I've not heard of Connoisseur brushes before hey, it's a Kolinsky sable, so it shouldn't be too bad. So I bought one months ago to try.
The Connoisseur Kolinsky Sable Pocket Watercolour Brush is the reversible travel alternative to the range of Connoisseur sable brushes that feature acrylic handles with useful scraper edges.
The Connoisseur travel brushes comes with two choices of tip, round and flat. And they only come in size 7. The flat measures 8mm in width.
They remind me of Escoda Reserva travel brushes because of the same colour. The metal here is gold-plated aluminum.
For Connoisseur, the body is more uniform and the handle is thinner, quite similar like Rosemary travel brushes but slightly bigger.
The brush comes in two parts. The top part has the brush hair held in the ferrule, followed by clear acrylic, and then the metal part again which connects to the bottom half which is the handle that doubles up as the cap that protects the hair.
About the acrylic part, other brush manufacturers usually use wood.
The cap has a small ventilation hole. I recommend drying without the cap whenever possible because it's faster.
Overall, the brush has a nice weight and feel to it.
Both the round and flat brushes use Kolinsky sable hair. The hair is soft but firm enough and snaps back to sharp after each use.
Sable hair hold more water than synthetic brushes so they are better for making large area of washes.
The hair is flexible so you can flick it hard to force out the water easily, something you cannot do with synthetic brushes. With the drier brush, you can use it to collect pools of water on your paper, or clean it and mix new colours.
While I typically use flat brushes for creating large washes, with the Connoisseur, I would use the round brush instead because it's bigger and holds more water. The flat brush is good if you require constant width strokes. The small size quite limiting for a flat brush.
Comparison with other manufacturers
For this comparison, I've selected brushes with almost the same size hair.
From the left to right:
- Connoisseur Size 7
- Escoda Reserva Size 8
- Escoda Perla (Synthetic) Size 8
- Rosemary Size 8
- Da Vinci Maestro 8
Connoisseur Size 7 is actually as big as the Rosemary and Da Vinci, and certainly bigger than Escoda Reserva.
Escoda and Da Vinci have the biggest handles, followed by Connoisseur and then Rosemary.
I prefer the slightly thicker handle of the Connoisseur more.
I've reviewed several travel brushes so it might be difficult to make a choice. You can't go wrong with sable watercolour brushes. The quality of the Connoisseur travel brushes is excellent.
Unfortunately, they only come with one size 7, and the flat brush has limited use because of the small size.
Prices are competitive with other brands. It's worth the money.