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$20 for a brush?

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$20 for a brush?

Post by MelindaT0813 on Tue May 24, 2011 10:58 pm

It was from "American Painters" and it is a 1 and 1/2 flat that I have named Stanley.

With my %40 coupon from Micheal's Stanley was a bit over $10.
Jeez.
SO EXPENSIVE!!!!!!!!!!!! (not being sarcastic, over $10 for 1 brush seems crazy to me)


My plan is to get rid of my cheapo brushes and get nice onces. I am going to do this slowly and with coupons in hand. Here is my question... Will it be worth it?? I mean, this is going to turn into a few hundred dollars easy.
Also, what brand should i go for?
Last but not least, how long will they last? I take care of them pretty well. Do they last longer than cheapo brushes, or just the same.

My cheapo brushes are Leow Cornell Golden Talkcon and a few Royal Majestic
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Re: $20 for a brush?

Post by Guest on Tue May 24, 2011 11:13 pm

Well... I have paid $38 for my #6 round Winsor & Newton Cirrus Kolinsky Sables... each.... and I go through them. They last about 6 months of hard use - and I have to clean them between each person and saturate in alcohol so they are worked pretty hard.

Personally, I'm not married to any particular brand - I like the ones named above, but, I haven't been able to locate them locally at any of the stores in town for the last year so I have been using other brushes. I just go through the brush display and grab what looks good... if I really like it I will try to get more.

And IMO... cheap doesn't necessarily mean it is not going to be a good brush, just more likely not to be. I've bought some sale brushes at the college bookstore that worked great.

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Re: $20 for a brush?

Post by Fabtastic on Wed May 25, 2011 7:19 am

I paid $17 for a Winsor & Newton pointed round sable and thought I'd possibly lost my mind for spending so much on one brush, but it was recommended by someone so I thought I'd give it a shot.

Unfortunately while I love it immensely in practice - I can make the most beautiful and perfect swirls and curls of my life with it - but I find that I have a heavier hand when I'm actually working and it doesn't work for me at all. I'm sure I could learn to use it properly all the time, but then I'd be stuck with an addiction to an expensive brush! Razz So I decided it's better for me to learn how to use cheaper brushes effectively.

So now I'm sticking to mid-range brushes - I like the Mark Reid #4 round I bought from Metina and it was $6.50. My favourites right now are some Princeton #4950 synthetics that I bought on sale for $4 or under, each. And I recently tried out the Snazaroo large round (red handle) which is about $5-6, and I was surprised how much I really liked it!!

I think that specialty brushes like a large flat such as you bought are worth spending a little more, because they seem to last longer than the rounds.
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Re: $20 for a brush?

Post by MelindaT0813 on Wed May 25, 2011 8:02 am

So is it worth it?
I am drooling over all the rounds from W&N....
I guess it boils down to the bad/good experience I had with my Wolfe set.
They weren't HORRIBLY expensive but, you know, still a few bucks each more than I paid for the rest of my brushes.
I bought a bunch of rounds and a liner from Wolfe.... a few USES later the paint on the handle started chipping of ALL of them. Eventually, my liner even broke across the wood part. Even still, my cheapest looking brushes (the cracked Wolfe set) are my *go to*s because I feel a noticeable difference between the others.
For example, lets say i am painting in a rush and not paying attention to which brand brushes i am grabbing time and happen to think to myself "Oh! This is a nice brush!" I look down and the brushes making the awesome swirls is one of the Wolfe ones.
So I appreciate nice brushes, I just don't appreciate how quick they seem to be going kaput.
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Re: $20 for a brush?

Post by Psalmbook on Wed May 25, 2011 8:20 am

I've gone through tons of brushes & have found the mark Reids from metina's shop are great & well priced. I do like my paradise 1" flat & for large body work love the 2" flats from of all places Walmart. So, it just depends the brush & the person. I've been eyeing & drooling over the Vargas brushes, but am not in a position to drop that type of money... yet....
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Re: $20 for a brush?

Post by Fabtastic on Wed May 25, 2011 8:21 am

That's one thing I like about the Princetons, they have an acrylic handle so there is no paint to chip. I think it was Clayton from Marvelous Masks who recommended those in a thread one time and I do really like them. The Mark Reid ones don't seem like the paint will chip either, it's like it is baked on or something, has a nice matte finish that feels good in your hand. I plan to buy more MR brushes in the 4 and up sizes - I'm not so fussy on the #2 that I bought.
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Re: $20 for a brush?

