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Homesthetics

11 Best Watercolor Brushes for Beginners & Professionals Reviewed




There’s no denying that an artist’s skills and ideas will always be the protagonists if the painting were a theatre play.

But even though that will hold true till the end of the time, an artist’s tools will also play a major role in what (s)he could bring to life.

In the essence of that truth, we are here trying to help out watercolorists who are trying to find brushes that suit them the best.

This job can be a difficult ordeal, so, we scrounged through the entirety of the market to find the best brushes for working with watercolors.

So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get started!

Featured Painting by your-confusion

Best Watercolor Brushes

  1. Heartybay Paint Watercolor Oil Painting Brush Set

Heartybay Paint’s offering is an affordable set of 12 brushes that are great for watercolor as well as oil painting. The 12-piece set has enough variety to provide you some great versatility.

In the set, you’ll find brushes of all kinds – flat, round, angled and filbert – and of various sizes. Overall, it’s an excellent set for beginners, casuals and intermediates alike.

Sale
Paint Brushes Set 12 Pieces, heartybay Professional Fine Tip...
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  • 12 Pieces with 8 sizes - 3/8#, 1/4#, 1/2#, 5/0#, 2#, 4#, 6#,...
  • This set contains a variety of sizes and shapes: Wash, Flat,...
  • Ideal for Watercolor Oil, Acrylic Painting / Body, Nail,...

Experience

The bristles of the brushes are synthetic. While it gives compatibility with other mediums like oil and acrylic, it also helps it achieve an affordable price tag.

The bristles are also incredibly soft, especially considering that they are synthetic. Overall, the flow is incredibly smooth.

Along with that, the bristles are also extremely durable. Even with harsh use and expressive strokes, there was no sign of shedding or anything like that. That durability can also be credited to the incredible sturdy nickel ferrule.

And the handles are also incredibly comfortable. There was no sign of fatigue in our long sessions of testing.

Overall, these brushes are of incredible quality and perform incredibly well. Even after being so affordable and readily available, this brush set can give some of the more expensive brush sets a run for their money. It’s great for beginners and casual artists.

Pros
  • The brush set is incredibly affordable
  • It works well with watercolor as well as oil paint
  • The bristles are soft and flexible
  • The body – ferrule and handle – is incredibly well built
Cons
  • It’s not suited for professional use
  1. Inspired Art Paint Brush 15-Piece Set

The modularity of these brushes is incredible. No matter what the medium is – watercolor, gouache, acrylics, or oil – these brushes will help you in the creation of your artwork.

There are in total 15 brushes in the kit having all kinds of brushes – round, filbert, flat, fan and rigger. And all of these brushes come in a convenient carrying case which makes the life of plein air painters incredibly easy.

Paint Brush Set of 15 Art Brushes for Acrylic Painting,...
  • SUPERIOR QUALITY - This set of 15 handmade paint brushes...
  • WIDE VARIETY OF BRUSH TYPES FOR A VERSATILE FINISH - The...
  • POP-UP STAND & PROTECTIVE CASE - Such a great quality set of...
  • SUPER LONG-LASTING DURABILITY - The mixed synthetic hair...

Experience

The bristles are a combination of goat and hog hair which are far more superior in terms of performance when compared to synthetic bristles.

It’s still a point of wonder for us how the bristles could withstand the abuse of acrylic paint, but these bristles are nonetheless astoundingly durable.

The ferrules are of impeccable quality as well. It is double crimped and there’s no sign of shedding because it holds the long and soft bristles incredibly tightly.

And to top it all off in the department of design and performance, the handle is of premium quality as well. It is ergonomic and gives an incredible amount of control over the head of the brush.

As a bonus feature, like we already mentioned, the brush set also comes with a pop-up stand that is quite ingenious in our opinion. All of this comes in a presentable and convenient package of premium look and feel.

And it is also covered by a lifetime money back guarantee.

