A few weeks ago I got a surprise parcel from Rosemary Brushes which included a few brushes from their new Red Dot Collection. Wow! Thanks Symi!
To quote from the Rosemary website:
“We did it! Finally, a synthetic fibre like no other.A synthetic fibre to replicate Sable like never before. With all the qualities of natural hair but 100% synthetic. This range is so exciting for Rosemary & Co!
Works beautifully in watercolour, oil & acrylic and in fact all mediums. Ideal for artists, model painters and just about anyone looking for a sable substitute. Vegan friendly and economically priced.”
I’ve tried a number of synthetic brushes over the years and overall I’ve not been happy with the results. I’m super sensitive to a brush’s ability to create a good ‘pigment party’ and vibrant washes – by this I mean that the pigments separate and create beautiful watercolour textures.
Please note these are my own personal preferences and sensitivities and I’m not at all criticizing synthetic brushes!
Generally 100% sable brushes produce the best pigment parties and the most vibrant washes while generally synthetic brushes hold less water, produce little pigment party and can result in somewhat flat washes. Note: Of course paper plays a big role in the results as well! Because synthetic brushes hold less water than natural hair brushes, I’m always very conscious of how different they feel to use.
I then followed up with some tests and I’m pretty happy with the results.
It is really hard to accurately do these types of watercolour tests as even though I mix a big puddle in my palette and try to have a similar wetness in my brush and pick up the paint in the same way, every stroke is slightly different. But overall there does not seem to be a huge difference in the results even though the Red Dot seemed to hold a little less water.
I then tested this theory using the paper-towel trick (as explained in my Free Lesson on brushes as part of my SketchingNow Watercolour course) and this proved to be the case.
Finally, I decided to do a similar test with the blue and yellow mix (DS Hansa Yellow Med and SCH French Ultramarine) using a few other brushes. I ‘ve found on previous occasions that the Da Vinci Casaneo and Cosmotop produce washes which are a bit flat but I was quite surprised by the Escoda – particularly the Verastil and that was the smallest brush as well! Once again it’s important to stress that the results from these single swatches need to be tested further as it’s impossible to load the brushes exactly the same way each time.
And I still need to use my 1/2 inch Red Dot dagger more before I make a definitive statement – but so far so good!
BTW if you want to know why I love the dagger brush so much check out this article from a number of years ago.
[Disclaimer: Although these brushes were a gift from Rosemary & Co Brushes, this article contains my personal opinion and this is not a sponsored post.]
If you currently use 100% synthetic brushes, I would love to know which brand, type and size!
Has anyone else tried the Red Dot brushes yet?
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