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  • Raphael 8404 Vs. Winsor and Newton series 7


    So I've recently bought some brushes. And as we're all told, THE best brushes are Winsor and Newton series 7, series 7 miniature, and Raphael 8404.

    Another brush company that is becoming reputable are Rosemary and co. I have yet to try any of their brushes.

    Now. Before I begin my comparison of the brush companies labeled above. I want to delve into what kind of brushes are useful, what I believe they are useful for(at least for my style) and then I will talk about the companies and their brushes.

    1. Brush Types.

    The most standardized brush type for miniature painting is the "Round" brush.

    "Round ferrule, round or pointed tip. Useful for detail, wash, fills, and thin to thick lines. A pointed round is used for fine detail. A detailer is a pointed round with very short hair."
    -Taken from DickBlick

    These brushes make up the mainstay of painting. They are useful for just about everything. (as the description said) Depending on the hair type, you can do all sorts of good things!

    If you get a nylon brush(also referred to as Taklon) you can do some pretty basic things with them. There are two common types of nylon, white and golden. I feel, that the white nylon is superior to the golden. That is my personal preference though. The only thing I use white nylon for is painting Metallics. (unless I'm painting NMM) These brushes are also good for basecoating. I do not feel that these brushes are good for much more. They tend to leave brush strokes when blending, they do not keep well (they tend to start to curl, fish tail, or split within either 1-6 sessions) All sorts of companies make these types of brushes. Loew-Cornell make some pretty decent Golden Nylon brushes.

    A step up from Nylon is getting a natural hair brush. Generally Red Sable is the Mid quality brush. They can be used for doing generally all the same thing as the Nylon brushes, but they can also do blending. If you've only ever painted with Nylon, switching to Red sable is like a Godsend. As soon as you start painting you will instantly notice your brush control, and end result improves. Just from using a higher quality brush.They leave minimal to no brush strokes. A good Red Sable brush is Winsor and Newton Cotman series. They have good snap, but after some time do hook.

    The highest quality which is known to miniature painters, is Kolinksy Sable. These brushes are hailed as the BEST brushes out there. The main companies being Raphael, and Winsor and Newton. These brushes leave no visible brush strokes if paint is at the right consistency, they improved my painting in the first 10 seconds of using them.

    "Series 7 is the world's finest water colour brush. The standards of quality for this brush were set in 1866, when Her Majesty Queen Victoria gave orders that Winsor & Newton should produce the very finest water colour brushes in her favourite size; the No.7. "
    -Winsor and Newton
    "Raphael has been crafting brushes outside of Paris for over 200 years. Raphael brushes sell rather quickly and are hard to keep in stock. The Raphael brushes are all very well made by experienced people in France where brushmaking has a long history. Try one and you will see!"

    2. Comparison

    I purchased a size 0 in all three series. Raphael 8404 size 0. Winsor and newton series 7 size 0. And Winsor and Newton series 7 miniature size 0.

    Right off the bat, I noticed a huge size comparison.

    I noticed the Raphael 8404 was much bigger in comparison to either of the Winsor and Newton brushes. The smallest being the miniature series, which has a shorter brush length due to it's design.

    The Length of the brush does actually effect how well it paints. The part of the brush that is the thickest is known as the reservoir and the size of this effects how much paint the brush can hold. Generally when you are painting with these brushes, you are already using diluted paint, which is what these brushes are designed for (being watercolour brushes) The bigger the reservoir, the more paint it holds. The smaller, well... you get the idea.

    The brush closest is the Raphael (being the largest) and then going up, you see the series 7, then the series 7 miniature.

    I have had a chance to paint with these to see which one I liked. And to be honest, I like them all. Each is different though. The larger size of the Raphael is much easier for basecoating, or blending large areas. The point on it is EXQUISITE! and am able to get the thinnest line I've ever painted! The size of the series 7 is much easier to use for blending smaller areas. And of course, the miniature series is useful for painting really tiny areas. The only problem I came upon, was the point on the series 7 and series 7 miniature. The point was excellent, however, I found that when lines, like solid lines with paint, the brush point tends to dry, and therefore, does not transfer paint onto the model. This was a little frustrating at first, but I eventually got around it by thinning my paint and adding a few more layers.

