KUM Watercolour Brushes

Everything you need to know about Watercolour brushes!

For which colours is a watercolour brush suitable?

In general, there is a differentiation between water-based paints, such as watercolours, and pasty paints, such as oil paints.

To find out which brushes are suitable for which type of paint, we differentiate and label our brushes with a grade of hardness. It describes the elasticity of the brush fibres.

The hardness grade of our watercolour brushes ranges between soft and medium. They have particularly soft brush hair and therefore they are best suited for water-based paints. Brushes with the hardness grade soft, such as the KUM French Aqua, are only designed for watercolour. The KUM Memory Point, marked with the hardness grade medium, has a higher elasticity and is besides watercolours also perfect for gouache.

For thicker colours, it’s better to use harder brushes, such as the KUM Black Line brushes, with which the paint can be spread more easily.

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Synthetic fiber or natural hair?  

Natural hair brushes have proven themselves for centuries and have a good reputation. However, these are also very expensive and especially at a time when animal welfare is becoming increasingly important, the question of alternative brushes arises. In recent years, synthetic fibers have been developed further and further and now they are hardly distinguishable from natural hair brushes.

Thus, brushes with synthetic fibers are not only a cheap, but also good and vegan alternative. In some cases, synthetic fibers can also outperform natural hair, because they are easier to clean, for example. 

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What properties should a watercolour brush have?

A good watercolour brush is characterised above all by its high water and colour capacity. This makes it possible to paint large areas without the need to constantly pick up new colour. At the same time, it’s important that the watercolour brush delivers the colour evenly, otherwise the result will be streaky.

In order to be able to paint fine details as well as large areas, a fine tip is extremely important. With good watercolour brushes, both thin and thick lines can be painted with the same brush by applying different amounts of pressure.

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How important is the quality of the brush?

With hardly any other brush, the price range is as high as with watercolour brushes. Especially as a beginner, it is difficult to find out which brush to buy. Even if you ‘just want to try painting’, it is still important to look for some good quality, because poorly made brushes can frustrate you in so many different ways. Brushes that lose hair or have hair sticking out will quickly take away your joy of painting.

Which watercolour brush to use for which technique?

There is not just that one watercolour brush, but a variety of different ones. Which one is right for you depends on the technique and individual preferences. If you want to paint in a very detailed and realistic way, round watercolour brushes with a fine tip, which have a higher elasticity, are best. For large-scale backgrounds, French washing brushes are well suited in addition to large flat brushes. The fluffy brush hair of the French washing brushes does not only hold a lot of water, they also blend the transitions very softly. These are the best choice for loose Watercolor.


In our guides, we explain the respective techniques in more detail:

Loose Watercolour

Urban Watercolour


KUM Memory Point

All-round brushes for watercolour, gouache and acrylics

Hardness grade medium

Perfect synthetic imitation of Kolinsky hair

KUM Faded

Outstanding watercolour brush for the highest expectations

Hardness grade medium-soft

perfect for modern watercolour

KUM French Aqua

Synthetic wash brush

Hardness grade soft

Surpasses traditional wash brushes made of natural hair in many characteristics