Pros
  • Natural bristles, made from goat and hog hair
  • The bristles are incredibly durable and can work with other mediums as well like acrylic
  • Design is of impeccable quality – amazing quality ferrules and ergonomic handles
  • Brush set comes with a pop-up stand
Cons
  • Slightly expensive
  1. Mont Marte 15pce Art Paint Brushes Set

Mont Marte is an Australian brand which has now made its name as one of the finest art supply provider. In this premium set of 15 Taklon professional-style hand-made brushes, you get 2 Filbert brushes (size: 4 and 8), 4 angled brushes (size: 2, 5, 10 and 12), 2 round brushes (size: 3 and 7), 2 flat brushes (size: 6 and 11), 1 fan brush (size: 0), 1 rigger brush (size: 3/0), 2 liner brushes (size: 2/0 and 1/0) and 1 mop brush (size: 9).

Sale
Art Paint Brushes Set by Mont Marte, Great for Watercolor,...
  • Extremely Versatile: 15 different sizes from 3/0 to 12 -...
  • Superior Quality: This art paint brush set is a great...
  • Wide Application: These paint brushes are suitable for...
  • Strong Portbility: The paint brushes set comes with a...

Experience

Starting with the design and durability, the brushes have amazing quality ferrule that is made from aluminum. It grips the bristles fairly tight and in our extensive testing, we found no signs of shedding or damage.

The bristles are of outstanding quality as well. The color pickup is excellent and the bristles can take up a serious beating before giving up on you.

Another thing that is also a testament to its incredible quality is the ergonomic design of the handle. Nowhere in our long sessions for testing, we’d find ourselves fatigued of holding the brush. It stayed comfortable even after long hours of strenuous use.

And to top it all off, the brushes also come with a light-weight zip case which makes storing and carrying the brushes incredibly convenient.

Overall, we deem this brush set incredible for everyone except for professional artists. The brushes are of impeccable quality and have a very robust and comfortable design.

Pros
  • 15 brushes in the set which provides incredible variety
  • Set comes at an incredibly affordable price 
  • Durable ferrule and ergonomic handle
  • Brush set comes with a light-weight zip case
Cons
  • It is not meant for professional use
  1. Virtuoso 15-Piece Fine Paint Brush Set

Virtuoso 15-Piece Fine Paint Brush Set is essential for beginner artists who are just starting with the craft. We say this because we couldn’t find any set which is better suited for detailed works than this brush set. In the set, you get a huge variety of brushes in terms of shapes and sizes – rounds, flats, and liner brushes.

Virtuoso 15-Piece Fine Paintbrushes, Handmade Detail Paint...
  • IN YOUR PAINT BRUSH SET: 15 miniature artist paint brushes...
  • PREMIUM DESIGN FEATURES: Virtuoso mini paint brushes feature...
  • AN AMAZINGLY VERSATILE PAINTBRUSH SET: Featuring durable...
  • THE BEST BRUSH KIT FOR THE FLAWLESS EXECUTION OF FINE...

Experience

The ergonomic design of the handle is extremely comfortable. The brush is well balanced and you can get a firm grip on the brush.

The bristles are made from super-fine precision point faux hair that lets you make super fine lines without any stray marks. Other than detailing, you can also use these brushes from blending and soft strokes.

In terms of durability as well, these bristles are excellent as well. Fine brushes are more prone to damage and shedding as the bristle count is pretty low. But thanks to Virtuoso’s unique anti-shedding bristle technology, we saw no signs of shedding.

The durability of the brushes is also due to the incredible quality of ferrules. The bristles are securely gripped by the double crimped metal ferrules.

The set also comes with a convenient carrying case and you can also use these brushes with other mediums like acrylic, oil and enamel paint.

Pros
  • Brush set is very well priced and affordable
  • 15 premium quality brushes in this inexpensive brush set
  • It can be used for other mediums than watercolors
  • Comes with a zip-up carrying case
Cons
  • Only meant for detailing
  1. D’Artisan Shoppe Maestro Series XV 15-Piece Art Paint Brush Set

The versatility that you get with this offering by D’Artisan is astounding. There are 15 brushes in this kit that is well equipped for detailed, fine work in any medium of your choosing – watercolor, acrylics, gouache or oil paint.

