I have a fairly standard set of brushes that I use in most paintings, but my tried and true synthetic brush that I use for lifting paint was beginning to show its age; it had lost its point and just wasn't right for my needs. Since Nicholas Simmons had just announced his new signature brush collection through Escoda Brushes, I decided to buy two of them to give them a try. Previously I had visited the Escoda website to learn about their history and brush making techniques. I purchased the Nicholas Simmons Series 2 set which contains:
- BARROCO Series 1410 Round Pointe #16
- BARROCO Series 2336 Mottler Single Thickness #18 (about 1.5" flat)
Often I don't like synthetic brushes because they don't hold enough water, but these Barroco brushes were very thirsty, holding a lot of pigment. I love the round, using it instead of a Kolinsky round I have used for years. The point is great, the tip springy, and the volume of pigment it holds is fantastic.
I recently finished a painting of a village in Flores, Guatemala and found the flat was great for working on the buildings. Again it held a lot of pigment allowing me to pull the colors throughout the painting and the square edge stayed firm giving me crisp edges where I needed them. I augmented these 2 brushes with a 3/4" Kolinsky flat that I have loved for years. I can use it to quickly brush the surface when I want to remove a little water without moving around the color. It was the only other brush I have used in the paintings I've done since the Escoda brushes arrived. By the way, neither will be used for lifting paint, these brushes are too wonderful for that.
Nick - Thanks for the great brush collection. I suspect Series 1 can't be too far off in my future.
Also see Konstantin Sterkhov's interview of Nick which includes his thoughts on Escoda brushes.