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Looking for a water brush pen for your next watercolor project? In this guide we take a look at the top water brush pens and hopefully help you decide which is the right one for you.
What is a water brush pen?
A water brush pen consists of a nylon brush tip with a barrel that you can put water in. Each water brush has a type of water regulator that when you squeeze the barrel it will cause drops of water to move through the regulator from the barrel to the brush tip. This way you can control the wetness by adding more water to your brush to create a watercolor design.
Nylon brush tip – the brush tip is made from synthetic nylon. This material is good to use with ink and water. The nylon tip can be stained by color. But you can continue to use it with other colors even though it gets stained. It is a good idea to regularly wash your tip.
Variety of sizes – You can find water brushes in a variety of sizes including large and small. Generally a larger brush is better to make it easier to cover more area, but if you need a fine line a small brush may be preferred.
Different types of Tips – You can usually find water brushes in a brush tip or a flat tip.
Convenient for on the go projects – One benefit of water brush pens is you don’t need a separate water source. Fill up your water brush before you leave the house and you are ready to create fun watercolor projects on the go without needing a separate cup of water.
Best Water Brush Pen
When considering a water brush pen the main important factors are size and type of brush bristles. In this guide we look at the top 5 water brush pens.
Here is a quick look at our 5 favorite Water brush pens:
- Pentel Arts Aquash Water Brush Pen
- Yasutomo Niji Water Brush
- Prima Water Brush Pen
- Sakura Koi Water Brush
- Caran D’Ache Water Brush
Check out this comparison and review of water brush pens:
Pentel Arts Aquash Water Brush
The Pentel Arts Aquash water brush (also called Pentel Vistage water brush) consists of a squeezable barrel. It comes in multiple sizes including small, medium and large. You can find it in a brush or flat chisel tip.
Yasutomo Niji Water Brush
The Niji water brush is on the higher price range per brush. It comes in a small, medium and large size.
Prima Water Brush Pen
The Prima water brush pen is an affordable brush pen option. You can find it in multiple sizes.
Sakura Koi Water Brush
The Sakura Koi water brush comes in small, medium and large sizes.
Caran D’Ache Water Brush
You can find the Caran D’Ache water brush in a 3 piece set on Amazon. This brush pen is a little different than all of the ones mentioned above. To get the water in it requires pistoning the water up and then there is a button to press to release the water to wetten the tip. One of the brushes in this set also features a fibre tip which is different than the usual nylon brush tip.
How to use a Water Brush
First add water to the barrel of your water brush. Depending on the type of water brush you may fill, squeeze or piston the water to fill the barrel.
Next, if you are using a squeeze type water brush you will squeeze the body of the brush to cause water to penetrate through the regulator to wet the nylon brush tips. The more squeeze and added pressure you give, the more water that will flow into the brush. If you squeeze enough you can cause water drops which you can add directly to your watercolor paints, blending pad or onto your paper.
Check out this video on how to use a water brush.
How to clean your Water Brush
It is a good idea to clean your water brush regularly. Using a paper towel continue to wet your water brush and wipe it on the paper towel until all the color has been removed.
Note: since the bristles are made from Nylon it is common to get staining on your water brush. If your water brush stains you can continue to use it with other colors. That color stain won’t affect additional colors you will use with your brush.
If you need to deep clean your water brush then you can take it apart further and clean the various parts with water and dish soap or bleach. Make sure everything dries completely before you assemble your water brush back together.
How to store your Water Brush
When you are done with your water brush make sure you dump out all of the water and let everything dry. Once it has air dried you can reassemble the barrel with the brush. This way you don’t leave the static water in the barrel and less chance of developing mold which is always a possibility when using tools that require water.
Best Watercolor supplies you can use with your Water Brush
With your water brush you can use watercolor paints, watercolor pencils (Arteza), water soluble brush pens and fountain pen inks.
Watercolor paints usually come in a palette of colors. The pigment comes in a dry solid form and you just add water to liquify the color.
Watercolor pencils are made from a water soluble medium. With a watercolor pencil it is easy to first sketch out your drawing and then come in with a water brush to create a watercolor effect.
Includes 48 watercolor pencils. Perfect for drawing and watercolor projects.
Water-based Brush Pens
With water-based brush pens you can easily create watercolor designs. You can apply the brush pen directly to paper or using a blending pad. First scribble some color onto the blending pad and then use your water brush to blend the colors and create your design.
This is a good in direct technique for when you want to use your brush pens with watercolor paper. Generally, watercolor paper is too rough and it is best to only use your brush pens on smooth paper. By using the water brush instead you can still benefit from the various colors of your brush pens, but not ruining your brush pen tip.
Looking for more brush pen reviews and tutorials?
- 7 Best Brush Pens for Beginners
- 5 Best Papers for Brush Pens (Buying Guide)
- Best Way to Store Markers (Plus 6 Marker Storage Solutions)
- Tombow Watercolor Dual Brush Pen [Review]
- Artist’s Loft Watercolor Dual Tip Marker (Review & Guide)
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