A brush is just a brush, right? As good as any other. While you can’t buy talent, a decent brush is a quick way to level up your miniature painting. Smoother lines, fewer mistakes from frayed edges and more precision from a finer point are a few of the benefits I noticed when changing from budget brushes to something nicer. Oh, and they usually keep their points for much longer than cheaper alternatives so you shouldn’t need to buy as many.
How to choose a decent brush is another matter since they don’t exactly have a handy stat line you can compare to others. With the more premium brands, you’ll tend to see the words ‘finest’ or ‘pure Kolinsky sable’ (for acrylic paints, at least – don’t go using these with Vallejo Liquid Gold, for example) but beyond that you only have your own experience or word of mouth to go on.
One that’s kept showing up in my social media feeds lately is the new Series S brush set from Artis Opus which is in its last few days on Kickstarter. At £45 for 4 brushes, that puts them around the price of the enormously popular Winsor and Newton Series 7, a particular favourite with miniature painters, and you even get some soap and a fancy box thrown in. You get sizes 000, 00, 0 and 1 as standard with size 2 being available as an add-on for another £9. They’re mostly pretty small (I rarely use smaller than a size 1) so should be great for detail work and the Kickstarter is well funded.
So, are they worth it? I didn’t get to try them at their demo at Salute, but a good number of the painters I follow on Twitter (whose skills are way beyond mine) did and immediately jumped in on the Kickstarter. Some of the big names in the industry, like Angel Giraldez and Andy Wardle, have been working with them too. Pretty good start. Reviews on YouTube are good, and their claim that the wider handle helps reduce painters’ cramp, is all positive. Checking around the net further does, however, keep raising the same question: why should I buy these instead of Winsor and Newton Series 7?
I suspect that’s going to be down to personal preference. If you’re looking to replace or expand your detail brush options, they may well be worth a shot. Here’s the link.
Let me know if you back it or have had some experience with them.