Hi friends! I have been asked by a few viewers if I would compare all off of the different water brushes on the market and while I don’t have them all I do have quite a few and today I will share the benefits and failings of each. I also welcome you to share your favorite water brushes in the comments section below.
A waterbrush is a brush with a hollow handle that you can fill with water (or ink, paint etc) so you do not need to bring a separate jar of water with you when travel painting or if you don’t want to deal with a spillable cup of water at home. These can also be handy for stampers or scrapbookers that want to add some mixed media to their art but don’t want a pot of water on their table that might spill on their project. Whatever the reason fo you wanting to use a waterbrush I will show you the features of some of the most popular ones out there.
I compared 8 different brands of waterbrushes. Personally I like waterbrushes for travel sketching. I think you can get better brushes for your money for in studio work that are not waterbrushes but for times when it is inconvenient to have a bucket of rinse water nearby they are a great option!
Here are the brands I demoed:
Caran D’ache $8-$10 each or 3/$24 small, medium, large point rounds
Koi $7.50 each or it comes in the Koi watercolor pocket box that I use en plein air painting: This brand offers the most compact brushes, including really short mini brushes. Don’t throw away the black stopper that comes with these because you can use it to plug the water in the handle if you want to take apart the brush for compact travel storage. These brushes are very easy to squeeze to release more water.
Niji $10 or These were the first water brushes I owned and they are going strong after 15 years of frequent use. I think they were the first to make a waterbrush and probably have improved in technology over the years. A tried and true brand.
Aqua Stroke (4/$12- 3 rounds 1 flat) I have used these for years too, they are fine but the barrels are harder to squeeze and would be hard for people with arthritis or other strength issues.
Mudder (6/$12 3 flats, 3 rounds) These are a decent bargain and I have painted with them a few times since I filmed this comparison and I like them. Beware when replace caps on the flats that you don’t squash the bristles
Royal (3/$5 rounds)*I do not recommend these brushes as water brushes, they do not have a regulator inside so it is hard to control the water coming out and it tends to suck paint back into the barrel making the paint water dirty. I use these to make DIY glitter pens.
Generic (Came in Jerry Q art kit)
These are some brands YouTube viewers have listed as their favorites:
Tim Holtz/ Ranger has a round detailer $10 and flat $12
Derwent Waterbrush had mixed reviews from YouTube fans which leads me to believe that there might have been a bad batch made at some point. I recommend contacting Derwent if you get a bad brush. Many viewers listed this brush as their favorite.
Pentel Aqwash These got great reviews from YouTube viewers and they are quite affordable. Also I think the larger bulbous barrel might be easier to squeeze.
If you have a recommendation let me know in the comments!
Bottom line, other than the Royal water brushes (which I do not recommend) I found that most of them preformed about the same with no big advantages over the rest other than price so see what you can find in your price range and have fun!
*Note: Affiliate link to Hallmark Scrapbook and Simon Says Stamp used. I find Simon Says Stamp has the BEST selection BUT Hallmark Scrapbook has better prices but they sell out fast! They are both wonderful & amazing companies though:)
I hope you found this useful, Happy Crafting!