Brushes are the most important tools in my paint box and I estimate that Iíve worn out well over two hundred Ė maybe far more Ė in my long painting career. When I go over my studentsí materials, I check out the brushes first. If their brushes are awful (and most student brushes are) their painting sessions will be miserable struggles. Art is hard enough without making it even harder by using bad brushes.
It seems we can define an artist as somebody who doesnít get a good discount. All my life Iíve paid dearly for "legendary" artists' materials heavily advertised in art magazines. Fortunately, with the advent of the Internet, specialists and experts have been able to make and market much better art stuff than ever before. When it comes to quality brushes, Trekell leads the way.
Winsor & Newton series 7 Kolinsky rounds used to be the world standard. Perhaps they still are, but the Kolinsky rounds I buy from Trekell are at least as good Ė probably better now - and so incredibly inexpensive that Iíve loaded up on them, hoarding them in case the Trekell company gets nuked or something.
I read on the Rational Painting Forum that the Trekell Long Filbert brushes are the best hog bristle brushes in the world. That was enough to tempt me to order a set and it's true! They are indeed the best oil brushes Iíve ever had. Iíve always worked with filberts for the variety and quality of their paint handling. I used to have a large supply of Winsor&Newton Rathbone filberts, but I can't get them anymore. Iím no longer sorry, for these Trekells are better.
Brush handling is one of the "lost secrets of the Old Masters." I love to use brushes that give me super control and allow me to get every effect I want with the most sensitive touch. I do a lot of small painting on smooth panels. Itís always best to use the largest brush possible, so I do most of my work with the filberts. I can get incredible finish detail with the Kolinsky rounds.
If you are serious about painting, go with Trekell.