Wednesday 9 May 2018

Da Vinci Brushes

Da Vinci brushes are from a specialist brush-making company in Germany. It is not the same company as Da Vinci paint, which is from California.

They make brushes for artists, cosmetics, shaving, nail, dental - I think they are the largest brush manufacture in the world...

I've been using a lot of Da Vinci brushes lately as they are really excellent - one of my favourite brands, along with Raphael and Rosemary & Co, though of course there are many other excellent brush brands.

I took a photo to show a range of them together just to show size comparisons. I thought it might be helpful to show the studio brushes next to the travel brushes as I get a lot of questions about brushes.

Raphael 8040 sable size 4

Lamy Joy fountain pen

Da Vinci Junior flat size 6 (6mm)

Da Vinci Casaneo size 2
Da Vinci Casaneo size 0

Da Vinci red sable mop size 0

Da Vinci Harbin Kolinsky size 4

Da Vinci Maestro Tobolsky-Kolinsky sable size 5 and 8

Da Vinci Kolinsky sable travel brushes size 10, 8, 4 and 3. I use the 8 when sketching almost all the time.

Rosemary& Co R9 travel brush, squirrel quill.

I love to use natural hair brushes - sables and squirrels - but there are many great synthetic hair brushes available these days, including the synthetic squirrel Casaneo range, which come in many shapes and have also been released as a travel brush. The Harbin Kolinsky are part of the red sable range  and are shorter than the Maestro range in either the studio or the travel brushes.

For more information on brushes, see my blog posts here  or my website here


  1. Jane, I hope you see this on an old post. I have the a of three travel brushes like yours; they came in a little case. I can't get a point out of them for the life of me. Is there something I need to do to break them in? I'm even wondering if they're fake (I got them on Amazon). Thank you!

    1. Da Vinci travel brushes come in synthetic, sable and, more recently, a synthetic squirrel called Casaneo. If your brushes are genuine Maestro or Casaneo they should point beautifully. I think the synthetic are less of a joy to paint with, but then I have had less experience with them.
      Clean your brushes in gentle soap or shampoo - make sure you gently get the foam into the hair right up the the ferrule and then rinse thoroughly. Use a tiny bit of conditioner and shape the brush into a point. Allow to . dry. Then rinse again and see how they point.
      Another option as a brush cleaner is Masters Brush Cleaner and Conditioner - which is what I use. But watercolour brushes don't need to be cleaned very often.
      Good luck!