In this set, there are 4 flat paint brushes, 4 Filbert brushes, 3 round brushes, 1 angle brush, 1 fan brush, and 1 wide brush.

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Experience

There are two types of bristles that are used in the making of the brush set. Some of the brushes have natural hair and others have synthetic fibers.

The synthetic fibers resemble the feeling of natural hair as well, somewhat like Chungking hog hair. This is incredibly helpful in terms of performance as it provides required firmness and pickup to selected brushes.

The durability of these brushes is also remarkably excellent. The bristles show no signs of shedding, mainly because these brushes are handcrafted with anti-shedding bristles and they fit into a seamless double-crimped anodized ferrule.

The ferrules are not only incredibly good at keeping the bristles in place but also don’t seem to lose their shine at all.

The body is also incredibly lightweight and they are made from varnished hardwood birchwood. They are easy to grip and comfortable to work with for longer sessions.

All of this also come with a stylish and compact carry pouch which has individual slots for every brush in the set.

Pros
  • Combination of natural and synthetic bristles for the best performance
  • 15 brushes which provide amazing versatility for fine and detailed work
  • The set can be used for mediums other than watercolor – oil, acrylic, and gouache
  • Amazing built quality, both in terms of durability and performance
Cons
  • This set is quite expensive
  1. Winsor & Newton Cotman Short Handle Brush

If you have been a part of the art community in any shape or form, then there’s no way of you not knowing about Winsor & Newton. This brand has a heritage and brand recognition that is only comparable to a few other brands of the world.

So believe us when we say that Winsor & Newton has got another high-quality brush set that we’d love to put on this list.

Winsor & Newton Cotman Short Handle Brush (7 Pack) (Round 1...
  • Made of fine quality blended synthetic fibers of differing...
  • Soft filaments with good flow control, excellent spring,...
  • Strong, resilient & durable.
  • Easy to clean.

Experience

The bristles are made from synthetic fibers but there is a certain amount of variety in terms of the feedback of each brush. It is so because the bristles between brushes vary in terms of thickness to provide with the necessary results.

For example, the brushes with thicker bristles have a certain spring and firmness to it and the thinner bristles, on the other hand, have a better color pick up and flow.

The control on these brushes is also fantastic as they have short handles which are amazingly well balanced and comfortable to hold.

And to top it all off the brushes also have incredibly well-built ferrules too. They are made from brass with nickel-plating on top. Completely corrosion free and there’s no hint of clogging of paint.

And a pack of 7 brushes will be a great addition to your already existing arsenal of brushes with 2 round brushes (size: 1 and 6), 1 rigger brush (size: 2), 1 Filbert brush (size: ¼-inch), 1 angled brush (size: ⅛-inch) and 1 fan brush (size: 2).

Pros
  • Incredibly premium bristle quality
  • Professional-grade performance
  • Impeccable design – both, handle and ferrule 
Cons
  • It is a quite expensive set
  1. AIT Art Select Red Sable Detail Brush Set

AIT Art Select Red Sable brush set provides you with gorgeous Russian sable brushes that are hand-crafted in Germany. A nation that is well-renowned for its fine craftsmanship and engineering doesn’t fail to flaunt its craftsmanship in these brushes as well.

The impeccable quality of these brushes ensures that they will not rust, shed bristles or have any sort of corrosion over a long period of time.

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Experience

This 7-piece set is designed for working on minute details and fine lines in watercolor. It includes 3 round brushes, 2 mini liner brushes, 1 long liner brush and 1 flat shader brush.

All of these brushes are designed for mastering the details in your painting and aid you with intricate artworks.

These brushes are not only ideal for watercolor but can be used in other mediums as well, like, gouache, acrylic and oil paint. There is no downgrade in performance in any medium whatsoever. The color pick up is excellent and the flow is incredibly smooth.

There’s a certain degree of springiness and bounce to the brushes that help in delivering crisp lines using any kind of paint.

And the German craftsmanship leaves no doubts about the durability of the brushes. The double-crimped silver nickel ferrules are extremely durable, corrosion proof and will not let the bristles fall astray.

