The 5 Best Watercolor Brushes In 2020

Creating magical art pieces don’t just come by chance. It requires a mix of talent and the right tools. When these two requirements are put under the same roof, magic takes place. While high-quality tools are of utmost importance, picking the one specifically designed for a job is a very wise idea.

In the essence of this truth, investing in the right individual brushes seems to be the right thing to do. We have dived deeper into the best watercolor brushes available in the market. But we have handpicked the best of the best which are suitable for both professional artists and beginners. Keep reading to see the most favorite. Maybe it might become your favorite too.

Winsor & Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sable Brushes and Set

Winsor & Newton Series 7

Considered as the world’s finest watercolor brush, the Winsor & Newton Series 7 Kolinsky is made from the finest hair from the tail of the kolinsky in England. It is crafted by the most experienced brush makers.

Winsor & Newton Series 7 is conditioned to be rustproof with a seamless high-quality sable. This breathtaking set comes with a polished black handle brush. No other brush in the world beats this brand as it is made according to the standards set by Queen Victoria in 1866. It doesn’t only come in the Queen’s favorite size, the No.7, it is also available in various shapes and sizes. Despite that, the miniature brushes are crafted to the same superior standards.


  • It comes to a crisp point that snaps back into shape during use.
  • It allows superior control between the brush and surface.
  • It allows color to flow evenly and consistently.
  • It is of high quality preferred by artists.
  • It comes in different sizes and shapes.
  • It is rustproof.
  • Has polished handles.


  • Manufacturer’s restrictions require it to not be shipped outside North America.
  • Customer complains of the perfect tip wearing off.
  • They are a costly investment.


Da Vinci Russian Blue Squirrel Brushes

da Vinci Watercolor Series 418 Petit Gris Pur Paint Brush

This piece is made of blue squirrel hair which is held together by a plastic quill. What makes it excellent for mop and wash techniques is its capacity to hold water.

Significantly longer and larger than any brands available in the market today, the rounds are perfectly suited for painting. If it is your preference to paint flowers and blooms on the surfaces, this Russian Blue Squirrel is the perfect choice for you.

The sustainable wood handles are carefully fitted and made to last you a lifetime. The quill wraps the hair perfectly in place with a tight copper wire. If you are an artist with a superb taste for finer things, you wouldn’t want to miss out on this high-quality brush that delivers full strokes across the surface.


  • They are larger and available in every series.
  • It has a high capacity to hold both water and paint.
  • It has a sustainable wood handle.
  • It has a securely wrapped quill to hold the hair in place.
  • It has certified green manufacturing.
  • It has a unique point that allows for full strokes.
  • It is hand-shaped.


  • It is larger than normal-sized brushes.
  • The securing casing wires stick out making it uncomfortable to clean.
  • It takes time to dry back into shape because of its huge reservoir.

Raphael Kolinsky Red Sable Brushes

Kolinsky 8404

This is a top of the range sable brush by Raphael of France. This brush is made of Siberian and Manchurian sable. In other words, it is made from Kolinsky’s hair. Word has it that kolinsky has very strong and dense hair which makes it ideal for water retention.

This is a professional brush that has a seamless nickel-plated brass ferrule. Its orange tip is of high specification and you could never go wrong with its vigor, springiness, and elasticity. It has a fantastic short polished handle and its perfect bristles are ideal for precision.


  • The strong dense hair makes it perfect for water retention.
  • It has a fantastic spring and snaps.
  • Highly recommended for professional designers and retouches.
  • It has a fine point and a full body.
  • It has vigor and elasticity.
  • It has perfect bristles for precision and fine details


  • Its pricing is so high.
  • Bad packaging could spoil the brush.
  • Some sites don’t have a protective cover over the bristles.
  • They are very small and delicate. They can be easily bent and splayed.


Da Vinci Black Goat Quill Mop

da Vinci Double Quill Gilder Oval Shaped Mop, Black, Goat Hair

It is more similar to Squirrel hair watercolor brushes. However, it comes at a fraction of their price. Da Vinci Black Goat Quill Mop is a multipurpose brush that can serve various jobs. It can wash, varnish, imitate, and prime all at the same time. This German brush offers greater value when it is in its larger version.

This generously hand-shaped brush is ideal for oil gilding. It can also be used for gold or metal leaf work. It has certified green manufacturing, and its other best feature is a sustainable wood handle.


  • Certified green manufacturing.
  • It has sustainable wooden handles.
  • It is ideal for oil gilding and gold and metal leaf work.
  • It is generously sized.
  • Its pricing is highly favorable.
  • Highly absorbent for water and color.
  • It makes an excellent mop for wash techniques.
  • It is very soft.


  •  Its hair falls out a lot.
  • Smaller sizes do not have a shape.

This product is great for all your retouching and spotting needs. If you love perfection to detail and precision, this is your brush. Besides, you can never go wrong with its shorter hairs. It gives you both maximum control and it tends to form a resilient tip.

This craftsmanship also comes with a seamless nickel-plated ferrule. It has a sleek black polished handle that is easy to grip. Its fine tip holds a point and in case of any defects, they can replace your brush with a new one.


  • It gives perfect details and precision.
  • It has a sharp precise point.
  • Its shorter hairs give you maximum control.
  • It has a resilient tip.
  • It has a seamless nickel-plated ferrule.
  • It has an easy to grip handle.
  • It can be returned for replacement.


  • It is on the expensive side.
  • Sometimes it comes with two tips making it difficult to use.


What to look for when buying a watercolor brush

Choosing the best watercolor brush depends on a number of things. There is your budget to consider, your experience, and above all, the subject matter of your art. You do not want to throw your money on a piece you will not get to use.

For starters, it is good to consider the size of the art you intend to paint. Round brushes are a good choice for more detailed art. If you are up for a heavy-duty painting, perhaps you might want to consider a spotter. It has a lot of similarities with the round brush. The only difference is it has shorter hair which gives you more control and precision.

The versatility of the brush is also of utmost importance. You want your strokes to be broader. Round brushes would be a good pick, but flat brushes aren’t that bad either. This brings us to a very important point – wash work.

These brushes are similar to flat brushes. It should contain a lot of hair and is softer than the mop brushes. Wash work brushes are generally ideal for large washes.

It is always a good idea to consider the handle length of your brush. Watercolor brushes come mostly in both long and short handles. If you are a beginner, you might want to opt for shorter handles. However, longer handles are best suited for professional artists. It gives them more control and power to determine the strokes.