Thursday 1 July 2021

Rosemary & Co Travel Brushes (full range) updated July 2021

Some of my collection of Rosemary & Co travel brushes in their roll.

I've written about Rosemary&Co brushes before here, but wanted to update the Travel brushes (affiliate link), also called Reversible or Pocket brushes. 

This is the largest range of travel brush sizes and styles currently available and being a direct-to-artist manufacturer, the prices are very reasonable.

I caught up with Rosemary at the Amsterdam Urban Sketchers Symposium in July 2019, where, once again, she was one of the sponsors. I was able to see some of the new brushes they had created, as well as some that had changed a bit. Here is the complete range at that time, including the old and new versions of a couple of them. The full range was mostly natural hair, with some a mix and one a full synthetic. As I love natural hair brushes I hadn't actually tried the synthetic, but I recently bought it so I had it for my students to try!

As you can see, most of these are well loved. I've been using them a long time! The sables are Kolinsky sable, the mixes are a mix of sable and synthetic and there are a few squirrel brushes as well.

Rosemary&Co Travel (or Pocket or Reversible) brushes - R0, R1, R2, R3, R3 (new larger case version), R4, R5, R6, R7, R8 (new larger case version), R8, R9 (ferrule version), R9, R10, R11, R12, R13, R14, R15, R16 (new).

Here is a closer view for a comparison of the brush head shapes and sizes.
Close up of Rosemary&Co Travel brushes - R0, R1, R2, R3, R3 (new larger case version), R4, R5, R6, R7,
R8 (new larger case version), R8, R9 (ferrule version), R9, R10, R11, R12, R13, R14, R15, R16 (new).

And now a bit more detail. The links below are affiliate links.

This first photo shows the Kolinsky Sable Pointed Rounds. From top to bottom you can see - 
R0 - pointed sable round size 4 - this is a lovely delicate brush, great for fine detail.
R1 - pointed sable round size 6 - suitable for smaller sketches or details.
R2 - pointed sable round size 8 - a great size for up to A4 sketches.
R3- the original pointed sable round, size 10. This brush was too large for its case.
R3  - the new larger case version of the R3 pointed round sable. The larger case is a great improvement :-) This brush will easily be used for A4 and above sizes.
These equate approximately to a size 4, 6, 8 and 10. They are great sable brushes with a good point. If you just want one travel brush, I'd recommend considering the R2 (size 8) for smaller sketchbooks or the new R3 (size 10) if you work larger. Add the R1 if you want a smaller brush for detail.

From the top you can see -
R4 - ¼" sable flat is shown. This brush is now made with the 'red dot' synthetic sable hair developed in 2020. 
R5 - sable rigger size 6
R6 - sable filbert size 6
R7 - ¼" sable comber - an interesting brush for special effects in sketches.
R8 - the old version of the sable quill size 2/0 
R8 - the new larger case version of the sable mop size 2/0. This is one of my favourite brushes.
R9 - original quill version of the medium squirrel mop, also seen as a ferrule brush (next photo). 

From the top you can see -
R9 - ferrule version of the R9. The R9 is another excellent choice if you just want to get one brush, and the ferrule version may feel more familiar in your hands. Squirrel brushes are very soft and great for larger washes.
R9 - Previous quill version of the R9. 
R10 - Golden synthetic pointed round in size 8. 
R11 - Red Sable blend designer in size 10. 

From the top - 
R12 - ¼" red sable dagger. This is the brush I requested be added to the range many years ago.
R13 - Red sable blend size 8 round
R14 - Small squirrel mop now made with a ferrule
R15 - Squirrel hair oval point size ¼"
R16 - ⅜" red sable dagger in the new larger case, introduced in 2019. I really like this brush, even though I do most of my paintings using rounds. Some of my students use only the dagger brushes - they also work as a single brush to use for everything.

I've used Rosemary & Co travel brushes a lot over the years. It's quite a remarkable range and as a company they are prepared to listen to feedback and improve the brushes or add to the range, which is terrific.

They are exploring different ways to add labels, different handle types, different hair shapes. Getting the larger cases took some research and effort but was requested by the artists who are using the brushes. I'm particularly enjoying the larger dagger and the new larger case R8. My previous old version was almost worn out!

Update - June 2021 - the range has expanded further.

The new 2020 catalogue includes all the brushes, as seen here, and a new website is about to be launched. I'll add the links to each brush once they are available.

It is well worth getting the 100 page Rosemary & Co brush catalogue as the brushes are shown actual size - something that is difficult to do in digital media.

For a little while, there were three round sable mix brushes designed for students but these have been replaced. These are the newest brushes in the range.

R17 - Pointed Cat's Tongue size 4. This is a golden synthetic hair.
R18 - Triangular point golden sable size 8. This is a three-dimensional dagger brush!
R19 - (not shown) Red Dot pointed Round, size 12, added since the catalogue was produced.
R20 - Red Dot short flat size 6. This replaces the original Kolinsky sable version of this brush, but they look the same.
R21 - Pocket Pure Kolinsky Mop 3/0 size I am really enjoying this as I love the 2/0 sable mop - this is a smaller option.
R22 - (there is no R22)
P23 - Pocket Snowdrop Pointed Rond size 8 (synthetic)
R24 - Pocket Eradicator small (a synthetic brush for erasing and lifting - a watercolour essential!)

There were also a couple of limited edition brushes available for a little while, and more may come up from time to time. One was a ¼" kolinsky sable short flat that is just perfect for my colour charts and another was a limited edition Kolinsky sable mop. 

Happy painting.