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For over 150 years our brush makers have applied their knowledge to produce brushes of the highest standard. As new materials have become available we have used our experience to produce new ranges of brushes, each with their own benefits. Cotman brushes were the first complete range of synthetic brushes to be developed by Winsor & Newton.
The secret of the Cotman brush lies in the fibres. By blending fibres of differing thickness we achieve the three most important qualities sought after by the artist. The thicker fibres contribute strength and spring whilst the thinner fibres improve colour carrying capacity, which have recently been improved by 50%. Together they retain a perfect point, time after time.
The handles are specifically designed to provide balance and comfort when painting, the ferrules are made from high quality nickel-plated brass which helps to prevent corrosion, clogging of hair and enables easy cleaning.
In addition, the widest range of styles and sizes to suit all applications are available from mops for large washes, angled brushes for detail, riggers for longer fine lines and of course fans and filberts.
Quick Reference Table
|Usage||Watercolour||Soft filament with good flow control, capacity, point & spring.|
|Material||Synthetic Filament||Blended with varying fibres for strength, spring & point.|
Slightly stiffer than sable; excellent spring & enhanced colour carrying capacity.
|Range||Student to Professional||Fine quality & economical. Strong, resilient & durable. Easy to clean.|
|Handles||Short & Long Handle||
For different techniques.
Benefits of the Cotman Brush Range
Colour carrying capacityThe re-developed blend of special synthetic fibres gives the brushes greater ability to make larger washes or longer lines, without the need to recharge the brush with colour. The colour carrying capacity of the brushes has been increased by up to 50%.
A wide variety of shapes
This popular range has been extended to include additional shapes for a variety of alternative applications.The latest shapes include synthetic mops for large washes, angled brushes for detail, filberts for softer edges, riggers for longer extended fine lines and short-handled fans for delicate blending.
The round brushes in Series 111 have been re-designed to provide a finer point for finer lines with greater control.
The thicker fibres contribute to the strength and spring of the brush, the fibres are soft enough to work with but have a good snap so they return back to their original shape with ease.
The ferrule (which holds the hair to the handle) is made from high quality nickel-plated brass, which helps to prevent corrosion, clogging of hair and enables easy cleaning.
The handles are specifically designed to provide balance and comfort when painting. Different handle lengths are available, typically shorthandles for water colour and long-handles for oil colour. See overleaf for further details.
Care and cleaning of brushes
To ensure the best performance and long lasting quality, follow these simple cleaning rules. At the end of each painting session wipe excess colour from the brush. Clean the brushes with appropriate solvent (water or turpentine) followed by plenty of warm water and soap. Continue until no further colour comes from the brush. Remove excess water from the brush head and shape. Dry the brush handle and stand in a pot with the head uppermost to dry.
Restoring ‘hooked’ synthetic brushes
Synthetic filaments if used on rough surfaces can eventually become bent and ‘hook’, preventing a perfect point from being maintained. Should this happen, the polyester can sometimes be straightened by holding the brush head for one to two minutes in water which has boiled and cooled slightly. Remove excess water, shape the brush in Gum Arabic solution and leave to dry.Wash the brush before use.
The full range is shown below, we may not stock all of them, but if you wish to order a non-stock item please contact us for a special order.
Description: A round bellied pointed water colour brush.
Usage: The most popular round water colour brush. Excellent for washes as well as fine lines.
222 Designers’Sizes available: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6
Description: A long round designers’ water colour brush.
Usage: The longer ‘length out’ of hair suits the more linear style of painting for illustrators and designers.
333 RiggerSizes available: 0 1 2 3
Description: The longest, thinnest water colour brush.
Usage: Originally designed for painting the rigging on ships, these brushes are excellent for continuous fine lines in water colour e.g. tree branches and telephone wires.
Description: A flat brush with a straight edge.
Usage: Originally designed for sign writers to execute the mark in ‘one stroke’. A popular shape with many water colourists who use this brush for washes in addition to rounds.Also makes a unique chisel edge flat mark, e.g. upright grasses.
667 AngleSizes available: (in mm) 3 6 10 13
Description: A flat brush with an angled edge, equal in head length to Cotman One Strokes.
Usage: Ideal for painting rose petals, leaves or small corners, either with just the angled point or by drawing the brush across the surface for a curved or straight ‘wedge’.
668 FilbertSizes available: (in mm) 3 6 10 13 19 25
Description: A flat brush with an oval tip, equal in head length to Cotman One Strokes.
Usage: Combines the control of a One Stroke brush with the softer edges of a round. (Not available in the UK).
777 One Stroke / Wash – Clear handleSizes available: (in mm) 13 19 25
Description: Similar to Series 666 with transparent handle and a bevelled end.
Usage: Same usage as Series 666, the bevelled end can be used for burnishing, scraping or as a palette knife.
Description: Almost semi-circular fan with short handle.
Usage: Fans are finishing brushes, popular in water colour for dry brush techniques like stippling and feathering grass or hair effects.
999 MopSizes available: (in mm) 16 19
Description: A domed wash brush.
Usage: Popular for large expressive water colour washes, the synthetic blend gives excellent control.
Description: A large flat wash brush.
Usage: For larger water colour washes where flat colour applications are preferred. Also suitable for varnishing.
444 Long handled RoundSizes available: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 10 12 14
Description: A round headed oil or acrylic colour brush.
Usage: Rounds are the oldest brush shape, used in oil colour for control and accuracy. Popular for glazing and thin application of colour.
555 Long handled FlatSizes available: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 10 12 14 16 18
Description: A flat oil or acrylic colour brush.
Usage: This shape in sable was developed in the late 19th century for the Newlyn School of painters.The thin short head takes full advantage of the spring of soft hair. Ideal for delicate applications and square marks on canvas.
888 Long handled FanSizes available: 2 4 6
Description: Almost semi-circular fans for oil or acrylic colour.
Usage: Fans are finishing brushes, popular for spreading glazes and blending on the canvas for skies and faces. Used also with drier colour for stippling and feathering grass or hair effects.