Which Water Brush?

Top to bottom:  Pentel, Holbein, Caran d'ache

Traveling back and forth from Pittsburgh through Lewisburg (PA) and State College (PA) gets me up front art supplies rather than relying solely on internet suppliers and thus I was able to see up close & test the new(ish) Caran d'ache waterbrush at Brushstrokes (Lewisburg).

I bought the Holbein from Jet Pens a couple of months ago and was excited to see this brush pen in the States.  

I was equally excited to see a European model, especially from a manufacturer like Caran d'ache.

So, how do they compare to each other, and the other two water brushes, also in my collection, the Sakura and the Kuretake (Jet Pens also carries a full line of Kuretake & Pentel brush pens).

The Holbein comes in two sizes: Medium and Large.  I have the Medium.

The Kuretake's come in various sizes, including a flat, one of a few manufactuers that offer this type.  Kuretake flats was among the 1st water brushes I owned and used on a trip to Sicily.  I used it so much it totally wore out and I recently replaced it.

The Pentels also come in various sizes and have a range of disposable pens in colours.

The Sakura is probably best known as the water brush that accompanies the Koi watercolor set(s) but it also sells individual brushes.

Holbein & Caran d'ache after use

Holbein & Caran d'ache closed

Holbein & Caran d'ache opened

I am often captured by looks, a shallow quality I am certain, and the Caran d'ache is very pretty and looks well designed.  However, it is not as functional as any of the others, and not as easy to use as the (new to me) Holbein.

Filling the Caran d'ache is tedious;  the Holbein not.   Releasing the water from the chamber of the Caran d'ache is not consistent;  the Holbein is. 

And although not as important the bristles on the Caran d'ache does not clean nearly as well as some of the other water brushes.

At nearly $10.00 it is unlikely I will be buying another Caran d'ache, although I will certainly consider more Holbein brushes.

My favourites thus far are the Koi and the Holbein, runners up Kuretake and Pentel.

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