I watched a lot of cartoons and movies. I draw incessantly and carry a sketchbook everywhere. I work in animation and self-publish my books. There are monsters in the streets, don't wear red. Mad bulls and monsters hate that color. I still watch cartoons.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Watercolor Brush with reservoir: A fan's demo

Sketchcrawl would not be as portable for me as it has been without this little helper. These are the essentials: mechanical pencil, small sketchbook, watercolors, and this plastic wonder. I found mine at the Kinokuniya supplies store across from the Kinokuniya bookstore in Japan Town in S.F. I'm sure you can find it elsewhere (the Yasutomo Waterbrush I found online is not the same as mine but must work the same). I'd annotate these photos, but really, it's as complex as chewing gum. It will take some getting used to for traditionalists, I mean sometimes you just don't want that much water with the pigment--a small quirk of the tool that one can live with, I think. I hope this is instructional. Post a comment for specific questions.

Check out the watercolors in these posts (1 2 3 4). All were done with this brush on Ingre pages of the famed Fabriano Classic Artist's Journal.



Found the brushes, as mentioned by Justin. Went to Longs and found the Royal Langnickel Aqua-flo pack of three brushes. Small medium and large. Made in China. Quirks of Art Link

Niji Waterbrush by Yasutomo is sold in single brushes also at Longs. Made in Japan. More expensive than the three pack Aqua-flo. Maybe price equals quality. Art Supplies Online.com Link

Pentel Aquash is the one I use and, for my money, the best. Though I can't seem to find net source inside the U.S. Link Link

The "Website of Russel Stutler in Tokyo" has a rundown on his experience with the waterbrush here.

Wetcanvas.com has a thread on people talking about our fabled plastic brush here.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah yes, the famed waterbrush! A while ago I overheard Glenn Vilppu saying that years ago he couldn't find these here in the US and ordered them solely from Japan. He said he began telling art stores here about it, and after a while the craze caught on and it became popular. I don't know if Vilppu "brought" them to the US, but I wonder how Sketchcrawl would be without it... on second thought, I better not. I forgot which brand I buy them from, but apparently they come in different brush shapes - small and medium bristles, and also flat. Better start my Fabriano book as well - seems like the perfect combination.


PS: Nina has a lovely feeling on that sketch. I can even smell the coffee from here.

7:35 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

After you showed me the brush on a sketchcrawl, I looked for one at several East Bay art stores, none of which had it. Boy was I surprised, then, to find a packet of three for something like $7 at -- get this -- the big Long's store right around the corner from you. That right, cool brush pens from the local mega-drugstore!

10:59 PM

Blogger Ronnie said...

Regis--Maybe Glenn did get this whole reservoir brush thing on its way. Someone nudge him to ask about this.

Michael--hey, I gotta go that Longs tomorrow and buy a bunch. Thanks for that tip. This will make a great stocking stuffer. This blogging thing works!


11:17 PM

Blogger Mr. B said...

YES! but i lost mine...in the house.
Now I want a refillable ink brush pen.
I had a fountain brush pen but it was a complete hassle & leaked horribliy.
But the Kuretake cartridge system looks like a winner.
viva portability

5:20 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads-up about these! I've been doing ink and wash studies by carrying around a brown Pigma Micron and Tombow brush markers (#942), but their tonal range is limited. This looks like an even better solution.

7:31 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In searching around, I also found these on the Blick site. A bit more expensive, but they have a flat.

8:03 AM

Blogger The James said...

Hey Ronnie, don't know if I'd ever have gotten into watercolours if it weren't for that little brush. It's not easy to find so I always by them when I find them even though I don't need 'em. Just wondering what kind of watercolour set you've got there? It's small, simple and looks like a breeze to whip out and use on a whim. I've got 3 different sets and I'm still trying out new ones.

10:31 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Waterbrushes are the best thing ever. Unfortunately, I left mine in my pocket with the cap off, completely destroying it... I've got to go hunting for a new one now.

