Befreiungskriege 1813-14

Painting and modelling 28mm Napoleonic wargaming miniatures

Da Vinci brushes

Posted by Martin on July 4, 2009

Regular readers will know that my current preferred brand of paint brush is the Winsor and Newton Series 7 (both the normal and Miniature varieties – the latter has shorter bristles). And they’ve certainly served me well. The problem I’ve started to notice recently is a lack of consistency so I’ve got a hankering to try out something different.

After a bit of research and asking around, I’ve narrowed down my selection to a German manufacturer called Da Vinci. In particular, the Maestro Series 10 range. As with the W&N brushes, these are Kolinsky sable and really intended as watercolour brushes but the fact that I dilute my acrylic paints means that they’re suitable for me.

The only difficulty is that these Da Vinci brushes seem to be even harder to locate at a high street art shop than the W&N Series 7s. And the online art supplier I usually use, Ken Bromley, doesn’t stock them. So that’s called for even more research. I tried e-mailing the address that the Da Vinci website provides for its agent in the UK but haven’t yet had a reply. So if anybody knows of “real world” art shops that stock them, please let me know.

In the meantime, I’ve looked for online suppliers and found three in the UK (but I expect there are others): GreatArt, Jackson’s and Ziggy Art. All three suppliers seem much of a muchness and while there are marginal differences in the prices for the actual brushes, I’ve discovered it’s stock availability and the cost of postage that swing the deal. Ziggy Art won out but I can easily see that one of the others might offer a better overall deal another time. When you’re buying this quality of brush, you tend only to order small quantities so the postage cost becomes a more significant factor and that’s why I’d like to locate a shop where I can buy the brushes over the counter. Not to mention the fact that you get to inspect the goods before buying them.

Experience has taught me that brush sizes vary from manufacturer to manufacturer: one man’s Size 0 is another man’s Size 1! So I’ve opted order a sample of one 0 one 3/0 and one 5/0 to get an idea of what might suit me best.

So now it’s a case of waiting for the postie.

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7 Responses to “Da Vinci brushes”

  1. Giles said

    Martin, I’ve used Ziggy Art for years for all manner of stuff and I’ve never had any problems with their service. They have regular sales too (which is when you buy lots of “proper” art gear so that you can give toy soldiers a break and do “proper” stuff, but of course you never quite get around to it…).

  2. Martin said

    Waiting for a sales is a good tip, Giles.

    BTW, I hope you’re not suggesting toy soldiers aren’t “proper” art 🙂

  3. Phil said

    A size 0??? Wow.

    I use a W&N Size 2 for almost everything.

  4. Mike Siggins said

    I like the da Vincis, I buy them from Cornellissen in London. I have a few from many ranges. Not up to Series 7 (or 16, which I also like) but very good. I also like Isabey.

    • Martin said

      @Mike: I’d be interested to know what you think differentiates the W&N Series 7s from the Da Vinci Maestro Series 10s. That would give me clues about what to look out for during my trials.

  5. Dave said

    I think you may like the series 35 better than the series 10. It has a very fine point and yet capable of holding a lot of paint. I use it for watercolors. The number 4 seems to be optimal for me. The point allows extremely fine work and yet the size allows better paint control than a much smaller brush.

  6. Dustin said

    Dear Martin,
    I just happened upon your post while trying to help a dealer find DaVinci’s in the U.K. I’m not having much luck either. I’m located in Canada and I carry the DaVinci Pinstriping and Sign Painting brushes. I can get you those Maestros, but they would have to be custom order, I don’t normally stock them.

    Feel free to contact me if you don’t find a shop that caries them.

    Best Regards

    Dustin
    Bellevegas Pinstriping And Lettering Supply

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