What brush do you use for fine details?

April 26, 2023 | 19 Comments

As part of the preparation for my Teacups course I have been playing with some new fine brushes. I’ve used fine round brushes, pointed filbert and domes filberts and spotters.

Right at the moment, I’m loving the spotters but I’m certainly not locking them in as a preference yet. So I thought I’d open up a discussion on this topic so I can see what you all use.

To date, if I need to do fine details I’ve generally been using a smaller dagger. I have a 1/4 inch dagger that I don’t use much so it still has a nice razor-like edge.

And in recent years I have been enjoying using an extended point, particularly for paint-only architecture sketches.

This brush works really well for long straight lines when I’m using a pulling motion, but for teacup patterns, I often want more freedom to make all kinds of strokes with my brush. So the extended point doesn’t feel right for me for teacup sketches.

Find out more about the extended point brush here.

But enough about my preferences…

I would love to hear from you – what brush do you use for fine details? and why?

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  • I use a Rosemary & Co riggers, synthetic hair mostly. Great point for detail but also get quite a wide, expressive line if you squish the brush down and move it sideways

  • Annette Kay Huppatz says:

    I use a Rosemary and co extended point.

  • Laurie DeMott says:

    I just started using an 8 DaVinci Casaneo which I love because it feels like I’m drawing except with watercolor.

    • Sydney C says:

      This one has arrived in the post this week for just this reason but I haven’t had a chance to use it yet. It is the most expensive brush I have treated myself to so I hope I get on with it!

    • Liz Steel says:

      Nice Laurie – enjoy!

  • Hannah Clements says:

    I have an extended point but like riggers or script liners better for detail work. I have a bunch of different lengths and sizes.

  • Frieda Kamstra says:

    For details I use Rosemary & Co spotters, Escoda Versatil or Escoda Perla.

  • Maria Cristina says:

    I use a synthetic rigger if I want to get a gestural brushstroke, for example for the branches of a tree, if instead I paint controlled details I use a very sharp round Kolinsky sable brush number 2 or 3

  • Linda Hackett says:

    For years I painted botanical specimens with the following sable brushes
    Raphael 0-00-000
    Pro-Art ( gold handle) series 107 spotter 1
    DaVinci Maestro 0
    W&N Series 7 0-00-000 1-2-3-4 the largest I ever used!
    A nice synthetic series from Japan- Interlon
    All sizes

    • Liz Steel says:

      Thanks for sharing Linda (000 is crazy small!) and cool to have seen your work over the last few years!!!

  • Tam B. says:

    Hi, I am new to sketching and watercolor. What are some cost effective watercolor brush options? Am I wasting money on a Kolinsky travel set or Pental Arts Quash Water travel set to get started?

  • Jamie C says:

    I found the tiniest dagger brush that is perfect for fine details, made by Princeton in the Velvet Touch line.

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