best paint brushes for watercolor

Best Paint Brushes For Watercolor

For every artist, paint brushes are one of the most essential tools in your collection. Having a set of brushes that has got all the complete sizes and designs will not just only make your job stunning; it will also make it faster.

With the wide range of brushes available in the market, it is easy to buy an inferior one except you are guided by someone who has tested them and has done proper research on their qualities.

Paint brushes are inexpensive, so you can always decide to buy a bunch of them and test. But how about wastage of time and other resources involved in the process?

Well, don’t frown, because we have gone to the market and selected the best paint brushes for watercolor so you can start producing those amazing artworks without wasting precious time and resources testing them yourself.

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Best Paint Brushes For Watercolor

Paint Brushes For Watercolor Reviews

1. Crafts 4 ALL – 10 Pieces Professional Paint Brushes Set

This brush set is one of the best sellers in the market, not because it is affordable, but because it has got all the styles and brush tips you will need to create a fantastic art piece.

There is no limit to what you can use it for. It is ideal to use on all paint types, including watercolor oil, acrylic, and gouache paints. It can be used to produce a range of crafts as; art painting, ceramics, nail art, face painting, just to mention a few.

It is easy to clean and reshape after every use or while still in the process of painting. The Nylon hairs are finely texture and easy to reshape with your fingers. Just dip in soapy warm water and reshape with your fingers.

All pieces in the set are made with wooden handles and designed to fit well into your fingers, thus reducing strain.

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Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or a professional, this paintbrush set can be used for all skill levels, and not forgetting to mention that they are perfect for children.]

  • Strong wooden handles
  • Has got a wide range of brush tips/shape to use
  • Suitable for all skill levels
  • Will work for all types of artistic paints
  • If not well taken care of, they do shed
  • Brush bristles are made from cheap nylon

2. Artlicious – 25 All Purpose Paint Brush

The Artlicious multi-purpose paintbrush gives you value for your money since it can be used for a lot of painting jobs. Coming in a set containing 25 different brush sizes and styles, you can be sure of creating artworks beyond imagination.

The brushes are made from different materials based on different styles. The styles include nylon, sponge, bristle, and camel hair brushes.

All brushes are made with colorful wooden handles with the sizes of each brush labeled boldly, so you can easily identify what brush to use.

It is great with acrylic, oil, watercolor and gouache paints.

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In summary, the Artlicious multi-purpose paintbrush is okay for the money, but unfortunately, we think it is cheaply made. But because of the variety of brushes and the ability to perform more painting tasks, it will be worth a try

  • Consists of a range of brush sizes and styles
  • Easy to clean
  • Colorful brush handles
  • Great for all skill levels
  • Applies color beautifully
  • Poor packaging
  • Cheaply made
  • Bristles can fray easily

3. Professional Artist Brushes by ZenArt

The ZenArt professional artist brush set is our best paint brushes for watercolor without any bias. It consists of 14 piece brushes of all sizes you will need to create an excellent artwork painting.

The design is elegant and durable. The hair is made from squirrel hair and synthetic blend, which makes it perfect for watercolor and oil-based paints as compared to others made from nylon.

The hair is held by nickel-plated and 100 % aluminum ferrules up to 0.2hmm thickness as against others that are made from cheap thin metals that can easily break. Do you see why ZenArt brushes are the best?

The complete kit comes with a palette knife, a wide range of brushes, and a rollup carrying case. You are backed by their 1-year money-back guarantee if you experience any hitch with the product.

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Because of the thick and fine hair, it can be used on any paint type. This product is all you need to make amazing paintings that you will be proud to show off. The only downside with this set is the short handles. But of course, they are not totally a disadvantage.

  • 1-year warranty
  • Japanese synthetic fibers and squirrel hair blend
  • Great for watercolor, gouache and fluid acrylics
  • Firm bristles that do not shed
  • A wide range of brush types and sizes
  • Superior painting performance
  • It is an expensive set

4. Art Paint Brushes Set by Mont Marte

The Mont Marte art paintbrush gives you the option to be more creative in your painting by featuring more brush design. It comes with 15 different sizes.

