Best Paint Brushes for Watercolor

Best Paint Brushes for Watercolor

Not all paint brushes are the same…

It can be really overwhelming with there being so many different types of paint brushes available. So, which one is the best for you?

For a beginner, different sizes of only a few round brushes could be useful. Even though round brushes are the most widely used brushes to begin with watercolor paintings, other types of watercolor brushes like – mop brush, flat brush, sable brush, rigger brush etc. could also be used for many purposes.

Now, the prior concern while purchasing watercolor brushes should be if they can hold enough water in their belly. Not too stiff or not too floppy. The other thing to notice is to make sure that the ferrule (the silver part between the tuft and the handle) is top notch.

However, it is important to find the perfect paint brush shapes, sizes and its performance accordingly for one’s precise watercolor painting.

Not to worry, we’ve all been there. That’s why I put together this list of the best watercolor brushes.

Take a look at my selections below and pick the perfect brush for your needs.

01) da Vinci Watercolor Series 5240 Deluxe Paint Brush Set

Natural Hair and Synthetic with Wooden Storage Box and Brush Soap, Multiple Sizes, 5 Brushes (Series 36, 991, 5530, 5550)

da Vinci Watercolor Series 5240 Deluxe Paint Brush Set main


  • 12 x 3 x 1.25 inches
  • Made from natural Kolinsky red sable hair
  • Handmade and handle made with sustainable wood in Germany
  • High-quality wooden box set
  • Highest quality squirrel hair brushes


Series 36 kolinsky sable rounds in sizes 2 and 12 are included in the Deluxe package along with series 5530 Cosmo top sable mix b round Size-18, series 991 Russian blue squirrel flat Size-18 and series 5550 Cosmo top mix f Size-8.

Brushes are held in place by foam rubber supports that keep them clear of the box edges, and air holes in the lids allow for drying. For travelling, the wood box does a fine job of storing your watercolor brushes and keeps the brushes securely in place.

  • Fine holding capacity.
  • Lively flexibility in the bristles.
  • When new paint is absorbed, it holds its shape well.
  • Fine point.
  • Synthetic bristles for watercolor may not be able to hold enough water.
  • Synthetics blended in brushes may be hard in order to mixing colors on paper.
  • The brushes may be bigger than expected.
  • Cheap packaging.


This product is the first go-to for the professionals as the bristles are made of natural hair. These include sable hair, and natural squirrel hair.

As a result, the lively flexibility and fine water holding capacity is evident while coloring. The brushes have fine sharp points and are suitable in applying different painting techniques.

Even though this product may come in relatively cheaper packaging, it does not affect the watercolor painting in any way.

02) Princeton Artist Brush Co. Collector’s Edition Kolinsky Sable Brushes

5pc Kolinsky Sable Watercolor Brushes – Deluxe Paint Brush Set – Kolinsky Sable Watercolor Brushes – Liner 2 – Round 4 6 8 & 10

Princeton Artist Brush Co. Collector's Edition Kolinsky Sable Brushes main image


• 14.06 x 4.13 x 1.18 inches

• Premium watercolor brush made of sable hair

• Remarkable water retention

• Various collection of sizes and brush shape

• Wooden box with a sleek design


This limited-edition set of Kolinsky sable watercolor brushes are approved by Princeton Artist Brush Co. and is handcrafted in Germany.

Each premium brush is painstakingly created with pure sable hair, which is recognized for its ample belly, remarkable water retention, and narrowing to a detailed, extremely sharp tip.

  • High quality sable hair
  • Able to draw both big and thin lines
  • No flaking and a sturdy build
  • Great value for money
  • Often larger than expected


These affordable watercolor brushes are suitable for both amateur and professional artists.

Aside from being inexpensive, these Princeton watercolor brushes are incredibly sensitive and responsive and become a part of you as you paint.

While painting, the brush strokes can be flexible enough to create sharp edges. The synthetic bristles are highly efficient in giving a beautiful finish to the watercolor paint.

03) Creative Mark Paint Brush Set

Mimik Hog Professional Synthetic Hog Bristle Brushes for Acrylics, Inks, Dyes, Gouaches, Watercolors, Easein & Egg Tempera – [Deluxe 20 Piece Set w/Leather Case]

Creative Mark Paint Brush Set main image


• Oils, acrylics, inks, dyes, gouache, watercolor, casein, egg tempera, and other mediums can all be utilized with this product.

