Review: Silver Black Velvet Brushes

I get requests to review these Silver Black Velvet brushes occasionally so here's review.

Black Velvet is the product line of brushes made by US company Silver Brush, or Silver in short. These brushes are suitable for watercolour, silk painting, inks, dyes, acrylics, and gouache.

These are rather eye catching brushes with the sleek black bodies and hair. The only parts that are not black are stripes just below the ferrule and the labels on the body.

Black Velvet brushes are available in short handle and collapsible bodies. For short handle brushes, the typical watercolour shapes are available, namely round, oval (cat's tongue), script, square wash, wash and dagger striper. The collapsible bodies are available in round sizes 2, 4, 6 and 8.

The hair is a mixture of squirrel and synthetic filament. Squirrel hair are known for their large water capacity and these Black Velvet brushes can indeed hold a lot of water and paint. They also have sharp points and can be used to paint details, thin lines when needed.

Squirrel hair is soft and that sometimes can be a problem because it may make the bristle feel floppy, just like a wet mop — that's why squirrel hair is commonly used to make mop brushes. If the hair is too soft and floppy, it is difficult to paint details. The addition of the synthetic filament adds some strength to the hair and allows the brushes to hold their shape.

I bought the oval (cat's tongue) and dagger striper because these are the brush types that I don't have.

So when you're using a round brush, you can get thin and thick lines when needed. The hair is able to return to its shape although it does not feel as springy compared to sable brushes.

The Black Velvet round brushes seem to be one or two sizes smaller compared to other brushes. Shown above is the Black Velvet size 8 compared to the Escoda Perla size 8 and Escoda Reserva size 8.

The Black Velvet seems to be the same length has the Escoda Perla. You may notice that the Perla is thinner.

When compared to the Escoda Reserva, the Black Velvet looks shorter. Also when you notice the shapes of the hair, you can see they taper a bit differently. With the sable brush, there's the point, the belly and the hair tapers back down slightly into the ferrule.

Here's how the Black Velvet compare to a 100% squirrel hair mop brush.

These are strokes from the dagger striper. The 1.5 inch hair is able to hold a lot of paint. This is a brush capable of producing thin lines and strokes that taper very abruptly into a point.

These are strokes from the oval brush.

You can also use the oval brush for painting large washes.

As the brushes can hold a lot of paint, it is important to wash the brushes thoroughly to clean out the paint.


I'm very satisfied with my purchase. These Black Velvet brushes perform well. The pricing is also quite attractive since they are priced below sable brushes and yet has high water capacity and can hold a sharp point. The only point to note is these squirrel mixed hair brushes are softer.

Overall, they are quite worth the money.


Find more reviews at Dick Blick Art Materials (US) | Jackson's Art (UK)

They are sold in sets as well as individually. Once again take note that the round brushes are smaller compare to other brands.

Note that Jackson's Art (UK) provides free global shipping for £20 brush purchases.



Greetings Teoh. Nice review,

Greetings Teoh. Nice review, thank you. Have you used any Black Velvet square wash brushes? If so, are they as soft & floppy as the rounds and oval wash? I'm in the market for several flat brushes (1/4", 1/2", 1") but I think I want a something with a little stiffness. I'm considering Black Velvet, Princeton Aqua Elite, and Escoda Versatil.

Hi Teoh. Love your reviews

Hi Teoh. Love your reviews and your videos. Your resource has been a great help. I want to upgrade my brush. Optimo and thiese Black Velvet brushes are in my price range Out of the two, which one would you recommend? Which one is more snappy? Thank u

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