It is designed to correct the major cons most brushes face because of poor material selection. They are made from the finest material that ensures that no bristles are left on your artwork during painting.

Each piece of brush includes thick and smooth Taklon hair fastened rigidly in an aluminum ferrule. The handles are made from durable wood that will not be bent or broken easily, thus increasing the lifespan.

These paintbrushes are suitable for various kinds of paints, such as acrylics, watercolors, gouaches, and oil paints.

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Proper storage helps increase the longevity of paintbrushes, and that is why Mont Marte has included a gorgeous zippered holder that is well padded to protect the brushes when not in use or when packed with other items.

On the handle of each brush is labeled the size, which makes it great for professionals or beginners alike

  • Made from durable materials
  • Comes in zipper holder for protection
  • Long, ergonomic handles
  • Can be used for a wide range of paint types
  • Excellent range of brush sizes and types
  • Bristles might sometimes be too soft for some art applications

5. Artist Paint Brush Set by ONSON

The Artist Paint Brush Set by ONSON, features a set of 15 artistic paintbrushes of different sizes and shapes ranging from the liner, flat, angular, filbert, round, fan, to comb shape.

If you hate seeing loosed bristles on your artwork, then this brush set will make your day because it has got durable hairs from the finest material to ensure that no bristles are left on your art piece.

The handles are not also left out. They are glossy and smooth to feel, which makes it comfortable to hold. This set comes with a brushes case made from nylon and partially padded to increase protection.

Whether for oil paints, acrylics, watercolors, and gouaches, these brushes will work conveniently with any paint type.

This product is beyond a brush set. It is a kit since it comes with an included painting knife and a watercolor sponge.

  • Good range of brush sizes and styles
  • Easy to clean
  • Good packaging for protection
  • Brushes are strong and durable
  • No loose hairs or paint flaking off while painting
  • Free painting knife and watercolor sponge included
  • Brushes could have been more firm
  • It’s a bit expensive

Paint Brushes For Watercolor Buyer’s Guide

best paint brushes for watercolor

Not all brushes are made equal. Brushes are made for a different purpose. If you buy the wrong brush, it may not be able to serve the purpose of painting objects with watercolor. So the following guide will help you choose the best paint brushes for watercolor.

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Synthetic versus Animal hair

The type of material used for the hair matters a lot. The bristle is the most critical part of an artist’s brush. Brushes are either made from animal hair or synthetic materials oftentimes, nylon.

So the question is – which is the best?

Synthetic fibers are cheap, and so they are used for brushes used by beginners and children. They mimic that of animal hair, and of course, you can get some that are appropriately designed to compete with those made from animal hair.

Professionals can also use them with no differences. But one of the disadvantages of the synthetic brush is that they easily shed. They do not last long.

On the other hand, animal hairs are used to produce brushes used by professionals. They are expensive, so it may not be recommended for beginners who may not know the value of quality

These hairs are fetched from goat, cow, squirrel, sable camel, and hog with squirrel being one of the most used materials and arguably the best.


The handles of paintbrushes are also important to consider. They are either short or long. Long ergonomic handles give optimum comfort when you paint, while short handles are not eventually disadvantageous because they are the best when it comes to fine, detailed work.


While this may not be an essential factor to consider, it will make sense to have a durable carrying case that can offer protection on your brushes, especially if you intend to carry them often on a trip.

If they are loosely packed with other items, it can easily get broken or ruptured. A padded case will not be a bad idea.

Frequently Asked Question

watercolor paintbrush reviews

Can you use the same set of brushes for watercolors and acrylics?

You can use acrylic brushes on watercolor, but unfortunately, you cannot use a watercolor brush on acrylic paint.

Acrylic paints have some harsh chemicals in their formula that may damage the hair of brushes. So they shouldn’t be used on hair paintbrushes.

So absolutely, you can use the same set of brushes on watercolor and acrylics, only if they are acrylics brushes.

Why are my new paintbrushes hard?

This may happen sometimes, especially if you buy inexpensive and synthetic ones. But this is not a problem. The hardness is as a result of the glue that keeps the bristles together.