Post by Guest on Wed May 25, 2011 9:55 am

Cover the chipped paint with nail polish! Pick off all the loose paint, then paint a couple coats of nail polish on the handle (fast dry is best BTW). Seal the wood, is completely waterproof when dry. And I've not had any of mine chip or crack since.

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Re: $20 for a brush?

Post by MelindaT0813 on Wed May 25, 2011 10:17 am

If I am going to pay big bucks for a brush I don't want to have to "rig" it. No
lol... That being said, my wolfe brushes are going to get painted lol


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Re: $20 for a brush?

Post by Tash on Wed May 25, 2011 7:02 pm

Good tip Shannon ! Very Happy
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Re: $20 for a brush?

Post by Ospreyfalcon on Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:35 am

Hello all, I'm new to facepainting and this is my first post, I apologize if the thread is a bit old.

Personally, I am a scientific illustrator so since I started uni, I have been using a W&N Series 7 Sable brush, because they have a very fine tip and hold watercolour very well. I do all my illustrations with it! They also last me around 6 months, so when the tip has worn off, I use them for the not so fine details and get a new one.

Now, I bought some cheap brushes for my first facepainting event a couple of weeks ago, which were the green DaVinci Hobby&School brushes. The flat ones are great, but I had problems with the normal round ones. So in the end, for pretty much most designs, I used... my second grade W&N and it worked well for me. However, they are very expensive, and I should really get used to the normal round brushes. It's ok, if you spend hours on an illustration and use the best brush and the best watercolour, but painting kids is a different matter. I was so busy I didn't get round to taking a single photo! I'll be painting again in a couple of weeks, getting paid this time *cheers*

But it's good to read that I'm not the only one paying silly price for brushes
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Re: $20 for a brush?

Post by Fun2Play on Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:04 am

I just want to say... your profile pic, is that one of your works? The detail is ah-mazing. And welcome to the forum Smile
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Re: $20 for a brush?

Post by Ospreyfalcon on Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:06 pm

Fun2Play wrote:I just want to say... your profile pic, is that one of your works? The detail is ah-mazing. And welcome to the forum Smile

It is. I don't have a facepainted picture yet Smile and thank you!
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Re: $20 for a brush?

Post by Tineke on Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:54 pm

I have a brush addiction
Some women buy shoes, i buy brushes :-)


My absolute favourite brushes are the da vinci harbin kolinsky nr 6. They're not cheap, but they're worth it, i have about 10 of them. They last around a year in perfect condition, after that they lose their points, and they get used quite heavily.

In total my brush set contains around 70 brushes, different types and sizes, and i still can't pass an arts store without buying some new brushes Embarassed

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Re: $20 for a brush?

Post by Pilareta on Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:46 pm

Ann-Kathrin, I check out your gallery. Still drooling. affraid
Looking forward your FPing designs!
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Re: $20 for a brush?

Post by Sweet Loretta on Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:31 pm

Ditto again with Shannon I have a $32 brush and wanted one that was wayyyyyy more. A good sable is easy $20. But I'm a full time professional and understand the value of my tools. Not to say a cheap brush won't sometime be what I need to do the job but sometimes it is pricey to be in business.
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Re: $20 for a brush?

Post by Kammy on Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:33 pm

I have a few W&N Series 7 small round brushes that I absolutely adore, but to be honest I haven't got them out much since starting to paint faces. Somehow I just end up reaching for the Wolfe and Royal ones more often. I'm not sure why that is, so perhaps I need to show the Series 7s a little love. :-D

Yes, they're gorgeous brushes, but they're very expensive and I'm not sure I'd want to use them on kids' faces all day. Go with what works for you.
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Re: $20 for a brush?

Post by ARTSY LADY on Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:25 am

I was at Michael's yesterday I was in need of a decent flat brush and I came across with a American Painter brush that cost me about $5 usd then I came across this really nice brush from Robert Simmons it was a 3/4 flat brush. In my head Im thinking oh man, one is on sale the other one The Simmons doesnt seem to be on sale, Im going to end up giving up atleast $20 dollars, I also had a coupon. So I went up to the register and I asked for a price scan first before I buy, Im quite the cheap oh' I suppose. Anyhow so yes The American Painter was like five dollars and yall will not believe how much was the Simmons.............. It was only 1 PENNY!!!! I swear Michael's has all the discountinued items stashed in the back and from time to time the items wonder off to the shelfs and when they are ringed up they appear for only one penny.!!!!!! Now that was a great find, OH and I asked if I can buy their other One penny brushes and she said WELL TECHNICALLY YOU WHERE NOT SUPPOSE TO FIND THAT!
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Re: $20 for a brush?

