“For me, a paint brush is the only tool I use extensively in my works, to push paint on canvas and conduct melodies.”
Shawn Lukas


Over the years, I’ve gone through a countless number of paintbrushes… testing and searching for the perfect tools; expensive and inexpensive, round and squared, synthetic and natural. These are a culmination of that research and my favorite brushes that I’ve continued to use over the past few years. Paintbrushes are, of course, unique to each user – depending on how they paint, their painting scale, and the type of medium they choose to work with. The few below are the ones that I enjoy working with the most for my watercolor and gouache pieces…

Princeton Mini Brush / Angular Shader 4 (synthetic hair)

I love these for their comfort and size. They have short mini matte coated handles, and I find them to be affordable and durable. I love working with angular brushes so I can achieve both wide strokes and thin detailed lines with one brush.





Escoda / Versatil Round 10 (synthetic hair)

This brush is incredible. It holds an amazing amount of water and paint, and is very easy to control, but glides effortlessly across the paper. I love this one for larger areas, but it’s still pointed enough to do some detail work.

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Escoda / Prado Tame Angular 8 (synthetic hair)

A combination of the two brushes above, this Escoda brush is a beautiful angular shader. It’s higher in quality than the Princeton mini brush, and has a longer handle to work with. The bristles stay well shaped over a long period of time.


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Escoda / Ultimo Mop 14 (synthetic hair)

This brush, like most Escodas, holds an incredible amount of paint within it’s bristles. It’s on the larger side and allows you to create washes and fill in larger areas nicely.




Winsor & Newton / Series 7 Pointed Round 4 (natural hair)

My favorite natural bristled brush! Because the hair is natural, the shape holds very well and is easier to reshape if it gets a bit beaten up over time. This one is wonderful for creating details and filling smaller areas.

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As we celebrate another year coming to a close, I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite gifts for the artists in your life. From a distance, these items are simply pigments and tools, but really they are so much more. These gifts inspire. Opening a bottle of gold paint and dipping your brush into it for the first time, watching it sparkle on the bristles and suddenly having the urge to paint a sky full of stars! These simple tools can open up someone’s entire world that exists inside their head.

Below is a list of some of my personal favorites. I’ve included a corresponding $$$$ to identify their cost. These items are great to give on their own or together.



Schmincke Watercolor Box Set 12 Half Pans $$

Kuretake Gansai Tambi Watercolor 36 Set $

Prima Watercolor Confections: Shimmering Colors $

Winsor & Newton Pocket Box Watercolor Set $

Schmincke Watercolor 8 Half Pan Set $$$

Schmincke Watercolor Wooden Box 24 Tube Set $$$$

Schmincke Watercolor Wooden Box 12 Half Pan Set $$$



Schmincke Aqua Bronze Pale Gold $ (my favorite to use with watercolor)

Golden Iridescent Gold Deep  $

Roberson Metallic Ink $

Sennelier Gold Painting Stick $




Escoda Angular $$

Princeton Mini Brush – Angular $

Escoda Brush Set $$$$

Escoda Brush Set $$$


Arches Aquarelle Watercolor Pad, Hot Press $$

Arches Watercolor Roll, Hot Press 44.5″ x 10 yards $$$$

Strathmore Bristol Vellum Paper $


Wooden Oval Palette Medium/Large $

Wooden Oval Palette Set $

Clear Acrylic Palette $


Artist’s Color Wheel $

Adjustable Hand Models $$

How Artists See Book Series $$

The Story of Art Book $$

The Dot Book $

9 Heads: A Guide to Drawing Fashion $$$


Last year, my aunt sent me a link to subscribe to the Painter’s Keys mailing list. Truthfully, I’m the first person to run when I hear the word subscription. I like the keep my inbox as clean as possible and avoid any and all sorts of ‘subscriptions’. However, I easily made an exception for these after I read the first letter.

Basically, The Painter’s Keys are short biweekly letters to artists that touch on incredible thoughts that any artist or creative can easily relate to. They always seem to touch on topics that have been on my mind for a while, which is always a pleasant surprise.

The letters were started by artist Robert Genn. After his passing, his daughter, Sara Genn, has continued the letters per his request. You can read more about how the letters came to be, and their continuation here. This is one of my favorite letters, and something I often think about.

Let me know if you look forward to them each week as much as I do…


As the New Year begins, it’s time to refresh things in my studio. When inspiration strikes, one must be prepared!

Click each link below to view in-depth shop-able guides to some of my favorite supplies! 

(Also checkout my guide to supplies for the beginning watercolorist!)

Gouache Paint

Travel Watercolor Sets


Paint Brushes

Art Palettes (Glass, wood, porcelain)

Guide to Gold Paint


Watercolor Paper

Artist Cleanup

See more tutorials and guides:

Artist Box / Gift Wrap / Best Sketchbooks / Traveling Artist Supply Favorites