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Quality of Winsor & Newton series 7 brushes

Discussion in 'Painting Techniques' started by rossbach, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. rossbach PlanetFigure Supporter


    I have been using W&N series 7 brushes for as long as I can remember. I have quite a lot of them and some of these are quite old too. As a matter a fact I can't recall having ever thrown one away. Good cleaning helps to keep them in shape.

    I never had any problems with them. They always held their fine tip. From time to time I buy new ones. Lately I noticed with some of the new brushes I bought that some of them started to spring during painting.

    So is the quality of W&N series 7 no longer as good and consistent as it once was? Don't tell me production is sourced out to China!

    What are good alternatives to the WN 7? I heard positve comments about Raphaël 8404. Can somone shed a light on this matter?

    Wigdog likes this.
  2. housecarl A Fixture

  3. Tecumsea PlanetFigure Supporter

    Do you use the series 33's Carl?

  4. housecarl A Fixture

    I do keith, love them.
  5. jcichon Active Member

    I have noticed the same thing as of late. Three brushes in a row!
  6. pmfs A Fixture

    I think W&N serie 7 the best available in market, but I use a kolinsky 1212 and DaVinci series 1520, and they are very good friends of my miniatures.

    Attached Files:

    Mike Stevens likes this.
  7. Tommi A Fixture

    W&N for oils and Da Vinci for acylics, nothing else comes close;)
    pmfs likes this.
  8. oldtrousers PlanetFigure Supporter

    Paul, I too have noticed this with the WN brushes I bought about a year ago. They are not as good as my old WN brushes which I use for oils on faces only. I have been very satisfied with the Kolinsky brushes for acrylics on the rest of my figures though.
  9. Einion Well-Known Member

    I've been highlighting the drop in quality of Series 7s for some years now Paul, so if you're only just now noticing it your luck has been good; the proportion of duds to choice examples can be surprisingly high.

    Reportedly they lost all their senior brushmakers a while back, although other sources claim this is untrue. Regardless of the truth of that their quality definitely took a dip. As W&N are no longer an independent producer my thinking is that had to have some bearing, whether it's simply that their new owners cut back on QC which previously culled duds from the ranks I don't know, but something must account for it. There are definitely far more of them than say say about 30 years ago (when a dud was very rare, so much so that you basically didn't need to check them).

    In addition to those I mention in the above thread, two posts from just last week:

  10. Akritas Active Member

    I'm confused!!!:confused:
    On W&N's website, Series 7 Kolinsky Sable brushes are listed under Brushes for Gouache and Acrylic Colours. Can they also be used for oil paints?
    In any case, I recently bought myself three Series 7 brushes (which I am using on my latest project which is entirely in Acrylics). At first everything was was way above excellent :) , but after three weekends of use I noticed that the brushes have began to lose their spring and are swelling up.:( Bugger all cause I got used to them in a matter of minutes and was so happy!!!
  11. brian A Fixture

    W&N series 7 brushes are a watercolour brush but most oil painters use them.I've had a couple of brushes which are still going strong after 4 months.
  12. Einion Well-Known Member

    Technically any brush can be used for any medium, regardless of what it was originally intended for - it either works or it doesn't.

    That is very fast for any decent brush, no matter the price bracket, to begin to lose its spring. With the right care and attention Kolinskys in on-and-off use can last years, without any noticeably change.

    Acrylic and vinyl paints can be very wearing on natural-hair brushes because the paint is highly alkaline but most people get a tad longer than this all the same :) While the brush itself might be at fault maybe your brush-rinsing routine or washing is part of the problem?

  13. Akritas Active Member

    Thanks Einion. I usually clean the brushes, using Aztecs acrylic cleaner and then wash them with warm soapy water(n)...this any good? If you can recommend any brush cleaners or restorers the advice would be more than welcome.
  14. Einion Well-Known Member

    I'm not familiar with that acrylic cleaner, is that intended for brushes?

    Regardless of what you use, I wouldn't recommend actually washing your brushes every time you paint - if your rinsing procedure is good enough* it's not necessary to wash after every use.

    Some washing is needed, but the better you rinse during painting and when you're finished the less frequently you need to do it; all washing adds additional wear to the brush, which some natural fibres just won't stand up to well. So it's something to do as often as necessary but as little as possible.

    *Use a double-bath rinsing system, more info here.

  15. Akritas Active Member

    Einion many thanks for the always valuable advice. I quite like the double rinsing system and I actually used it tonight.

    However instead of using a tad dishwashing liquid in the first jar, I used what in Cyprus is called "Green Soap". This is a soap which can be used for just about anything, from washing clothes, polishing floors to getting grease off your hands. It was a suggestion made by the lady at my local art shop who also uses W&N Series 7 for gouache and acrylics.

    As for the Aztec cleaner this is something which is used for cleaning airbrushed and brushes when using acrylic paints.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  16. Wigdog Active Member


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