Wednesday 20 October 2010

Luxartis and Brush Sizes

I recently purchased a Luxartis Size 10 Kolinsky sable. Luxartis brushes are used by the artist Jake Winkle and it appears his wife runs the brush business . Jake Winkle is an up and coming British artist of the younger generation and appears to be strongly influenced by John Yardley. His website is well worth a look.

The Luxartis site is an excellent one, well put together and very informative. It claims to use the highest quality Kolinsky sable which I don't dispute - I just don't know. As well as pointing out that there is no standard for brush sizes amongst manufacturers it also claims that the Luxartis brush heads are in general - but not always - longer and slimmer than many other makes.

From the top: SAA Kolinsky size 10, DaVinci Maestro 10 size 10, SAA size 8, Escoda 1212 size 10,
 DaVinci size 8, Luxartis size 10.
The first thing to notice is the difference in the size of the brush heads. The SAA (reputedly made by Raphael) and the Maestro are much larger. The SAA size 8 is marginally larger than the Escoda 10 with the Maestro size 8 a similar size. The smallest is the Luxartis size 10.  Price for the SAA 10, only available to members,  is £32.00p but they also do an excellent set of five which includes both the 8 (separately £20.00p) and the 10 for £47.99p. This is only available to members or affiliated art clubs or perhaps you know someone who is a member. The Maestro size 10 costs £41.25p and size 8 £22.70p. The Escoda 1212 size 10 is £19.30p. Jacksons  sell  these and also an own brand `Tajmir Kolinsky' at £17.35p which is obviously made by Escoda. The Luxartis size 10 costs £10.95p. This, despite the smaller brush head stills looks a very good buy. I have yet to try mine out but will report in due course. The rough equivalent in actual size to the SAA and DaVinci 10's would be the Luxartis size 14 or even perhaps the 16 at £19.95p and £24.95p respectively.

 To sum up prices of Kolinsky sable brushes are relatively affordable up to size 8.  After that prices can rocket due to the larger amounts of hair in the brush. Not  all brands though with the W & N Series 7 size 8 costing £86.80p! Can it possibly be worth it?  Raphael series 8404 10 £55.30p and 8 £31.90p. Isabey are close to Raphael in price. It appears there is much more tail hair in both the SAA and DaVinci brushes which size for size are generally much larger. Escoda sizes are smaller but well priced and of high quality. Luxartis are even smaller and if the 10 is typical don't seem longer as they claim, but are very well priced even so. Is the quality up to that of the others? I would also suggest Rosemary and Co are also well worth considering. The series 33 Kolinsky are good and the cream of the lot is series 22, which is more expensive at £25.15p for size 8 and £44.45p for size 10. Brush head sizes stand up well when compared to the others. There are also several other prominent makes like Stratford and York, Pro Arte and Daler Rowney. We also have Rekab, the well regarded and priced Israeli brand, which is becoming easier to obtain in the UK. These manufacturers all list Kolinsky sable ranges. Prices shown are from current catalogues in my possesion, or in the case of Luxartis on the website and may change soon with the planned VAT increase.


Unknown said...

Another interesting insight into the tools of the trade courtesy of a glimpse into the Ward collection of bits and pieces. Your work in providing us with so much useful gen is deserving of sponsorship by some dealer in painting gear.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks Mick you've surfaced again! Where have you been? I was actually still correcting various spelling (and other) mistakes when I noticed your comment had arrived. Without your comments I'd feel very lonely as others are very sparse. Why? I could also do with a few more followers. I looked at one site the other day and it had over 400!

Anonymous said...

Peter, great info...must read it through again. Nice link to Jake Winkle...Yikes!! one of his workshops had the same name as one of my four week watercolour courses! My October Class: Painting Without Drawing. extraordinary.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks for your kind words Maggie, and also for visiting.