You also get a padded box to store and carry these brushes safely with protective caps but if these brushes still fall short of their expected lifetime, you can replace them for free with a 1-year guarantee.

Pros
  • Impeccable German craftsmanship with astounding durability
  • Excellent performance with Russian sable hair
  • The set is extremely affordable and worth every dollar
  • Ergonomic design that helps you with long hours of painting
Cons
  • It is only meant for detailed work
  1. Magic Touches Red Sable Brush Set

For artists who are looking to get better control over their artwork with a wide variety of strokes, this is for you. Magic Touches Red Sable 6-pack brushes have 6 Filbert brushes that are sure to enhance to artistic abilities. These brushes – sizes: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10,  and 12 – are sure to give your brush arsenal a strong boost.

Magic Touches Artist Paint Brushes Red Sable (Weasel Hair)...
  • PROFESSIONAL QUALITY Red Sable Artist Brushes for Acrylic...
  • THE NATURAL CHARACTERISTICS of the Red Sable Hair (more...
  • THE WELL BALANCED, Polished Birch Wood, Long Handles Have a...
  • THE SECURE FERRULES are Made from High Grade Copper,...

Experience

No matter what the medium, these brushes will do the job for you. Whether it is watercolor, gouache, acrylic or oil paint, these brushes will sure help you in your creative endeavors.

The bristles are crafted from a combination of red sable and weasel hair that gives a premium look and feel. Along with that, the bristles also provide excellent color pick-up and a smooth flow of paint and water.

And these fine bristles are kept strongly in place with amazing quality copper ferrules that ensure that the hair never falls out. Not only that, from our experience we didn’t even find any signs of fraying or damage.

And while you won’t need to work with these brushes for long at a stretch – because these fill up the surface with smooth bold colors really fast, these brushes have extremely comfortable handles anyway.

And as an artist, you can literally learn a lot with the array of free ebooks that you get with the set.

Pros
  • Extremely versatile and can be used with various mediums – watercolors, oil, acrylic, etc
  • Amazing performance with excellent color pick-up and smooth flow
  • Long lasting ferrules that have a good grip on the bristles
  • Comfortable handles that are great for long artwork sessions
Cons
  • This set is quite expensive
  1. MEEDEN Professional Sable Hair Detail Paint 7 Brush Set

MEEDEN’s offering for detailing and fine work is a gorgeous set of brushes that are way more worth than the asked price. A set of brushes made from pure sable hair, known for its softness, flexibility and long life, is a perfect addition to any artist’s toolkit.

And there’s never a lot to complain about when you get excellent performance and incredible durability at an affordable price.

Sale
MEEDEN Professional Sable Hair Detail Paint Brush Set - 7...
  • The finest quality professional grade sable prized for its...
  • Value set contains 7 detail brushes size 4/0,3/0,2/0,0,1,2,3...
  • Our brushes have a generous paint-holding capacity and will...
  • Ergonomic designed short hard wood handle, which has a...

Experience

The set contains 7 brushes – size: 4/0, 3/0, 2/0, 0, 1, 2, and 3, which are perfect for any sort of detailed work with watercolor.

The bristles are made from pure sable hair which has fantastic pick-up and flows smoothly on any kind of surface you may use for your piece.

Each brush is equipped with seamless nickel ferrule that holds on to the bristles with amazing grip and there’s no hint of shedding or fraying with our long hours of testing. Moreover, the ferrules themselves don’t seem to rust or crack even after rough use.

The most interesting part of the design of the brush is the design of the handle. They have a unique triangular handle shape that provides an extremely firm and comfortable grip. These are hardwood handles with great weight distribution and have rich brown spray lacquer, which helps you to get a comfortable grip.

Pros
  • Great for detailed work
  • The set is extremely affordable
  • Durable ferrules with no sign of corrosion
  • Comfortable-to-hold handles which are great for fine lines
Cons
  • No carrying case and only meant for detailing
  1. ZenArt Turner Collection 14-piece Professional Artist Brushes Set

If you are looking for a brush set which is at par with the levels with the tools of an professional artist, then look no further because ZenArt has got you covered.

