Brushes: Size 4/0


You know it’s bad when you are painting so tightly & detailed that a brush that size starts to feel too big. They are Sceptre Gold II size 0000 watercolour brushes. I’ve no idea how the daft nomenclature came about but you can be certain that anything below a size 0 is really, really tiny. So small in fact you can’t even see the hair in that photograph above – there is some I swear:

Hair of 4/0 brush


But like any new brush they take a little practice to use – especially if you are using them with a medium they aren’t intended for. With practice though you soon find out that despite them having about twelve hairs, each only what 3 or 4mm long, you can do all sorts with them, including make a surprisingly wide brush stroke. Such width doesn’t go far when the hairs hold so little paint, but the ability to do so is useful.

Where it shines though for me is at blending on a teeny scale. Used cleanly, and after splaying the hairs a little with my thumb, you can get glassy-smooth transitions in a minute area with superb control. This is what I use it the most for, because (also surprisingly) it is not actually so good at applying* paint at such a small scale. For that you need a rigger. On which more later because much as I’d like it to, Project: Cathedral isn’t going to paint itself.


*Hopelessly Didactic Aside: Why you would need to be actually applying the paint at such a small scale is beyond me any way since all drawing, form-turning with value & colour work should already have been addressed in the much bigger shapes, using commensurately sized brushes. At this scale you ought to be merely tweaking & refining what you’ve already laid down – surely?


One Response to “Four Zeros”

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