Here's a nice attractive set of travel brushes from Pro Arte, a brush manufacturer in UK.
The set consist three collapsible brush and a beautiful soft leather case.
The brushes come in three shapes, round, flat and filbert. Each brush is collapsible, so you can pull off the cap and attach it to the back. The body is mainly metal with a small wooden part in between. They are beautiful, and look very similar to Escoda travel brushes.
These are synthetic brushes. The hair made of Prolene Plus, a variation of Prolene. It's stiffer than natural or sable hair.
As with synthetic hair, they have their limitation of not being able to hold as much water as sable brushes. When handling large areas of washes, you have to reload the paint onto the brush more frequently. That was a point of frustration to me at times.
The round brush is about a size 10. That's the one I commonly use. I've found that they retain their shape quite well after each stroke.
I don't use the filbert and flat brush as much. For the flat brush, it's about 0.25 inch which I feel isn't big enough to be useful.
Here's a visual comparison between other brushes that I have. From top to bottom:
- Escoda Perla Toray White Synthetic Round Brush size 12
- Pro Arte Retractable Travel Round Brush (Probaby size 10)
- Connoisseur Kolinskey Travel Round Brush Size 7
- Ashley synthetic short handle round brush size 8
- Pro Arte Retractable Travel Flat Brush 0.25 imch
- Ashley synthetic short handle flat brush 0.5 inch
The best brush above is the Connoisseur Kolinskey Travel Round Brush which is almost 90% of the price of the Pro Arte Brush Set. Well, that's a Kolinsky sable brush, enough said. More on that in a separate review.
I like the case, but it seems a bit soft to be durable. Mine has some part coming off already, the inside part that holds each brushes. The exterior looks and feels nice.
The brushes perform satisfactorily well as any synthetic brush, but do pale when being compared to sable hair brushes. Considering there are three brushes plus a leather case, it's still not bad a good deal. I bought this set at US$40.
The brushes do not sell separately as far as I know. Just for comparison, a da Vinci Series 1573 Cosmotop Spin travel brush size 10 almost cost as much as this brush set, but it's not any better (seriously overpriced in my opinion for a synthetic brush - read my review).
Overall, I would rate the Pro Arte Retractable Travel Brush Set 3.5 - 4 out of 5 stars.
Who is this for? Well, if you don't mind synthetic brushes, go for it.