A waterbrush is a paintbrush with a plastic handle that can be filled with water. Instead of constantly dipping the brush in water, all you need to do is lightly squeeze the handle to wet the brush. They are available in a number of different brands and sizes, but the waterbrush I am reviewing here is the Pentel Aquash Waterbrush in medium with a compact body (the regular bodies of the medium were sold out when I placed my order, so I settled for the compact instead).
|Pentel Aquash Waterbrush.|
|The parts of the Aquash: cap, brush segment, and handle.|
|Pentel Aquash, capped.|
To use the waterbrush, you gently squeeze the handle. I was surprised at how little pressure is needed for this - squeeze too hard and you'll get a big drop of water on the end of the brush. All you need is a very light touch to wet the bristles. I was also surprised that I didn't need to squeeze the handle very often - the brush itself holds a lot of water.
I tried the Pentel Aquash waterbrush out with my watercolour pencils on this test page:
As I mentioned on the test page, using the waterbrush was more convenient, simpler, and also quicker than using a real brush and continually dipping it in water. Using the waterbrush is a continuous process on the page, and almost feels more like using a pen or a marker than using a paintbrush. I was probably using more water than I needed to on this page, as I am still experimenting with how much and how often I need to squeeze the handle. Still, the water level was only down about 5mm from the fill line.
One small issue with the waterbrush is that, because you're not dipping the brush in water, all of the colours are going to stay on the brush. This actually did not lead to as much mixing of the colours as I thought it would, but if you want to clean the brush off, squeezing out some extra water and either brushing over a spare blank sheet of paper or wiping off the brush with a cloth will be effective.
Overall, I am satisfied with my purchase of the Pentel Aquash waterbrush. It is fun and easy to use, and it provides a convenient and portable solution to the problem of using watercolours in inconvenient places, such as out in the field. I recommend it, although please keep in mind that I am still very much a beginner when it comes to watercolours so don't take my review as the final word!
Related reviews: My French Easel, Parka Blogs.