Intended on making me a compact setup for sketching on location, I got both the smallest METAL TIN WATERCOLOR BOX and DA VINCI KOLINSKY POCKET BRUSH #8 from KEN BROMLEY. Althought advertised as lightweight, the box has solid heft to it and I quite like it, substantial in feel and seemingly durable. The lid clicks firmly when shut, tin doesn’t look as it would open unintentionally and has an additional fold-up palette. It holds up to 8 full-pans or twice as much of half-ones. On top of all that, it can just cradle the said pocket brush between the rows of paint, as if these two were meant for each other.
The benefit of pocket brush for painting on-the-go is obvious – not only the tip hides protected in the handle while travelling, but also the brush transforms from a tucked-away midget to a full-sized capable tool. I don’t like working with tiny brushes and this one, once set up, certainly isn’t one. It can both deliver broad strokes and point sharply for detailed work. I wouldn’t mind if it was just a bit springier, but it’s no slouch and holds a lot of paint.
Initially I pondered going for #10, but the video of all the sizes next to each other convinced me that #8 was just the right balance between size and portability. Both the box and the brush are shown on 9X12 LANGTON PRESTIGE ROUGH 300gr watercolor block, if you might need a reference of size. The SKETCH accompaining this mini-review has been done with this brush and Daniel Smith’s HEMATITE BURNT SCARLET.