I have opted to try a few new brushes in recent weeks to see how they perform. Normally I use Raphael Kolinsky 8408 series for my watercolour bird paintings. For skies I would have used a wonderful #10 brush to apply a thin wash of Cerulean Blue with a touch of Mauve or even just a little of Sepia or Raw Umber to warm the clouds.
While in Paris two years ago I visited Senneliers Art Shop (Magasin Sennelier: http://magasinsennelier.net/index.html
If you want a great discussion on art materials etc then visit this wonderful shop just east of the Musee D’Orsay on Quai Voltaire. Without checking the price of this Raphael #11 Le “803” brush I just added it to my collection of items in my hands at the time. I drew a long breathe when I got back to the hotel and checked the prices.
Not to worry. This brush is now very much proven itself as the go-to brush for big sky washes and under coating foregrounds. I even use it to paint grasses and bark on the trees as in this latest landscape:
In Australia they can be purchased for about $185 AU and while expensive I cannot imagine working without it.
The second new brush compliments the Raphael 803. I have only ever liked using one Windsor and Newton brush: #6 Pointed Round. Again I found it a superb instrument for painting wispy fine features such as leaves and grass. It carries a considerable amount of paint and allows fine lining for finishing.
Both brushes glide well, sit comfortably in the hand (amongst fingers); hold excellent quantities of paint that flows freely as you want it to.