Derwent waterbrush

These are my first impressions after a brief studio trial of this new set of Derwent Waterbrushes. I’ve haven’t yet used them while sketching on location.

I found them to offer more control over the amount of water than my current favorite Pentel waterbrush. While I can sometimes manage a dry brush technique with the Pentel, I found it much easier to do so with these Derwents. Dry off the brush and then do not squeeze to release water while picking up pigment from a not very wet pan. If more pigment is desired, a gentle squeeze releases just enough water to pick up more color. Here’s my practice strip of watercolor paper:


There are a some good design features: The cap posts and has a squared off end so they don’t roll. All three tips fit on the same barrel, so you could just carry one barrel and 3 tips if you want’ to reduce the amount of items you carry. They are numbered so you know which brush is which without uncapping. #1 is fine; #2 is medium; #3 is flat/chisel.

I bought them at the Daniel Smith Mothership (Seattle store).  Where to get them if you don’t live near the Mothership? Cheap Joe’s doesn’t seem to carry them. Jet Pens search engine is better but they don’t carry them either.  Dick Blick  only has the #2.   Of course, Amazon has them.   Found on Derwent website but you probably wouldn’t buy them there unless you live in England. There is a good explanation:
“Easy to control water flow with a non drip valve, these brushes are portable, leak proof and easy to clean. Fine, Medium and Chisel tip heads are easily distinguished by number, so you can grab the one you need to paint.”

Bottom line is I think these might be my new favorites.  I’ll use them on my next sketch outing and update this post.



About redharparts

Born in Michigan. Attended undergrad and graduate universities there. I've lived in England, Germany, Southern California and now Washington (state). I'm a retired Medical Social Worker with a past specialty in Oncology. I've enjoyed exploring historical re-creation through the SCA. I costume in several fandoms. Lately I've returned to Art and have taken up Urban Sketching, a version of en plein air painting.
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6 Responses to Derwent waterbrush

  1. miatagrrl says:

    Have not tried these yet — now I’m curious, too! Do you like Kuretake? That’s long been my favorite waterbrush (I’ve never cared for Pentel), and I find I get the best flow from Kuretake with watercolor pencils. I think watercolor paints and watercolor pencils require different flow levels and degrees of control, so that might influence our preferences. Will need to check into these next time I’m at D.S., which will be as soon as they get those S&B Novas in.

    – Tina

  2. Kay Tyllia says:

    Thank you for a new tool that I am now interested in trying.
    Your posts are always so informative, Kate.

  3. joantav says:

    I’m waiting for a water brush that has a leash for the cap. LOL I always lose them. These sound interesting.

  4. do you know if the new Craftsman and Artists’ Supply company in Tacoma carries these? I think I’d like to give ’em a try.

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