Are Winsor and Newton Cotman watercolor brushes good quality and perform well?
I’m considering buying this brush for watercolor, just wondering if it is good quality and can maintain a point well. Please also suggest other brands of brushes that are good. I’m a beginner, so i don’t want to spend too much on it. Thanks!
I have been water coloring for a few years and started out with Winsor-Newton Cotman brushes as well as their W-N Sceptre Gold brushes. Both are excellent quality brushes for the price and I have never been disappointed with them. Both sets of brushes hold adequate paint and water and you can paint with a fine point or just put the base of the brush down and leave a good mark. My water color teachers have recommended both types of brushes for their students. Have since invested in sable brushes and while they are very nice, you’d have to be hard pressed to tell the difference. The sable brushes hold more water and are more supple but the differences are subtle. By the way, I still have my Cotman and Sceptre Gold brushes. Do not try to save money and buy brushes that are cheaper. You might save money but your painting will suffer. In a recent class I was in, a woman was painting on inexpensive paper with bargain brushes and poor quality paints. She was a beginner and was trying but her paintings were rough and opaque looking. I looked into my stash and pulled out extra brushes, paints and paper and gave them to her as a gift. She was overwhelmed but accepted the gift. What pleased me was that her painting at the end of the day was many times better than anything she had done before. Materials do make a difference but you do not have to spend “an arm and a leg” for art supplies.
Brushes: W-N Cotman brushes perhaps #8 or #10 round, #3 or #4 round, a 1/2″ flat and a # 1 or #2 rigger. Also have a hake-wash brush (there are a lot of different brands out there- all are very inexpensive).
Paper: At least 140 pound test (buy the not or cold pressed) paper. With paper made into blocks, you do not have to have a board to support it. With sheets of paper in tablets, a lightweight art board and masking tape would support the paper.
Paint: W-N Cotman set of 12 colors are good quality and reasonable in price. You could buy the 1/2 pans or tubes but the 1/2 pans might be fine right now. If you buy pans, have a tiny spray bottle to wet your paint to soften them a bit before you start. At all cost, avoid the water colors that come in those little round pans that you had as a kid. Most but not all are poor quality. Avoid like the plague the Pelican Opaque Watercolor sets and a round set of watercolors that are stacked three high. both have poor quality of paints. Cannot tell you anything about the Van Gogh or the other brands of watercolors as I have not personally used them, but others might post their experiences.
As for stores, if you are taking a class, the art stores often give you a discount card and or a discount if you are a student. just ask and see what is available.
Water container” Use an empty yogurt or cottage cheese container
Additional gear: #2 type pencil (like your yellow school pencil); kneaded eraser, tiny pencil sharpener
Before I forget, look at U-Tube Virtual Village for free videos on setting up your watercolor equipment and also applying washes and the like. They also have free videos on painting clouds, trees, etc.
Do not forget to sign and date your work. Before long, you will look back and realize that you have progressed quite a bit. Those early pieces will become more specal knowing where you started.
Look around for a watercolor class to join. A lot of adult schools have inexpensive classes. Also look in your library for Betty Edwards’ book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. It will help you to become a better drawer. When it comes down to it, good drawing skills will go a long way to producing a great watercolor.
How to draw a Labradoodle
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