Artists' Sable Brushes - Shapes and Uses - Watercolour

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The shapes and uses of Sable brushes designed for Watercolour

This is a very brief and simple guide to the shapes and uses of watercolour Sable brushes.

There are many different types of brushes, each have their own characteristics. There are many different shapes and sizes used for to achieve different results. Over the years different painting styles and techniques have been developed and the brush makers have responded to the calls of the artists (well, most times!!).

The shapes and descriptions below are based upon Winsor & Newton's Series 7 Sable brushes. The use of the shape will hold true for other brands as well, but the terminology may well be different.


Excellent colour cattying for washes. Excellent points for fine lines.


Linear style or linear mark for illustrators and designers.


Extra long continuous lines. Excellent for fine highlights. Originally used for painting rigging on ships.

One Stroke

Used for washes. Makes a unique chisel edgedflat mark. Used for washes in addition to rounds. Originally used for one stroke application by signwriters.

Do you want to know more about Series & Artists' Sable brush by Winsor & Newton. Then see my guide on Introduction to Artists' sable Brushes.
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