinci, and arguably a co

Nothing to add other than what Cash says, "Life is too short for cheap brushes!"   I also like sizes 1 & 2 for both W&N and Raphael.

There are many things that pull individuals towards one type of brush over another.  Some of this has to do with style, preference on hair length but mostly with the way one paints.   The benefits o

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If (and it's a big if) you live in a big city with an artist paint store, they may have them. I actually was able to walk into my local Guiry's and choose which Rafael brush I liked out of what they had in stock. I know not everybody has that opportunity, but want to throw that out there as an option.

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So, can anyone give me some tips on finding the good brushes here in the States?  I bought a bunch of Rosemary & Co brushes directly from their site, and am very pleased with how they've been working out for me, but where can I find the W&N's, Raphaels, and DaVincis, and how do I know which ones are the better lines? 

I buy my good brushes from Dick Blick.  I've had very good service from them.  When brushes have shipped without a protector, they've sent new ones as soon as I notified them (and didn't want me to send the others back).

 

Just watch out for the sales and group purchases to ameliorate the shipping prices.

 

As far as the brands go:

  • Da Vinci: Series 10 (my preference) or Series 35 (Heisler's preference)
  • Raphael: 8404 or 8408 (longer bristles, I think)
  • Winsor & Newton: Series 7 Regular

Stay away from the Winsor & Newton Cirrus line.  The Watercolour line is equivalent to the Citadel brushes that Winsor & Newton made for Citadel (I think).

 

The Dick Blick Kolinsky brushes are so so and not worth the minor reduction from the Da Vinci or Raphael.

 

Ron

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Thanks for the advice, everyone! And thanks Chaoswolf for starting the conversation. I've had my Rosemary & Co's for a year or two now, and I've been meaning to try out Raphael, W&N and DaVinci.  I think I may enjoy a brush with a bit more snap than the Rosemarys.

 

I just picked out a small selection from Amazon to try out all three brands.  Yay!

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I generally use W&N Series 7s, though I do have a few Raphaels I picked up during the period when the 7s were unavailable in North America.  I haven't done much experimenting with other brands, simply because the W&Ns work well for me - if it ain't broke don't fix it. 

 

The Egg

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The Dick Blick Kolinsky brushes are so so and not worth the minor reduction from the Da Vinci or Raphael.

 

Ron

 

 

I think someone noted in the past that the dick blick ones were guaranteed for life and that they got them replaced free any time they started wearing out.

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The Dick Blick Kolinsky brushes are so so and not worth the minor reduction from the Da Vinci or Raphael.

 

Ron

 

 

I think someone noted in the past that the dick blick ones were guaranteed for life and that they got them replaced free any time they started wearing out.

 

 

I honestly think that is unusual, since brushes naturally wear down and this would mean buy it once, get a supply for life... Does not sound like a smart business situation by Dick Blick. 

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The Dick Blick Kolinsky brushes are so so and not worth the minor reduction from the Da Vinci or Raphael.

 

Ron

 

 

I think someone noted in the past that the dick blick ones were guaranteed for life and that they got them replaced free any time they started wearing out.

 

 

I honestly think that is unusual, since brushes naturally wear down and this would mean buy it once, get a supply for life... Does not sound like a smart business situation by Dick Blick. 

 

Yeah, thats kind of what I was thinking too. I looked it up and here is what their website says.

 

Lifetime Guarantee â€” Blick Master Series brushes are guaranteed for life. If at any time you are dissatisfied with the materials or craftsmanship of any Master Series brush, return it to Blick for a replacement.

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"Materials or craftmanship" is completely different to "usual tear and wear". I do contracts and they are very different concepts; if the bristles fall apart, that is one thing; if the tip wears off, well, that is tear and wear.

 

Same with a shaft splintering (bad materials) or the lettering worn after months of use (tear and wear). I would like to see people contest Dick Blick on that one TBH...

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The Dick Blick Kolinsky brushes are so so and not worth the minor reduction from the Da Vinci or Raphael.

 

Ron

 

 

I think someone noted in the past that the dick blick ones were guaranteed for life and that they got them replaced free any time they started wearing out.

 

 

I honestly think that is unusual, since brushes naturally wear down and this would mean buy it once, get a supply for life... Does not sound like a smart business situation by Dick Blick. 

 

Yeah, thats kind of what I was thinking too. I looked it up and here is what their website says.

 

Lifetime Guarantee â€” Blick Master Series brushes are guaranteed for life. If at any time you are dissatisfied with the materials or craftsmanship of any Master Series brush, return it to Blick for a replacement.

 

 

 

"Materials or craftmanship" is completely different to "usual tear and wear". I do contracts and they are very different concepts; if the bristles fall apart, that is one thing; if the tip wears off, well, that is tear and wear.

 

Same with a shaft splintering (bad materials) or the lettering worn after months of use (tear and wear). I would like to see people contest Dick Blick on that one TBH...

 

What is considered a master series brush?

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"Materials or craftmanship" is completely different to "usual tear and wear". I do contracts and they are very different concepts; if the bristles fall apart, that is one thing; if the tip wears off, well, that is tear and wear.

 

Same with a shaft splintering (bad materials) or the lettering worn after months of use (tear and wear). I would like to see people contest Dick Blick on that one TBH...

 

Maybe, I just remember someone mentioning doing it in the past. Based on the wording though all someone would have to say is they expected the tip to last longer and are dissatisfied that it didn't. That's why most lifetime guarantee statements specifically rule out wear from normal usage. Barring some fine print somewhere customer dissatisfaction seems to be the only measure.

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I wish I could get on board with the W&N and Da Vinci brushes, but the four I purchased (two of each brand) did not survive a handful of paint sessions. I'm not rough with them nor am I tender with the brushes, yet, the brush that is lasting for me is a Citadel brush. Reaper's and P3 didn't last long either.

 

Did I just have bad luck with the W&N and DV one? Are there any places that guarantees the quality of the brushes? :D

 

 

How did you clean them after use? Paint drying inside the ferrule will mess up the good brushes, but they usually recover after a thorough clean and condition. (Winsor & Newton brush cleaner and Pink Soap as the conditioner for me)

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