This brush set will have you covered with all sorts of brush you may need. In this 14-piece brush set, you get 1 1-inch cat’s tongue brush, 5 round brushes (size: 2, 3, 5, 7 and 11), 1 rigger brush (size: 3), 1 Detailed round brush (size: 000), 1 Filbert brush (size: 6), 2 flat brush (size: 4 and 8), 1 angle brush (size: 5), 1 fan brush (size: 3) and a palette knife.

Sale
Professional Artist Brushes for Watercolor, Gouache & Fluid...
  • All WATER MEDIA including WATERCOLORS, GOUACHE, FLUID...
  • The two types of exquisite brushes, a SQUIRREL BLEND and a...
  • These SHORT HANDLED, LACQUERED BIRCHWOOD BRUSHES are...
  • Our UNIQUE 14-piece TURNER COLLECTION includes a PALETTE...

Experience

There are two kinds of fibers that are used in the making of this brush set. While the black squirrel blend provides greater color pickup, a smooth flow, and a great blend, the Japanese synthetic fibers give great bouncy feedback and have a firm shape.

Overall, either fiber type is of impeccable quality and have excellent performance while catering to specific needs.

The brushes are intricately designed by artists and are hand-crafted by master brushmakers. So, you know that these brushes are of premium quality and perform incredibly good.

Each brush has ergonomic lacuqered birchwood short handles that are extremely comfortable to hold and provide a firm grip.

The brushes also have rust-resistant nickel-plated ferrules that have a tight grip on the bristles with no possibility of shedding.

To keep this premium brushes safe and in good health, ZenArt also provides you with a gorgeous satin carrying case and a 1-year warranty covering all of the adversaries.

Pros
  • Excellent fibers used for making brushes with great performance and durability
  • The set comes with a palette knife as well
  • Fantastic craftsmanship and designed by artists
  • Ergonomic handles that are very comfortable to work with
  • Long lasting ferrules used for holding the bristles
Cons
  • The set is pretty expensive
  1. Da Vinci Watercolor Brushes

Da Vinci art products have been faithful to many artists around the globe for many decades. They have made their name on quality products and now enjoy a prestigious position in the community.

Their watercolor brushes come in a huge range of prices, from $1000 dollars and above to a few dollars for each brush. We are here to tell you why their brushes are worth it no matter the price range.

da Vinci Watercolor 5382-1535 Maestro Kolinsky Watercolor...
  • The travel version of the da Vinci Maestro Kolinsky Red...
  • da Vinci Travel brushes are protected by a strong outer...
  • Brush sizes are much larger than competitors kolinsky sable...
  • Hand shaped, the Series 35 is excellent for watercolor,...

Experience

Let’s talk about the performance of Da Vinci brushes. Of course, there will be a variety of performance given the price of the brush but if you compare the Da Vinci brushes to the brushes in the corresponding price range, then you’ll find that the brushes have better pigment retention and the flow is significantly smoother.

And their feedback is also kind of just perfect depending upon the purpose of the brush. For example, their sable brushes are a community favorite because of their springiness.

You can also expect excellent craftsmanship from Da Vinci because these products are crafted in Germany.

No matter the plating on their ferrules – nickel or gold – they never corrode or let the bristles fray. Their handles are also always crafted with immense care to be the best in comfort and grip.

Of course, there is some premium to be paid for Da Vinci brushes. So, if you are a professional artist, do try their 10 series in the Maestro Kolinsky Line.

Pros
  • Impeccable German design and craftsmanship in the brushes
  • Excellent performance with incredible pick-up and the smoothest flow
  • Remarkable durability and consistency
  • Excellent for professional use
  • Their brushes can be purchased individually
Cons
  • Their brushes are always quite expensive

Painting by your-confusion

Conclusion

So, that’ll be all for this review piece.

We hope that you could find the perfect watercolor brush for yourself from our list or at least it helped you to steer in the right direction.

With that, we wish you the very best in your creative endeavors and thank you for reading!

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