It’s always exciting to try out new art supplies!! When I first learned about water brushes, also called aqua brushes, I’ll admit I was intrigued. So I got myself some and learned how to use them. In this post, I’m going to share with you a step-by-step guide on how to use water brushes!!
Let’s get into it…
A water brush, also known as an aqua brush or refillable brush, is a type of paintbrush that comes with its own refillable water cartridge in the handle. It also comes with a cap to protect its bristles which are made with synthetic plastic.
The purpose of these brushes is to make watercolor painting easier! Water brushes work by having their own water supply that is stored in the handle. This way the bristles remain moist and you can paint without needing to use another container for water.
Before you can paint with your brush, you’ll need to load the handle with clean water. Here’s how:
Water brushes are designed to have their bristles remain moist through a continuous supply of water from the handle. Whenever you need more water, simply squeeze the handle to release moisture into the bristles. The more pressure you apply, the more water will be released. There’s usually a “press here” or “push” phrase written on the handle.
The more you work with your brush, the easier it’ll become to tell how much water you need to squeeze out.
One of the biggest advantages of using a water brush for watercolor painting is that you don’t need a separate container to rinse them. All you need is a paper towel or cloth! This is because the brush stays moist and the bristles don’t absorb the pigment because they’re made of plastic. Here’s how you can clean your brush when switching colors:
How to paint wet on wet technique using a refillable brush:
How to paint wet on dry using a refillable brush:
You can absolutely fill them with ink! However, it’s best to use water-soluble ink that way the ink doesn’t dry and clog the bristles. They can be very handy when creating calligraphy or illustrations.
Water brushes are a great option when you want to create quick sketches on the go! This is because they don’t require you to carry a separate container for water to rinse them as opposed to traditional brushes.
They are also capable of producing a large variety of brushstrokes and techniques!
The synthetic bristles of an aqua brush can maintain a pointy tip which is useful when painting details. However, unlike a traditional brush, a water brush isn’t as long-lasting and will lose it’s pointy tip with consistent use.
Controlling the water-to-paint ratio is very different when using an aqua brush compared to a traditional brush. This is because the bristles remain wet making it difficult to achieve techniques that require very little moisture such as dry-brushing.
Most aqua brush bristles are made from synthetic plastic fibers. Although they don’t absorb water like traditional brushes, they still carry lots of moisture thanks to their design to hold water!
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