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Watercolour & Gouache Brushes

When picking a watercolour brush there are a lot of different criteria you will want your brush to meet. At Winsor & Newton they have over 150 years of brush making experience and so have got the perfect brush down to a tee! This wealth of experience enables them to provide a number of brushes that are ideal for watercolour painting. 

Watercolour brushes are made specially to control the flow of colour from the brush tip. The perfect brush will have a fine point, the ability to hold and evenly and consistently control colour and should spring back into shape after every stroke. There are a selection of natural and synthetic brushes available in the Winsor & Newton watercolour brush range each helping you achieve different effects from bold washes to fine detail. All watercolour brushes are fully compatible with Gouache, as gouache colour has the same properties as watercolour. Consequently all the same characteristics will apply.

Sable Brushes

Sable is an animal hair traditionally used in Watercolour brush making. The finest quality Sable is considered to be taper-dressed Kolinsky. There are different grades of Kolinsky sable hair, but the very best comes from Siberia. The finest Kolinsky is a soft-golden-brown colour that gradually darkens towards the tip. Sable is used to create the best soft hair brushes. The hair filament is conical in shape and a has a slightly scaled surface which results in an unrivalled point with excellent responsiveness and colour carrying capacity.

Inferior parts of the sable pelt may be used in lesser quality brushes. These second-quality hairs are shorter and less springy compared to top quality hair. This does make them a more affordable alternative to their top-quality counterparts whilst still being a high quality brush.

Series 7 and Series 7 Miniature

  • The world's finest watercolour brush

  • Handmade in England from Kolinsky Sable hair

  • Superior control

  • Even and consistent flow

Available in Round and various gift sets

Read more about the Series 7 range

Artists’ Watercolour Sable

  • Handmade brushes for superb performance

  • High quality Kolinsky Sable brush

  • Sculpted handle for control and comfort

  • Includes the most useful brush shapes

Available in Round, Pointed Round, Rigger and One Stroke

Read more about the Artists' Watercolour Sable range


Synthetic & Synthetic Mix Brushes

Most watercolour artists recognise that pure sable brushes are the best to use for their watercolours, but may choose to use a pure synthetic or synthetic mix for either economical or ethical reasons. Synthetics are usually a fraction of the price of a pure sable. Buying a brush with a mix of both natural and synthetic hair can also help keep the costs of your brushes down.

Whilst many of today's synthetic brushes perform excellently, pure sable brushes are still considered to have the edge.

Sceptre Gold II

  • Mix of both synthetic and sable hair

  • Performs like a sable at the price of synthetic

  • High sable content allows larger washes in one stroke

  • Tapered point for control and detailed work.

Available in Round, One Stroke and Pocket Brush

Read more about the Sceptre Gold II range


  • High quality synthetic watercolour brushes

  • Blended synthetic fibres of differing thicknesses

  • Thick fibres give strength and spring

  • Thin fibres give good colour carrying capacity

Available in Round, One Stroke, Fan and Wash

Read more about the Cotman brush range


Winsor & Newton Wash Brushes

Winsor & Newton Pure Squirrel Wash brushes are designed for use with watercolour and are ideal or large washes and blending. Made from the finest quality pure Russian Squirrel hair, they have an excellent colour loading capacity and offer fantastic control and responsiveness.

Pure Squirrel Wash Brushes

  • Designed for watercolour

  • Ideal for large washes and blending

  • Finest quality Pure Russian Squirrel Hair

  • Excellent colour carrying capacity

Available in one brush shape with a large belly and tapered point.

Read more about the Pure Squirrel Wash Brush range

Winsor & Newton Pure Squirrel Wash Brush range


Cleaning & Caring for your Watercolour Brushes

As with all brushes, it is imperative that your Watercolour brushes are properly cared for, cleaned after use and stored correctly to prolong their useable life. We have some easy to follow, simple and quick brush cleaning and care information you can follow to make sure that your brushes are always looking at their best!

Click here to see our range of Winsor & Newton Watercolour Brushes