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Blick Art Full Bellied Round
Watercolor Brush Review



I've used this brush for a while in my travel kit. It's a nice squirrel brush.

Remember that squirrel hair is very limp with not much spring. Squirrel hair is not going to perform well on any tests like zigzap strokes that need spring. The point on a squirrel hair brush is not going to be as fine as a nylon or a sable watercolor brush.

What squirrel hair does give you is a fabulous hit and miss effect on rough and cold press watercolor paper. It glides over the depressions in the paper, just hitting the high spots, depending on how much pressure you put on the brush.

If you want a textured hit and miss watercolor wash, squirrel hair is exactly what you need!

I like this brush a lot. It's a good workhorse brush.

Blick Art does not supply the manufacturer's name of this brush. However, I've noticed it's remarkably similar to my Escoda squirrel round brush with the same red handle and same feel. Of course, this doesn't mean Escoda is the manufacturer, just the brushes are similar. Since they have similar price points it really doesn't matter.

Positives

This is a nice basic squirrel hair round. It has a decent tip and holds a ton of water!

Negatives

It still sheds a bit after months of use. Not tons, just a hair here and there.

Keep in mind that squirrel hair is not as springy as other brush hairs so it won't do as well on recovery tasks.
Sizes Reviewed Materials Handle Materials Durability Value (MSRP not sale) Level Overall Rating
12 Squirrel Lacquered Hardwood B $ 20.73 Beginner
Intermediate
Advanced
B+

Point
B

Control
A

Even Brush Stroke
B

Circle
C

Zigzag
B

Overall Feel
B+


Conclusion

This is a great brush for sketching! I love the hit and miss effect especially in very loose sketches.

While it does shed some hairs, it still seems reasonably durable. It has good balance and is nice to hold.

This is a nice sketching brush!

Disclaimer

I bought all of the supplies reviewed on this page with my own money.
These reviews are to simplify the confusing world of non standard artist materials.
They are supported by the ads shown, Amazon affiliate links and selling my paintings.

Testing Criteria

Durability
Can I scrub the brush?
Is the sizing immediately gone?
Will it pull up on multiple washes?
Will masking come off easily?

Saturation
Will it resist or soak up water?
How quickly can I do another wash?

Overall Feel
This is my personal viewpoint on the brush. Do I like to paint on this brush?

How does the brush feel to work on? Does it respond well to the brush or seem to resist it? Can I work quickly and easily or do I have to keep in mind the brush's quirks as I go?

Brush feel is difficult to quantify but very important to the artist. Sometimes I work with difficult brushes just because I love how they respond to the paint and the overall affect.

Individual artists will have as many different opinions as painting styles!

Value
First, is this meant for students or professional artists?
Does the price reflect this?

In these days of super sales and discounts of 50% expected off a artifically high MSRP, it's impossible to give accurate prices. I'm using MSRP for comparative cost. Please realize that 50% off the list price is very common! These are certainly NOT the prices I paid with a coupon!

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