Two More Liner Brush Tests

April 28, 2023

I’ve got two sketch-tests for two different liner/rigger brushes. Both were executed in a pre-Covid Handbook that’s about 5.5 x 8 inches, with 140 lb. cold press watercolor paper. (These pages don’t smell of wood and chemicals the way the pandemic purchased books do.)

For these two I departed from my 3-color palette of the Schmincke Horadam Watercolors—ocean grey with a warm and a cool red.

It’s been so long (the beginning of the month seems like an eternity away for reasons I don’t have time to put into this post!) I don’t recall the rationale for switching the palette. I think it was because I really wanted to sketch this woman but she had yellow hair and I didn’t want to try to sell that with false color with the blue and two reds!

Sometimes I do like things to be a little easy. And I had the left over paint on my pan palette, and the yellow, and…

Princeton Snap Liner #2

So I did this sketch with the Princeton Snap Liner #2 and you can click on the image and see what I think about it. It’s basically a good liner brush and you can make some fun marks with it and draw with it (if that’s your inclination) but I didn’t sing in my hand when I was trying also to do some larger areas of color using the side of the brush—so I got out a large round and did some large wash work with the round.

That tells me the Princeton Snap Liner #2 isn’t going to be my go-to liner brush. But that’s OK. (I do love the Princeton Snaps in general, and their filberts in particular, in case you’re looking for filberts for watercolor or gouache!)


Princeton Umbria 6250L #2 Liner

The next evening I was still testing liner brushes, and there was a bunch of the yellow paint, and some turquoise. Well you get the idea. I ended up with a lot of green. I usually love sketching the muse Rick Niece, but this one went wonky right away as I fussed with the brush. I just used a round to put in all the hat color because things weren’t going well.

I had trouble with the fibers of this brush. It surprised me because I love the Princeton Umbria Rounds. 

It just reminds me that any line can have brushes that are going to work for us and others that aren’t. It’s just one of those things the universe does to keep us on our toes.

My main issues were the fibers were too soft to get the control I like. It holds a lot of color but dumps it quickly, another control issue; and the brush hairs didn’t like any sideways action.

This brush is definitely on my least favorite list for direct brush sketching in watercolor.

Meanwhile, I’ve been sketching with other liner/riggers and more reviews will come along next week and beyond.

I hope you’ve been painting and finding what it is you love about your tools and your materials so that you have more joy when working.

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