Round pointed Kolinsky sable brushes are the classic choice for watercolour.
Sable is a highly suitable hair for this medium, for reasons explained on this page.
The round-pointed shape gives a very fine and precise point along with a good reservoir of paint. It is capable of a variety of stroke shapes and widths.
You may already have seen on our About brush sizes page that size designations are inconsistent across different manufacturers' ranges – they often mean different tuft dimensions.
This page gives details of our brushes to help you decide which you need.
Each brand has its own personality. Luxartis brushes have fine sensitive points, even the large sizes. When used with light pressure, you are initially conscious of having a distinct tip to steer round.
This trait is particularly suited to working on fine detail, and the fact that the larger brushes possess it reduces the amount of switching between sizes. It does mean, however, that when changing direction you need to take the suppleness of the point into account by re-angling the handle slightly. The aim is to keep the tip trailing in the direction of travel. This quickly becomes second nature.
These are hand-made products so vary slightly. All sizes in millimetres and refer to the wet state.
|Luxartis round pointed against 10mm/2mm squared background. Some newer additions to the range not shown|
|Size||Tuft length||Width||Overall length|
The large sizes are slimmer than some (not all) brands, in keeping with their precise character, though the #20 is an impressive watercolour brush by any standards.