• 15.75 x 7.87 x 1.77 inches.

• 20-piece deluxe set.

• A high-quality leatherette case with different size watercolor brushes.


The multi-filament hair absorbs a lot of color, while the bristles discharge thin and thick paint in precise strokes. The ferrules are electroplated in a stain-resistant black finish and are frictionless and strengthened with double nickel-plated brass ferrules. A lengthy lacquered wood handle perfectly balances them.

  • Easy to wash brushes.
  • Consistently deliver brush response.
  • Animal-friendly.
  • May be overpriced for the moderate quality.


Mimik Hog Synthetic Hog Bristle Brushes from Creative Mark outperform any natural and synthetic hairs watercolor brush on the market.

This watercolor paint brushes are ideal for artists searching for a high-quality brush including an animal-friendly alternative.

04) Pro Stroke Artist 12 Piece Paintbrush Set

Paint Brushes for Acrylic, Watercolor, Gouache and Oil Paints

Pro Stroke Artist 12 Piece Paintbrush Set main image


• 12.8 x 5.51 x 1.3 inches

• Round brush 1, 2, 6; bright brush 2, 6; flat brush 4, 10, 12; filbert brush shapes 1, 4, 8, 12

• Warranty of 90 days

• Designed with a special combination of three different sizes of synthetic hair filament interlaced

• Seamless silver-plated ferrules; and short matte black grips


This watercolor paint brush set takes use of modern brush technology while also saving animals. Artist paint brushes are made from a unique combination of three different sizes of synthetic fibers filament that are intertwined. The bristles of professional paint brushes are meant to be extremely soft while yet being robust and durable, allowing them to handle heavy-bodied media such as acrylics and other mediums.

  • To keep the brushes organized, the 12 painting brushes come in a black zipped box with a red border.
  • This set includes a variety of bristle kinds, handle lengths, and quality levels.
  • The tip is of good quality, keeps its form, and contains a good quantity of paint.
  • This product may not be suited for someone who is used to long-handled brushes.
  • Synthetic bristles for watercolor may not be able to hold enough water.


For someone wishing to obtain a solid choice of brushes to start with, this is one of the best sets available. These are more expensive than many sets, but they come with a lot more brushes, which is where the value comes in at this level of quality.

With short handles, synthetic watercolor brushes, silver-plated ferrules (better than aluminum), these may not be the best choice for model painting techniques or fine detail brush but still a good choice to go with if you need a good selection of good quality, reliable brushes.

05) KINGART Original Golden TAKLON Acrylic Handle

Set of 12 Paint Brush Set, Assorted, Black, Gold, Silver

KINGART Original Golden TAKLON Acrylic Handle main image


• The highest quality

• Hand-selected shapes and sizes with short handles

• Brush heads that are smooth and soft

• Gold and black handle with a silver crimped metal ferrule.


This product is dyed and baked for softness for excellent absorption. Hand-selected shapes and sizes with short handles are perfect for a variety of mediums. Each individual brush is sewed onto a branded brush card and wrapped in a luxury gift box as with all KINGART premium brush sets.

  • Comes in a variety of brush sizes give a lot of control over painting approach
  • Magnificent absorption
  • Easy to clean
  • May be overpriced to some extent.


Kingart’s superior synthetic brushes are known for their flexibility, durability, and simplicity of use and these excellent features increase the quality and therefore, the longevity of the product.

Overall, a great pick for watercolor brushes.

General Information About Paint Brushes For Watercolor

The materials used to make watercolor brushes are often softer. Because painting with several layers necessitates a delicate touch. Paintbrushes consisting of soft synthetic materials and natural sable or squirrel hair are therefore commonly encountered.

The anatomy of a watercolor brush is made up of three fundamental elements. The bristles, ferrule, and handle are the three components.

To get the precise result, while choosing a brush, the bristles has to have enough water holding capacity and be smooth in mixing watercolor paint. The bristles are connected to the handle via the ferrule.

And what brush to use when?…It’s easy to choose a brush size.

Large brushes are ideal for powerful strokes and washes, tiny brushes are ideal for fine detail work, and mid-sized brushes are ideal for versatility.

Conclusion / Roundup

Hopefully, this article was able to address the majority of your questions. While each artist has their own specialization and preferences, each type of brush set is useful for all artists in some way.