Just goes to show, you gotta treat your art supplies with respect.

12:08 PM

Blogger Paul Tuller said...

Your blog is exploding with new posts! Yaaay! I gotta check back more often :)
I see, the seceret behind a small easy water color set is the water brush. And all this time I have been carrying around two water bottles: one for when I get thirsty, and one just for my lovley watercolors. I always get pricless looks when I reach into my bag for the drinking bottle and pull out the brown prainty one, hahaha
Thanks for sharing the portable artist secrets

3:10 PM

Blogger Louie del Carmen said...

... yes, don't leave home without 'em!

Kinokuniya bookstores sell it in their art supply section along with mini watercolor sets.

3:18 PM

Blogger monkeyfeather said...

A brilliant gadget indeed. It has been truly indispensable on the 2 sketchcrawls I've been on.

Nice sketch for the demo Ronnie.

9:53 PM

Blogger Sean said...

I think I first saw these brushes on Enrico's site. I found 'em a few days later at Blicks and bought two (in case I broke/lost one). I also love this little brush.

1:42 PM

Blogger Perry Linton Joseph Osuna said...

I just used one at the winter fair and it awsome I love thing can't believe I took so long to use the dam thing

4:51 AM

Blogger Allan Lorde said...

I'm inspired to get one! I haven't messed with watercolor for a couple of years.

1:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is Glenn Vilppu,I was in Japan and happen to walk into a small drugstore type shope across the street from where I was giving a lecture and found the water brush pens. When I got back to LA the only place you could get them were Japanese stores in Little Tokyo, they were used for doing colored coligraphy for special occasions. I bugged the Art Stores around town to start ordering them for my students here and around the country. On my trips to Europe or where ever each year all I take is my sketch book, velcro attached paint boxes and water brush pens.

10:53 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

TODAY...2 days ago I find in germany
one in a little art store. but
they have only one from the firma letraset! I lov these pens!!

4:34 PM

Blogger Nelson Diaz said...

I have a Niji Watercolor brush which I love dearly. It's not a perfect brush, but it's little quirks are what make me love it more.

It traveled with me to bryant park during sketchcrawl #10 in NYC and this weekend to the bronx zoo.

A lovely little tool.

10:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those still looking for an online source of Pentel Aquash waterbrushes, Dick Blick is featuring Pentel Aquash Watercolor Crayon Set http://www.dickblick.com/zz202/05/
currently for $19.98

11:31 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pretty Wicked Awesome !

6:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found the Pentel on the rack at Hobby Lobby along withe the precharged ink brushes


5:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can order the Pentel Aquash at Art Essentials http://www.paperinkarts.com/shop.html?target=dept_2.html&lang=en-us

9:15 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to be so dense but how do you clean the brush between colors?
I enjoyed your picture very much.

12:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may try these NEW Chinese fountain water brush pens with natural hair at only 50% of the Japanese water brush price! Here is the link http://www.blueheronarts.com/index.php?cPath=4

11:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone used the Royal brand Aqua Flow Brush Set? The price isn't too bad if the pens work...

They are $4.99 for a set of 3 (sm, md, and lg size), but the minimum order is 3 sets from this website.

The link is below:

12:49 AM

Blogger qwiksilver said...

My question exactly: How do you move from one color to the next? For my guerrilla style of art (supplies must be able to pack on the back of a motorcycle), this would be so perfect...if....it is easy to use.

2:03 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To clean between colors, you squeeze the brush and wipe away and excess pain/water. Very easy.

I've tried the Aquash and Niji. IMO the Niji has much better flow control. The aquash I have almost drips water whereas the Niji are easier to control, a light squeeze to decide how much or how little water you want.

Look forward to trying the cheap Chinese flow control ones, but initial reviews are very mixed with very spotty quality control (some brushes lose bristles). I think we need a Japanese company to build a higher quality equivalent.

A great little invention!

12:28 AM


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