Post by facetheart on Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:50 am

I know brushes are so expensive and they don't last forever once they start to curl for me they are done. I met a lady the other day adn told me that makeup brushes I thin called alouette adn they are real hair ones last forever anyone used these before I was wondering how they are.
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Re: $20 for a brush?

Post by TheGildedCat on Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:44 am

MelindaT0813 wrote:If I am going to pay big bucks for a brush I don't want to have to "rig" it. No

Then you'd better stick to acrylic handles. Good quality or not, if you saturate any brush with a painted wooden handle, it's going to eventually chip because the wood will swell if it's not sealed.

Good doesn't always equate to more expensive, though sometimes it does. I really like the prisma 1" and that's about $10 for one brush. I also LOVE my #4 Royal Soft-Grip Yellow tip brushes and they're $1.99 each. I do like Mark Reid brushes, but I wish they'd last a little bit longer.
I have a few kolinsky sables that I love but I don't like using on the job as much. I wouldn't commit to buying a whole set of spendy brushes unless you're dead sure that you love every last one of them. Experiment. Experiment. Experiment.
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Re: $20 for a brush?

Post by Kammy on Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:20 am

[quote="TheGildedCat"]
MelindaT0813 wrote:Good doesn't always equate to more expensive, though sometimes it does. I really like the prisma 1" and that's about $10 for one brush. I also LOVE my #4 Royal Soft-Grip Yellow tip brushes and they're $1.99 each.

Only the opinion of a newbie here, of course....but I absolutely agree on the Royal Soft-Grip. I pretty much love all of that range, they're so nice to use, and have a great spring for Taklon! I managed to pick up a set of 12 recently for half-price (including the zipper case) and I'm definitely going to grab more of the 3/4 flat for one-stroke work. They cost more here (doesn't everything???) at 2.99 GBP each, but that's still an absolute steal for the quality.
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Re: $20 for a brush?

Post by JENDZS on Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:44 am

I have been buying some of my brushes from Target, of all places! They are ELF brand, and actually makeup brushes. I buy the big concealer brush, it is only $1! I think I have about 5 of them and use them to base tigers, spidey, etc.
They are pretty fabulous!
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Re: $20 for a brush?

Post by Kammy on Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:29 am

I use some ELF brushes for makeup but hadn't considered them for face painting! I take it you mean the basic range ones, rather than the Studio line, at that price?

Might have to order some next time I'm at the site. Laughing Thanks for the idea!
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Re: $20 for a brush?

Post by Guest on Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:58 am

I have make-up brushes coming out my... well, anyway...

Most DO NOT work too well for FP... not as well as artist's brushes IMO.

I suppose if you found cheap one, why not.

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Re: $20 for a brush?

Post by Kammy on Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:36 am

Shannon Fennell wrote:I have make-up brushes coming out my... well, anyway...
Dearie me! Have you seen a doctor about that? Laughing Ahem. Sorry.

Most DO NOT work too well for FP... not as well as artist's brushes IMO.

I suppose if you found cheap one, why not.
This was my first thought: make-up brushes are mostly geared at powders, or specifically made not to hold too much - think foundation brushes or those used for thick concealers or eyeliners. Watercolour or specific face painting brushes are designed TO hold a lot of paint. It's why it wouldn't have occurred to me to try make-up brushes for face painting.

I might give it a go. After all, if all else fails, I've got another make-up brush, right? Not, I might add, that I should encourage myself to own even more of them...


Last edited by Kammy on Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:37 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Because I'm a half-dead eejit who can't construct coherent sentences.)
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Re: $20 for a brush?

Post by JENDZS on Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:31 am

The big concealer brush that I am talking about (from the basic line), seems to do very well for lying down a foundation, like I said, for my tigers, etc. I esp. like it for doing the ears, since it is filbert-shaped.

I have 5 or 6 of them and they have held up well. I haven't found any other makeup brushes that work as well. If I remember correctly from Kapital Kidvention, Marcela touted a makeup brush that she LOVED for putting down bases. This is the closest I have found to what she had.
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Re: $20 for a brush?

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