You are invited to check out the items before deciding on any of them, since there is an element of becoming used to a specific sort of brush set.

There is a possibility of having too many alternatives, but whatever information is provided in this review should help you limit things down to what you require at the end of the day.

Slowly but surely, only trial and error will be more effective than reading things in a review.


What’s the best paint brushes for watercolor?

Among different types of watercolor brushes, it is mainly due to versatility that round watercolor brushes are best watercolor brushes used for watercolor painting.

Their form lends itself to fine details and delicate lines, as well as wide strokes and washes.

If you’re going to spend money on a high-quality watercolor brush set, such as Kolinsky weasel, it’s better to utilize it in the form of a round brush.

Do you need special paint brushes for watercolor?

For watercolor, soft brushes are preferred the most as soft brushes can provide enough water holding capacity as well as to mix colors effortlessly.

To find good watercolor brushes, bristles made of soft natural sable hair or squirrel hair would be highly recommended.

Is synthetic or natural brushes better for watercolor?

Synthetic and natural brushes are both good for watercolor.

However, in comparison, natural hair brushes are always better than synthetic fibers.

It is because synthetic brush cannot hold water and paint as much as natural brushes.

This is because of their fibrous anatomies, which specialize at taking up and keeping water for extended periods of time.

What are the different types of brushes available?

Different types of brushes available are:

  1. Round watercolor brushes are ideal for versatile painting as they can be used for wide strokes, washes, and fine details.
  2. Filbert watercolor brushes have a chisel-like edge that is great for creating soft edges and precise stroke work.
  3. Flat brushes for watercolor are used for creating wide strokes and filling larger areas of the painting with color.
  4. Fan watercolor brushes have a flat tip and are great for creating soft edges, adding texture, or blending color transitions.
  5. Bright watercolor brushes have a round tip and are great for detailed work, such as adding highlights or painting small areas.
  6. Liner watercolor brushes have a long, thin point that is perfect for precise line work or painting intricate details.
  7. Dagger watercolor brushes have a sharp point that is perfect for painting fine details or making thin lines.
  8. Wash brushes have a wide, flat tip that is perfect for covering large areas with color or creating soft edges.
  9. Mop brushes have a soft, fluffy tip that is perfect for blending colors or creating textured effects.

And what are the different types of hair used?

The different types of hair used in brushes are:

1. Natural sable hair is the softest and most expensive type of brush hair. Natural hairs are perfect for painting detailed work and can hold a large amount of paint. Pure sable brushes are often seen as the best watercolour paint brushes, but they can be expensive and difficult to find.

2. Squirrel hair is the second softest type of brush hair and is also quite expensive

2. Synthetic sable hair is a cheaper alternative to natural sable hair that performs similarly. It’s ideal for painting fine detail work as synthetic bristles can hold a lot of paint.

3. Squirrel hair is also very soft and ideal for detailed work, but usually more expensive than synthetic sable hair.

4. Synthetic squirrel hair offers similar performance as natural squirrel hair but is more affordable. It’s perfect for painting smooth blends or subtle color transitions.

5. Bristle brushes are made from stiff, coarse hair and are great for applying heavy layers of paint quickly. They can be used with oil or acrylic paints as well as watercolor.

6. Boar bristle brushes are similar to bristle brushes but tend to be softer and more flexible, making them ideal for painting smooth blends and smooth transitions.

7. Goat hair brushes are great for painting rough textures or adding texture to your watercolor paintings, and are also good for applying heavy layers of paint.

8. Pony hair is a less expensive option than other brush hairs and performs similarly to bristle or boar hair brushes. It’s ideal for adding textural details or applying thick layers of paint.

So whether you’re looking for precise detail work or more textural effects, there are a variety of watercolor brushes to suit your needs and painting style.

Ultimately, the best brush for you will depend on your personal preferences and the type of watercolor techniques that you prefer to use.

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Written By Adam Rushton

Adam has made a name for himself in the illustration industry and is a passionate blogger and writer on the subject of art, illustration and graphic design.

His artwork has been featured in countless publications and used for very well-known media projects. As a professional illustrator for over 20 years, Adams media outlets, a wealth of knowledge, and experience enable him to consult and advise artists and illustrators in this country (from York and Manchester to Southampton and London) and all over the world.