Jackson’s Icon watercolour brushes are made from a blend of natural sable hairs, the traditional favourite of watercolour painters, and the new technology of a very special micro-synthetic fibre. This provides the artist with the combined benefits of great colour holding capacity, shape retention, and a longer-lasting brush. The frequent comments from artists praise their wonderful pointing ability, the balanced feel in the hand and the sensible price. These brushes consistently receive 5-star reviews.
A mix of tradition and modern technology, Jackson’s Icon brushes represent the advancements of science combined with the classic needs of the traditional water colour artist. Natural sable hairs are mixed with a micro-synthetic fibre. The uniqueness of the micro-synthetic fibre is two fold. Firstly the fibres are treated to produce millions of tiny indentations. This increases the surface area of the hairs allowing a much greater colour holding capacity for the brush. The hairs are then treated with a special process that frees the micro-synthetic fibres of any static electricity which would make the brush fibres stick together. After which the hairs can smoothly and precisely react to any kind of stroke, either delicate or abrupt. The addition of the synthetic fibres to the sable creates a brush with the best of both: water and paint holding capacity, shape retention, durability and smoothness.
The Four Shapes of the Icon Brush
The Jackson’s Icon range of brushes using this special combination of sable and micro-synthetic fibres is made in four shapes. The Icon brushes have matt black, real wood handles – the mottler brushes have short flat handles and the other three series have short round handles.
Series 700 Round
Series 702 Long Flat
The series 702 is a useful long flat brush, available in six sizes 3mm-25mm.
Series 7776 Mottler
The newest addition to the Icon range is the series 7776 very large mottler brushes, great for covering large areas quickly, available in four sizes with flat handles 25mm-75mm. These are great wash brushes, holding a lot of colour.
Series 777 Quill Mop
A synthetic quill is used for the ferrule of the brush, instead of a natural feather quill which can rot if left in water, and then wires are bound around it to hold it to the handle. The quill brushes will give you precision control with a fine point but also have a very full belly that holds a lot of colour. This makes them great for both details and washes, they are versatile brushes. The softness of the hairs also makes for less streaks in broad washes.
Quill mops use a different sizing scale to other brushes, they are available in six sizes from size 10/0 (which stands for 0000000000) to size 6. These sizes are much larger than the same sizes in round brushes. The largest size – the size 6 – is similar to a 12 or 14 in a regular round watercolour brush. So it is similar to sizes 2 to 14 in a regular round brush range. The actual measurements for the brushes are listed on the description page of each brush.
What the Icon Brushes Can Do
Here are some of the different marks the different shapes of the brushes will make (click image for a closer view). The large amount of water and colour that the hairs will hold means all the Icon brushes will be able to draw out long strokes.
On the new Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolour paper rough texture (coming soon) I have highlighted some of the ways these brushes can be used. Watercolours used: Blockx Cerulean Blue, Winsor & Newton Winsor Yellow Deep, Daniel Smith French Ultramarine and Quinacridone Deep Gold.
Customer Reviews of the Icon Brushes
Watercolour painters love these brushes and all the reviews have been 4 and 5-stars! It seems that many artists find out about them from other artists and teachers, they are often recommended. Some artists say they use them more than their sables!
- Excellent point and spring.
- I was completely surprised to find this brush worked well and carried colour well with a good point and could be described as the old artists used to call their brushes a “sable pencil”. The brush handle is comfortable in the handle and is well balance which is an important point.
- Very good for washes.
- I needed a big sable but couldn’t justify the price. This brush fulfills my need, it’s obviously not pure sable but is great to paint with. I have a couple of the large 777’s as well and they are just as nice to use. A great bang for your buck!
- Really nice to use. A well balanced brush.
- I first tried one belonging to my art tutor, after he had recommended them to me. I was so impressed that I bought a set of round brushes, 2,4 6,8,10, and 12, and have never looked back. They hold a generous amount of paint, are a pleasure to hold, and the bristles retain their shape, after cleaning. Because of the fine points on the brushes, painting intricate shapes is made easier. I have no hesitation in recommending these brushes to colleagues in my painting groups, and I know some of them have purchased a number of brushes. Real value for money.
- These brushes are very well made, and have a good feel to handle.
- I have this brush and love it. It feels comfortable in the hand and handles well with watercolour. Jackson’s Icon brushes are superb brushes and well worth having around when working. I use Jackson’s brushes. They are excellent value and a credit to the company.
- Fantastically precise point, well balanced handle and an absolute treat to use. I have two of these Jackson’s synthetic quills and will buy a couple more. I use them more than I use my sables.
- Excellent, holds bags of water.
- More springy than a pure squirrel quill, more floppy than a sable. Definitely an interesting brush with a needle point tip and a nice handle.
- These are really nice brushes, just the thing for watercolour painting.
- Superb, love it and have ordered more sizes to go with it.
- Just what i was looking for. Comes to a great point.
- It’s a great brush! It is no different from the brush of sable – the same soft, perfectly holds water and paint, multifunctional and incredibly easy to use!
- A really great brush, beautifully made and wonderful to use. Good snap and holds loads of paint. I use it more than my sables.
- Retains its shape so you’re able to make detailed strokes and spread the colors evenly. When loaded with large amount of water each strokes will have the wet in wet look – and I really love this effect! Great for loose techniques and also gives you more control when painting in wet-in-wet!
- I think a small selection of these brushes will immediately go to the top of my “only need these” list. The no. 4 is an absolute delight to use
Click on the underlined link to go to the current offers on the Jackson’s Icon Sable and Synthetic Mix watercolour brushes on the Jackson’s Art Supplies website.
Postage on orders shipped standard to mainland UK addresses is free for orders of £39.
Brush-only orders over £20 have free worldwide shipping.