A brush I use a lot in watercolor is the hake brush. I have one that is made from goat hair. I use it for large, lighter areas of color because it holds a tremendous amount of water. Notice how it’s not crimped with metal or stapled. It’s stitched.
This brush feature is an essential aspect of how it’s designed. Because there is space in between the hairs, it breathes. I also have a good range of detailing brushes, all with bamboo handles. Some are a mixture of goat hair and pony hair. There is no plastic or synthetic materials in any of these brushes.
Another brush I use is made using horse hair. It’s large an holds an enormous amount of water. So it’s very efficient for making big brush strokes.
The ink I’m using is a Chinese calligraphy ink. The ink is a very high in quality. This ink is made from burnt soot. While it’s a black ink, it’s not as dark as you would find in some of the western paintings that use carbon black.
In this video demonstration, the paper I’m using is Yasutomo Gasen Kasha Series. It is a high-quality Japanese art paper. It is lightly sized for Suiboku-ga (semi painting), watercolor, and calligraphy. One side of the paper is smooth, the other side has slight texture, a bit rough. Both sides may be used, but for best results, it’s recommended to use the smoother side.
All I’m doing with these brushes and the Gasen paper is playing with them. So it’s very important to allow yourself to explore with the different brushes and papers. If I’ve learned anything about these brushes and the paper and the variety of things that I can do with them, I’m constantly exploring within my own creation process. Sometimes I don’t know exactly what the brush and ink on that paper will do.
But I know that they’re made to do what they’re doing. My job is to explore.
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