Brushes, Not printers: Miniature Painters brush guide 2020.

I had to bin off the printer I bought. It was too low a spec, and I was talked into upgrading by the same sellers. It’s sitting in a box behind me, opened but nothing removed. It looks bare, vulnerable to an uncaring universe.

That’s the pebble slipping off the mountain that caused the landslide of these articles. Unbiased expertise is hard to find (try and look up advice on what printer to buy – you’ll be bombarded with “sign up” messages and maybe get a single line of useful information).

Irony isn’t a lost art.

What brushes do you need to buy to make you a better painter? What are the best brushes to buy?

Again, let’s dispel the myth. Monet would still be able to produce a masterpiece with hair he found lying around his flat, glued to the end of a fork. Buying expensive brushes will not make you a better painter, but it certainly makes your past time more enjoyable using quality products.

Let’s start with an easy one.

Games Workshop

I haven’t got a problem with Games Workshop products. You can certainly find better quality for lower prices, but in terms of ease to buy they’re great. Walk into any hobby store or Games Workshop and you are guaranteed to see these. If you’ve developed a relationship with them, then great! Continue to use them.

My own experiences with them have been less than stellar. They don’t hold a point for very long, have issues with splaying ends and I have trouble doing things like loaded brush and glazing.

The dry brushes are good, but again, I can’t help but let my eye wander toward manufacturers that offer a better product for a lower price.

I wouldn’t recommend these, but if you do like them, be proud to use them! Don’t hide them away in shame.

Rosemary and Co.

I love these brushes. Let me repeat that. I FREAKING LOVE THESE BRUSHES.

Rosemary and Co.’s boast of ‘The finest quality handmade artist’s brushes” is not an empty one. From the quality of the hair, bristle length, and price these cannot be beaten. They manufacture brushes for Broken Toad and Artis Opus and have a dizzying array of brush sets to choose from.

My go-to is the Series 8 pointed rounds sizes 000 – 2.

The Series 33 will also be a fine addition to your brush collection sizes 000 – 2.

They also provide the best synthetic brushes on the market. If you are Vegan, these are the brushes for you.

Would you like high quality make up brushes to try out over blending or advanced dry brushing? Look no further than the Smooshing Brushes

Lightning-fast delivery, top quality, and a great price. The best all-rounder money can buy. If I were to reach for a negative, they don’t tend to hold their point as long as the Winsor and Newton Series 7. But with brush soap and a little care, the brushes will still withstand at least 6 months of heavy usage (if you paint every day and abuse them as much as I do).

Winsor and Newton Series 7.

Google: ‘What miniature paintbrushes are the best?” and inevitably you will be recommended these. Enjoyed by Queen Victoria and scum like myself, this brush has a pedigree of excellence that stretches back over 100 years.

They are expensive, let’s get that out of the way first. And yes, there have been some complaints that hairs have split in transit. It’s something I have never personally experienced in over 7 years of purchasing them. I guess if you ship the sheer quantity of brushes they do, you will get a few bad brushes.

They have a similar bristle length to the Rosemary and Co and Games Workshop, with excellent moisture retention. Techniques such as glazing become a breeze and creating complex freehand design is helped as the paint remains usable on the brush for longer.

If you see ‘Miniature Series 7’ don’t be fooled, they haven’t been designed for us. Instead, that refers to a smaller bristle length. Some artists like using the shorter hair for freehand, however, I’ve never enjoyed using them. I prefer a longer bristle to retain moisture, and let the tip do the talking.

I’d recommend sizes 000 – 2 (you’ll get the most use out of the 0 or 1).

Raphael 8404.

Raphaels are comparable in quality to the Winsor and Newton. They have a slightly longer bristle length to allow long brush strokes. If you are looking to upgrade your brush collection these are a fine choice. I would advise purchasing the size 0 Winsor and Newton and the Raphael 8404 and see the bristle length you prefer.

They retain an excellent point even under intense usage and retain moisture beautifully. A solid pick. I haven’t bought a set of these for some time now, preferring the Winsor and Newton for my grade A brushes, with a bulk order of Rosemary and Co to flesh out my collection.

Redgrass Games Miniature Brushes.

Superb quality, stylish design, and a minimalist philosophy: You only need 3 brushes.

These are comparable in price to Winsor and Newton, and surprisingly hold out well against the market leader. They hold a point far longer than they have any right to (I’ve tested these to destruction), have excellent moisture retention, and can perform even the most demanding precision work.

You only need 3 brushes. How wonderful is that to hear? they only stock a dry brush, a 00 and a 2. I’d be skeptical if the point didn’t hold as well as it had, but I was able to paint larger busts to the eyes of Games Workshop miniatures without difficulty. And with so much choice out there I can’t help but smile at the simplicity of the idea. It’s audacious, and it works.

There is a growing market of brushes being advertised at miniature painters. It’s hard to look beyond the prestige of companies that have been in business for over a century, or a company that prides itself on serving its artist’s the best quality at the best price. What can these brushes offer that the above cannot?

I can’t say as I haven’t tried them.

These are my recommendations based on my own experiences. I use these brushes in my day-to-day, I’ve found what works for me. If you prefer another manufacturer that’s great, don’t let this article put you off for something better. Find what works for you, develop a relationship with your materials, and paint!

Would you like to develop your brushwork? Then this is the video for you.
Miniature Painting Course Library.
Become a patron at Patreon!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *