For quite a while I've been really happy with Army Painter's series of synthetic brushes. I found them so much easier to look after and handle. My best work was done with army painter brushes and I particularly liked the 'Regiment Brush'. These brushes hold their shape really well and stand up to plenty of abuse. In short I would happily recommend to newbie painters.
During my research I had found many mentions of the Windsor and Newton series 7 brush and had endeavored to buy one. I found a local art shop which stocked them, but when I went to buy one I was shocked at the price and walked out with a bod standard W&N brush, which was apparently sable...It was awful Put it anywhere near paint and the bristles spread out in an instant with all shape lost and not a point in sight. I think I retired it to the bin, if not then i've lost it. What a waste of money.
After reading this post on WWPD's forum, my interest was renewed. This time I made sure I bought a series 7 and went a size higher than I would normally, and here she is, pictured with my regular brushes.
At first, I thought "Meh, what's the big deal." Sure it holds its point and behaves nothing like that previous bad experience, but it's not bringing anything to the table that I don't already have and for £8.50, I'm not sure I've got my money's worth.
That's what I first thought...now I'm thinking "I wish i'd discovered this brush sooner." I guess it took some getting used to and some actual use. It is simply amazing, I can't stress that enough. It's a size 1, and I get better thin lines than the AP 'Detail Brush' pictured above. It doesn't just hold it's shape...it really holds it shape, even after an hour of painting or so I hardly have to reshape it at all (which means I swallow less paint!). I've noticed a big decline in mishaps and visits to the paint pallet as it holds more paint.
I've found the best results are to paint with the side of the brush as much as possible as paint doesn't seem to flow from the tip, but because of the shape, that's a lot easier than it sounds.
So, they're expensive, yes, but if you are looking for that next step up in your painting then get one. I don't think you'll be disappointed. If you are new to painting or are not bothered by things like fine lines and layered highlights, then don't bother.
Please comment to let me know what brushes you use and your experiences with them...I haven't bought brush soap yet, I'm using the wife's shampoo and conditioner instead :) but I'd like to know if it's worth it.
Thanks for reading