Review-Aquanaut Series 997 Brushes #Watercolor #BrushReview #ArtForTheLunchBag @Hahnemühle_USA

I'm terribly hard on my brushes. I dry brush and scrub too much and wear the bristles down. Who can afford to treat good (read, expensive) brushes that way?

So, about a month ago, I bought a 5-piece set of Aquanaut Series 997 Brushes (pictured on the right). I was impressed enough that when I discovered there was a 7-piece set (left), I bought those too.

I was impressed enough that I thought you need to know about them if you paint. The online blurb says these brushes are good for watercolor, acrylic and oil.  I've only used them for watercolor, but I suspect they would work well for the other mediums, too.

Contents of 5-piece set1” One stroke, 1” Large angle shader, 1/2” Medium angle shader, 12 Large round, 8 Medium Round. Currently $15.97 on Amazon
Contents of 7-piece set: 3/4” Action Flat, 8 Filbert, 1/4” Angle Shader, 1/4” Action Flat, 7 Medium Round, 4 Long Liner, 3 Small Round. Currently $12.97 on Amazon.
Bristleswhite synthetic
Handles: Solid acrylic beveled handles, which are on average 7.5 inches (19 cm) long in length.

Look & Feel
The Aquanaut Series 997 brushes have a white synthetic bristle with a metal ferrule.

Although it is easy to get leftover watercolor paint out of the bristles, they stain easily and are going to look ugly over time.  They actually clean easily though, and you aren't likely to contaminate one color with another.

The brushes have acrylic beveled handles, which are very durable - maybe too much so.  They'll still be around when the bristles are nothing but a memory.  They can be repurposed for stirring though.  Or, one of these days I may glue them together to make some kind of storage box.

If you use masking fluid, you can dip the beveled edge in and use it to draw thin lines with the fluid.

The 5-piece set has the larger brushes that come in handy if you work large, or do lots of washes or  wet-into-wet techniques.  The 1” One stroke and 1” Large angle shader give nice, juicy washes. The 1/2” Medium angle shader is great for curves.  I use the 8" and 12" rounds the most.  Used on the side they give nice sweeping strokes, but snap back into shape so you can use the tip for crisp, fine lines.

The 7-piece set has a 3/4” Action Flat, 8 Filbert, 1/4” Angle Shader, 1/4” Action Flat, 7 Medium Round, 4 Long Liner, 3 Small Round - all smaller brushes that allow you to paint in great detail.

Nothing's perfect, of course.  I've mentioned the staining. I haven't had any shedding yet, but the ferrules don't look too secure.  I'm hoping I'm wrong about that. And, as of this time, you can only buy the sets. I use some of the brushes more often than others, so when I need to replace one, I'd like to buy just the one I need.

Some cheap brushes splay, especially with the larger sizes, the bristles clumping into sections so that you get gaps and streaks in your washes.  I've yet to have that happen with these brushes.  The rounds spread enough with light pressure so you get a solid broad stroke, but you can switch to the pointed tip and get fine lines.

These brushes are great for the daily postcard paintings that I've been doing to put in my hubby's lunch bag. The larger brushes allow me to do quick, loose backgrounds and I can use even the larger round and still get a great amount of detail.  The smaller brushes let me get even the smallest detail that I want.

So, should you toss all your other brushes and replace them with the Aquanaut?  Nah.  But if you are looking for a good, basic set of brushes that pick up and release water and paint evenly, hold their shape and do a job of making marks, all at a low price, then these are definitely a brush you should try.  

I doubt they'll last a long time, especially since I am very hard on my brushes.  But at these prices I can afford to replace them as needed.  Here's hoping that ProArtist Supply will start offering them as single brushes as well as sets.

If you've been following my posts, you've already seen several paintings done with these brushes.  This is the one hubby took in his lunch bag today.

Paint: XanaduArtStudio Handmade watercolors
Brushes: Aquanaut Series 997 brushes 1” One stroke, Sizes 3 & 8 round.
Adapted from a photo on Pixabay.