One of the things I really enjoy about painting is the interaction with the community of fellow artists, and the internet has made this community bigger and more widespread than ever. Recently of of my online artist friends that I haven't yet had the pleasure of meeting in person, recommended Rosemary and Co. brushes to me.
I've heard a lot about these brushes lately. You can hardly open an art magazine without seeing an ad or a story with an artist endorsing them. I never thought a brush could make much of a difference in the results of a painting even though some of them do feel better to work with. My favorite had been Raphael brushes, but somewhere down the line they made some changes I didn't like. The handles became a half inch shorter and the points of the rounds seemed to have been snipped off.
The reviews of Rosemary brushes were so glowing, especially for the "Ivory" series, that I decided to give them a try. I purchased mostly "Ivory" series with one "Chunking Bristle" and one "Master", and road tested them this past week.
Ivory are synthetic brushes with incredible snap and balance. Usually I don't like synthetics. They split apart with the first dip into thinner. These brushes are different. They hold their point beautifully. They hold a lot of paint and dispense the paint in a more even stroke than the bristle brushes I'm used to. The rigger brush pulls a beautiful stroke without having to twist it. All the brushes are also incredibly light.
I did observe that the Ivories have just as much tendency as any synthetic to bend out of shape, when a couple of them got jammed against the end of my French Easel box. Running them under the very hot tap water I have in my house fixed the problem even though the bend was severe. I also noticed that they're easier to clean when you get all the paint out of them with thinner before washing them in brush soap. With my bristle brushes, I can get away with halfway cleaning them in thinner before washing them.
All in all I'm very pleased with them, which is something I'd never thought I'd say about a synthetic brush. This week I'll try out the bristle one, but I already know I've found my new brush source. Whether or not they make me a better artist remains to be seen.