To loosen it, pour boiling vinegar into a brush container and dip the brush hair inside. Leave to soak for at least 20 minutes. This may help loosen the glue that keeps the bristle together.

How do you reshape paintbrushes after washing?

It is always easy to reshape paintbrushes after washing them. Typically, you may not need to continually reshape your paintbrushes if they are durable. You will always have this issue for cheaply made synthetic brushes.

However, if the brush seems ruined and the hairs are out of shape, then you need to wash them again. After washing, dip the bristles in some linseed oil and reshape it with your hands. Next, dip in water-soluble glue and allow drying for a few days with the bristles facing up.

How long do watercolor brushes last?

There is no definite answer to this. The longevity of your watercolor brushes depends on how often you use them and how durable they are.

Brushes used several times a week should be able to last at least 6 months for synthetic brushes and at least 2 years for natural hair brushes.

Do you need special paint brushes for watercolor?

Yes, and no. You can use synthetic or natural brushes for watercolor painting. However, you should not use your natural brushes with acrylic paints because the chemicals in the acrylic paint can damage or break down the natural brushes.

How do I choose a watercolor brush?

Watercolor Brushes: 5 Tips for Choosing a Brush

  • Know the lingo. When artists talk about watercolor brushes, there are some terms you are going to hear over and over again.
  • Think long term.
  • Go big.
  • Opt out of the “natural vs synthetic” battle.
  • Ignore price.

Is synthetic or natural brushes better for watercolor?

Real hair has ridges and scales and holds water better than smooth synthetic brushes. Natural brushes are also “springier” which means they recover their shape better while in use. Tip: For watercolor, which demands loading with lots of color and water while retaining a good point, use a natural-bristle brush.

Can you use any brush for watercolor?

Technically, you can safely use watercolors with acrylic brushes, but always exercise caution when using watercolor brushes with acrylics. Acrylic paint is harsher on a paintbrush than watercolors, so they shouldn’t be used on natural hair paint brushes.

Why are watercolor brushes so long?

Length. Watercolor brushes are different from oil and acrylic brushes because they are shorter. It’s because oil and acrylic painters tend to work standing up on an easel, fairly far away from their canvas. So they need a long handle to paint easily.

Why are sable brushes better?

Sable fibres are thin, elastic and particularly tapered, with a very soft and long tip. These features make it excellent for many painting techniques: tempera, oil colours, acrylics, watercolours. Thanks to its absorption capability, sable hair is considered the best one for these painting techniques.

Are Princeton watercolor brushes good?

One of the great companies I recommend for those looking for good quality synthetic brushes is Princeton. Though they also make beautiful looking sable brushes (see the Siberia range), the ones I’ve tried have been the really good range of synthetic squirrel and sable brushes, in interesting shapes and sizes.

Are sable brushes cruel?

That’s right: Animals used for paintbrushes suffer in many of the same ways as animals used for fur coats. “Sable” hair is actually not from sables at all—it’s taken from minks, ferrets, or weasels, and some of these animals are considered endangered.

Are hog hair brushes good for watercolor?

Although goat, hog, and squirrel hair make excellent paint brushes, sable hair, in particular, Kolinsky and/or red sable hair is regarded as the best fiber for watercolor brushes.

Are synthetic brushes bad for watercolor?

Synthetic brushes (bottom) are stiff and give you a lot of control but hold the least amount of water. A natural watercolor brush (top) holds the most water but that may be too much. A synthetic/sable blend (middle) is a good all-around brush and in general holds the right amount of water and color for most painting.


Our pick for the best paint brushes for watercolor is the . If you are looking for a brush that has got all the styles and sizes to make your painting awesome, then you can never go wrong.

Apart from the fact that the bristles are made from natural animal hair, the squirrel blend releases fluid easily and mixes paint well. This is a paintbrush that you will buy and forget about buying a new one in months.

Let us know if you find this content helpful in making a choice or, perhaps, leave us a message if you’ve got anything we can be of help with. We’d love to hear from you.