Useful tools

One of the most often asked questions by workshop attendees is “What brush are you using?”

While art is created in the head, it is helpful to have tools that will match the vision. So here is a list of some of the tools I have found very useful.

BRUSHES: I am not going to list all my brushes, of which I have about twenty. Most of those are in my brush caddy so that I will look like a real artist. I have tried many brushes searching for the qualities I require. Here are the ones I use all the time.

Langnickel no. 3085 “Combo” – 1-inch, 1 1/2-inch and 2 -inch.  These are a combination of real hair and synthetic. The hairs are longer than those found in most wash brushes of similar width. Plus there are a lot more hairs because the ferrule is about twice as thick as many wash brushes.Because of this it hold a lot of water. It has the snap of sable and returns to a thin straight edge every time. I love this one. I use it for about 75% of the painting. They are not found in most art catalogues. Go to: Then from their menu on the left select “fine art painting supplies” On that page scroll down to “Miscellaneous fine art supplies” and in that list click on “brushes”. Scroll down just a bit and you will see “Royal Langnickel” and their logo. Click on that and then scroll down just a bit until you see a paddle handle wash brush with the name “Langnickel Signwriter”  above it “. Click that and you have found the brush. This is the best flat brush I have ever used.

My other brushes and paints I get from Daniel Smith. (call 1-800-224-4065 and ask for a catalogue.)

Daniel Smith series 23. 3/4 inch flat,  no. 6 round, no. 8 round, and no. 12 round.  These come to the finest point I have found on any brush-even a sable. However because of the cost I don’t have heartburn when the point wears out and I have to retire it. Another good round brush of which I have a few is the Loew-Cornell series 7020 brush. I do not use a rigger because I want to be able to vary the width of the stroke.

For paints I use Daniel Smith almost exclusively. The pigments are very finely ground, the tinting strength exceptional/ There are other top brands of watercolor paint, but I have tried them all and found none to surpass Daniel Smith. Here are the ones I use:

Quinacridone Gold, Quinacridone Sienna, Quinacridone Burnt Orange, Quinacridone Red, Quinacridone Pink, Quinacridone Rose, New Gamboge, Transparent Pyrol Orange (I have fallen in love with this one), Pyrol Orange (more opaque), Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Carbazole Violet, Phthalo Blue, Manganese Blue Hue, Ultramarine Blue, and Sap Green. My one color  that I get from another source is horizon Blue by Holbein. It’s opaque and beautiful.

Other than that I use a 2-inch square of foam sponge – the kind you use to make accent pillows. I get a square foot of it at a craft store and cut it up. It’s great for lifting a small shape or line of white.

And for paaper I use almost exclusively 140 lb rough Arches. I sometimes use 300 lb rough. I also go through a lot of Viva paper towels.


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