    Another thing I found out, was that the series 7 came in these nice tubes. I liked that. Although they were annoying to figure out how to open the tubes! haha.

    One of the Raphael brushes I bought did not come with a cap on it, so I found one lying around and put it on for extra protection.

    Another characteristic I found out about the brushes was how good the snap was. Snap is it's ability to hold it's shape without being too soft and let's say, if by bending the brush, if it stays in that position, it does not have good snap, where as, if it goes right back to standing straight up! thats good snap. I find that, the Raphael brushes tend to bend due to their length. And I don't mean hook, they keep they're point perfectly fine, but they tend to bend and stay a little bent until straightened. It's just a slight bend, but one that bothered me a little. None the less I love the brush still and I can only think the reason it does this is due to the softness of the bristle and the length of the brush. The Winsor and Newton brushes have not experienced this problem (I believe this is because of their length)

    Here is a picture with all the brushes I bought.

    In total I got:
    Raphael 8404
    -size 1
    -size 0
    -size 3/0

    Winsor and Newton series 7
    - size 0

    " Miniature
    - size 0

    And here is the size 3/0 and the two Winsor and newton brushes together. I find that they are all roughly the same length! Which I thought was funny, however the raphael is thinner, due to the smaller size.

    3. So...Results and thoughts?

    I feel that the Raphael Brushes have taken over my painting. Even though that bending SOMETIMES (not very often) occurs, they are easily reshaped. The size really impressed me, and they are great for blending. I did a comparison for myself (no pictures, you probably wouldn't have noticed anything really anyway) Where I used my red sable to do a layer, then I did a layer with the raphael (on a seperate piece) and on the Red Sable, you could see slight brush strokes. Where as the Raphael left NONE.

    I could probably paint eyes with the size 1 Raphael (which so far has been the brush i've been using mostly) however, the size 3/0 is alot easier to see around, so you can actually see the eye! haha.

    The Winsor and Newton brushes have seen some action, but not as much. I used the series 7(not the miniature) to do some edge highlighting and it worked quite well. I also did some smaller blending and same results as the Raphael. Very impressed.

    4. Care.

    Just thought i'd throw this in here. But I would like to talk about brush care a little bit.

    If you take care of your brushes, they will last long! and treat you nicely

    Using brush soap is great and helps get dried paint out of the bristles. I use masters brush cleaner for this (although I hear "pink soap" is good too) Simply rub your brush in the soap to create suds. I then take the suds into my palm, and swirl the brush around. I do this so I can see the paint come out and make sure it's clean. It also save's me from cleaning the soap bar so there is no paint on top of it.

    After that, you have to get paint out of the Ferrule (the metal bit the bristles come out of) For this I use Winsor and Newton "Brush Cleaner and Restorer" I use this by simply dipping my brush in the liquid, letting it sit for around 5-10 minutes. Then wiping off on paper towel. I repeat this process until nothing shows up.

    Then you must condition the brush. (using all these soaps and chemicals, dries out the brush, and can actually shorten the life of your brush. to counter this you condition it!) There are many ways to condition it, one being using hair conditioner! I use Turpenoid Natural. This is a natural liquid, and not only does it get the leftover paint, but it conditions the brushes and makes them all nice and smooth.

    I tend to use turpenoid natural after every session, and use the soaps every other week.

    So I hope this helps guys!

    Cheers, Gary.
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. StefanMehl's Avatar
      StefanMehl -
      Is it just me - or is the article no longer visible ?
    1. jp762's Avatar
      jp762 -
      I can't find it either!
    1. lordmetroid's Avatar
      lordmetroid -
      I can view this article just fine.
    1. whiteraven2008's Avatar
      whiteraven2008 -
      Great article; the images have gone, however.
    1. terrinecold's Avatar
      terrinecold -
      Yep no images
    1. Maninthemoon1965's Avatar
      Maninthemoon1965 -
      no images in the article
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