However, I also use some smaller brushes for details.
Last year while doing the 30×30 direct watercolour challenge I started experimenting with three different brushes – a 1/8 one stroke flat brush (Rosemary Brushes Series 55), a rigger (Rosemary Brushes R5) and an extended point brush (Rosemary Brushes Series 336 No. 8). Of these, my favourite turned out to be the one stroke so I added it to the kit that I carry around in my bag last July (ie. inside my toothbrush holder). I don’t use it much but it’s nice to have it handy – it’s great when I want small square-edged shapes.
Recently (while sketching teacups daily during our current lockdown) I’ve started using the smaller versions of the 772 – the 3/8 and 1/4 inch daggers – for the teacup patterns.
I know a lot of people prefer using the smaller daggers for A5 size sketchbooks but I normally stick with the 1/2 inch as it holds more water (and therefore creates more watercolour magic). It’s also a common piece of watercolour advice to use the largest sized brush as much as you can and so even if I use a smaller book, I still stick with the 1/2 inch for my main brush. I can still get a fine edge with my well-used 1/2 inch dagger but there are times when I want less body in my brush so it’s easier to control the water for the finer details.
I have such a strong attachment to using a dagger, that when I started using the smaller brushes listed above last year, I had to learn how to create a state of flow while painting with them. I don’t need this when I move to a smaller dagger as it feels the same as my 1/2 inch. I also get the same range of marks with the smaller brush. It’s such a no-brainer that I’m not sure why I haven’t thought of it before!
I love testing other brushes, but I always seem to come back to the dagger. It just suits the way I make marks (and BTW I use the fude pen in the same way) and it’s so versatile.
Enough of my preferences… I’d love to hear from you!
What’s your go-to brush these days, and what do you use for finer details?
(If you are reading this via email, please click on the article title link below and add a comment on my blog. Thanks!)