Tuesday 12 November 2019

Da Vinci Travel Brushes

Da Vinci travel brushes - size 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10,
followed by the Caseneo in a size 8 and a size 10 dagger (Slant brush)

I've posted about the Da Vinci brushes previously here, but I wanted to focus this time just on their travel brushes.

They have three main ranges - the Pure Kolinsky 1503 range, the Caseneo 1593 synthetic squirrel range, and the Cosmotop Spin synthetic 1573 range.

All are made with the screw on caps so they are very secure while painting or when capped for travel.
(There is also a series 4156 travel range and a series 910 travel range with retractable brush tips, but I haven't tried any of these.)

I love the Kolinsky range, and have used the number 8 to sketch with for years, especially when I am teaching. It is a great size and shape for up to A4 sketch books. It holds a lot of water and comes to a lovely point.

In the same range, you can see the size 3, 4, 5 and 6 - the first four. There is a big jump in size from the 6 to the 8 as the barrel size goes up. There is another jump in barrel size for the 10. Click here to see the full Maestro range. I find I use the number 8 and 5 or 6 for just about all of my sketches. There is a set with the 4, 6 and 8 in a travel wallet that is a great option for travel sketching.

Also pictured above is the size 8 Caseneo pointed brush and the size 10 dagger - a new shape recently released and really useful as a general purpose brush. It can be used to lay on larger washes, for finer lines or for more random leaf and foliage marks.

Smaller sized pointed brushes are available in this excellent synthetic hair.

As well as the slanted or dagger brush, a travel flat and a lovely mop were released in 2019 - shown left. By 2023 the liner brush and the pointed round complete the Caseneo Travel range.

The Caseneo are wonderful synthetic squirrel brushes that really perform well. Click here to see the full Caseneo range.
To see the full Cosmotop Spin synthetic range click here.

Da Vinci is a German company, and one of the largest brush manufacturers in the world. I've been very happy with all the brushes I've used. 

Happy painting!


  1. Hello Jane, thank you for the detailed info. How does the Casaneo dagger compare to the newer Rosemary R16 dagger travel brush? I generally find dagger brushes useful in painting and would love to purchase a travel version, but can't figure out which one to get. 1/4" was too small, but the newer 3/8" seems nice for Rosemary - not sure if it's bigger than Casaneo or has more spring. Could you share your experience?

    1. The Rosemary R16 is 50% sable and 50% synthetic, so has more of a firm feel. It also has more of a point. The Caseneo is a synthetic squirrel hair, designed to lay down washes very smoothly. If you were only to use one brush, the Rosemary might be more versatile, but if you are adding a travel dagger to a set of brushes, the Da Vinci works very well. Ideally you'd try both and decide - which is what my students can do - but you have to just guess. I'll show a comparison on Instagram (Janeblundellart)