Da Vinci Watercolor Brush Travel Quill
Made in Germany
The da Vinci Casaneo line is an excellent alternative to natural hair brushes. They look, feel, and handle remarkably similarly to natural brushes, but with a better snap. Da Vinci engendered the Casaneo bristles to have a subtle wave to them to mimic natural hair. I'm generally fine for synthetic brushes to just be synthetics without trying to be something else, but these have really turned my head. Plus, they are just beautiful.
The Travel Brush body is made to mimic natural horn, and is hard plastic. I vastly prefer this style of travel brushes to the metal casings you see elsewhere. I feel they have a better balance (they aren't as long as the metal ones). These are also just less flashy, which I feel lowers the pressure to create "important work".
Travel Brush Tip: When possible, it is always best to let your brush dry before storing it in a travel case. However, this is not always possible when you're painting on the go, so the travel cases feature an air hole to aid in drying. I still suggest helping your brushes out by removing them from the case for the evening to dry completely overnight.
Quill brushes are similar to Rounds, but handle a little differently. The brush "belly" is farther forward, as well as the grip, making the balance of the brush different. They are called Quill brushes because they were traditionally manufactured with natural bird quills for the ferrule, and tied with wire. Today, plastic is used instead as it takes pressure off of thee natural environment and is actually more durable.
A Note on Quill brushes: the sizes run at a different scale for these. Pay close attention to the pictures. A size 8 Round will be much, much smaller than a size 8 Quill, which is enormous.
Tip: To extend the life of any paintbrush, use a pocket mister to spray down your watercolor pans a few minutes before you dive in and begin using them. This saves your brush bristles from the extra fatigue and wear-and-tear of re-wetting each color.
Brush Care: After use, simply rinse your watercolor brushes in clean water, reshape the point with your fingers and, if possible, lay them horizontally with heads off the edge of your surface to dry completely. Avoid storing wet brushes in any kind of sealed container to prevent mold or degradation of the glue at the base of the bristles.
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