Thursday, 10 May 2012

Personalised Kolinsky Brush Sets

Jean Haines personalised watercolour Brush Sets
Pure Kolinsky Sable
A full round with a point for excellent handling,colour application,flow and detailed brushwork.

About Those Brushes!

At my recent demonstrations and by email I am receiving many questions on the kind of brushes I use.

Years ago when I first started painting I was told to always use the highest quality brushes I could afford. I was also told they would last me a lifetime if I looked after them. Many,many brushes and years later I have learned so many lessons and now know what I wouldn't buy  as much as what I would race to own. I will confess I have been a complete sucker at times racing to purchase the kinds of brushes that make promises to paint the perfect trees for example, or create the most magical of washes because of their size. Hands up if you have done the same thing!

Many of  these purchases now sit idle as decoration in a variety of  pots in my studio. A reminder of how gullible I have been in my art journey and quest to succeed. I know I am not alone by the laughter and giggles in my workshops from other artists who have also succumbed to " must have" items or the latest fashionable art fad.

And this is why I was reluctant to own brushes that carried my name.  I didn't want to be responsible for another " must have" line.  And  more importantly , I have to a face fact and be truthful.

Basically I am too fussy.  I could never find my perfect brush. Or could I ?

I know exactly what I want and I also am aware that the finest Kolinsky sable that I  adore using costs a fortune. For this reason when I was first approached by a company last year to carry my own product range I twas very flattered but turned the idea down.  But several months later I was finding I wasn't satisfied with any of the brushes I had loved using until then. Maybe writing my book and the chapter in it about brush use hit home how badly I needed brsuhes  specifally created for my style.

My main headache is that I have lived in Asia and love brilliant brush control to make definitive brushmarks. At that time I studied under a Shanghainese master who would hit the back of my hand with a bamboo stick if I held my brush in the incorrect manner. I soon learned after much bruising that how I held my brush was  really important to my painting results.Too much angle,too little,too much pressure,too little,all made a huge difference on my work. I liken my training to "awx on,wax off" from the Karate Kid movies. In fact I had to paint bamboo as a subject for six months before I was allowed to paint any other subjects.All because I had to possess the ideal brush control studied and approved by my then mentor and master.  And they were strict!  I was loading one particular brush with two colours at a time then and allowing them to individually flow over my paper.The brush would not only load well but release the two colours gradually, depending on the pressure used against the paper. If I held my brush at an angle I could gain finer detail marks on subjects down to creating the tiniest of dots of pigment placement for highlights in an eye or flower centre,as the angle chnaged  of the brush holding altered as it was in motion.

So my quest began to find a " Jean Haines " brush. I experimented with many gorgeous models  of brushes sent to me to try but none performed to my full satisfaction or needs. Until I designed my own brushes. Previously when I had suggested making a fuller round brush with a point I was advised to just create a basic pointed brush. But that wasn't what I was looking for.

Now I am thrilled to have found the perfect brush for my style and even more thrilled in that the price of my brush sets is reasonable in that they are well under £60 for the two brushes. Quite a challenge considering the  quality of the Kolinsky Sable used in them which is the best.

I did have my personalised brush sets for sale on my web site but in one day the orders were so great that I sold out immediately. And this is where I will also confess I am not a business minded artist. If I was I could sell my brush sets from my own  online shop for £60 per set. But I am not carrying this line for any other reason than the fact that I want artists to use the best and enjoy painting as much as I do.  I also know  that " best" is too expensive many artists will work with the cheaper brushes they can afford and never feel the sheer ecstasy of working with top quality products that give far better results.

So if anyone would like expensive brushes like mine for a far better price please look on Rosemary&Co's web site as Rosemary is now carrying my brushes and selling them for me.

They are beautiful, they glide across paper , load brilliantly and release colour in a fabulous motion.

And they are only £45 per set!

But I will give good advise. These brushes really are top quality sable and should be treated as such. Use all your old brushes that you don't like for scumbling and rough work! Keep these fabulous Kolinskys for working from a starting point,  painting subjects , details, and everywhere you want a flow across paper that feels brilliant as you work and gives you that quality of  colour on paper that only the best watercolours create!

Biggest brush tip?

Never leave your brushes standing in water,it completely ruins them!

You can buy my brushes from.....


Mike said...

Hi Jean,
You've convinced me. Just ordered my set, and am looking forward to their arrival.
In the mean time, may I ask a question regarding a few of the projects in your excellent first book? Several of the exercises recommend using a #8 mop brush...does this brush have any advantages over a #10 sable round brush?

Many thanks, Mike.

Jean Haines SWA, SFP said...

Hi Mike

The mop brush is the large one I use for my washes, only for larger work.

I must admit most of my paintings are worked solely with my number 10 round/point mix brush that I have just designed:)