Types of Watercolor Brushes

Watercolor brushes come in all shapes and sizes.

ANGULAR: This brush has a flat ferrule (the metal part that holds the hairs) with short hairs on one end with longer hairs at the other. It’s good for lines and curves with heavy color. You can also use this brush with acrylic paints. It is made of synthetic fibers.

DETAILER: This brush is a pointed round brush with very short hair.

FLAT: This brush has a flat ferrule with medium to long hairs that are square shaped. It holds a lot of color and is used for making large, sweeping strokes or even fine lines (with the edge). It can be made of sable, mongoose, bristle, badger, or synthetic fibers.

ROUND: This brush has a round ferrule and a round or pointed tip. It is used for both washes and details and can create thin and thick lines. A pointed round brush is used for fine details. Round brushes are made of all types of hair as well as synthetic fibers and can be used with all types of paint.

SCRIPT / LINER/ RIGGER: This brush has a round ferrule, short handle, and very long hairs. It is used for lettering, outlining, painting small details, and making long continuous strokes. Besides watercolor, this brush can also be used with ink and in decorative painting. It is made of sable or ox hair or synthetic fibers.

WASH BRUSHES: These watercolor brushes are used for painting in large areas of color or water, for wetting the paper, and for absorbing excess paint. Wash brushes come in a variety of shapes:

1. FLAT WASH/SQUARE WASH: The flat wash brush can produce a variety of shapes and widths. It often has a short handle that is flat on the end, useful for scraping and burnishing. It is made of squirrel, ox, bristle, or synthetic fibers.

2. HAKE BRUSH: This is a wash brush with a long flat handle. It can be made of squirrel, goat, ox, bristle, or synthetic fibers.

3. MOP: This brush is a round wash brush made of soft natural hair (squirrel hair).

4. OVAL WASH: This brush has a flat ferrule and rounded hairs that produce a soft edge with no point. This floppy brush is used for pre-wetting the paper or filling in large areas of color. It is made of squirrel, ox, bristle, or synthetic fibers.