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As promised, today we are continuing with part 2 of our exciting collaboration with da Vinci brushes! Our guest today is Gregory Daniels, their North American importer who tells us all about the da Vinci watercolor brushes that are all handmade with the highest quality hair, handles, and ferrules. We discuss the anatomy of the brushes, discuss all their different series of watercolor brushes, their incredible travel watercolor brushes, and their innovative synthetic vegan brushes that will leave you wondering how they were able to create a brush that almost perfectly mimics a natural brush. Once again, I urge our listeners to watch the video format of the episode at https://boldbrushshow.com where you will be able to see exclusive clips of the factory, their highly skilled brush makers at work, as well as brush demonstrations of every brush we mention. If you'd like to hear more about the history of da Vinci, I highly recommend listening to our previous episode where we go much more in depth on the founder, the factory, their technology, eco-friendly practices, and of course what sets da Vinci apart from all other brush makers which is their dedication to excellence in brush making. And if you'd like to know more about their oil painting and acrylic brushes, also check out part 1 because that is the main focus of the episode. Finally, we also want to announce that da Vinci brushes and BoldBrush have teamed up to create paintbrush sets for our listeners! Simply visit https://brushoffer.com/collections/boldbrush so you can check out these amazing exclusive sets while you listen to the episode! And now, on with the show!
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I think these are the best brushes in the world. And he said the selection is like nothing I've ever seen. And that is true. We have the largest selection of brushes in the world. And also we have everything you know, oil painting, watercolor, or acrylic but then a million other categories gilding sign painting pinstriping I could go on and on.Laura Arango Baier:
Welcome to BoldBrush show where we believe that fortune favors the bold brush. My name is Laura Arango Baier, and I'm your host. For those of you who are new to the podcast. We are a podcast that covers art marketing techniques, and all sorts of business tips specifically to help artists learn to better sell their work. We interview artists at all stages of their careers as well as others who are in careers tied to the art world in order to hear their advice and insights. As promised, today we're continuing with part two of our exciting collaboration with DaVinci brushes. Our guest today is Gregory Daniels, their North American importer who tells us all about the DaVinci watercolor brushes that are all handmade with the highest quality hair handles and ferals, we discussed the anatomy of the brushes discuss many of their different series of watercolor brushes, their incredible travel watercolor brushes and their innovative synthetic feagan brushes that will leave you wondering how they were able to create a brush that almost perfectly mimics a natural brush. Once again, I urge our listeners to watch the video format of the episode at BoldBrush show.com, where you will be able to see exclusive clips of the factory their highly skilled brush makers at work, as well as brush demonstrations of every brush we mentioned. If you'd like to hear more about the history of DaVinci I highly recommend listening to our previous episode where we go much more in depth on the founder the factory their technology, eco friendly practices and of course what sets DaVinci apart from all other brush makers, which is their dedication to excellence in brush making. And if you'd like to know more about their oil painting and acrylic brushes, also check out part one because that is the main focus of the episode. Finally, we also want to announce that DaVinci brushes and BoldBrush have teamed up to create paint brush sets for our listeners. Simply visit brush off er.com forward slash collections for slash BoldBrush. So you can check out these amazing exclusive sets while you listen to the episode. The links can also be found in the description of the episode. And now on with the show. Hello, Greg, again. Welcome back. You are here to talk about the watercolor brushes, which you know we had already talked about the oil painting brushes and a little bit about acrylics. Since you know there's a little bit of overlap there. And we talked about those you know for listeners and our viewers, we talked about those in the previous episode of the podcast but this one is all about watercolor. So do you mind giving us a little bit about the history of the watercolor brushes in Vinci?Greg Daniels:
Sure, Laura, thanks. Well, we make a huge range of watercolor brushes and natural hair, unique synthetics and in great student watercolor brushes as well. This is another area where we have definitely the largest selection of watercolor brushes in the world. And definitely the most shapes we we make the most shapes for watercolorist whether it's you know, the classic shapes around the flats, as I spoke about in the earlier podcast, you know, we make a huge selection of quill brushes, slant brushes, angled brushes, now, miniature brushes, I mean, the miniature small size painting has increased incredibly so so you know, I'm gonna say again, we have a new catalog. And you can get the new catalog. It's a beautiful print catalog at by emailing me at Greg Greg daniels.com. It's also on the Da Vinci website DaVinci hyphen dafont.com. Or you can find this on the DaVinci app for the iPhone or whatever type of phone you have. Where you can get short videos, measurements, there's a wonderful YouTube channel for all the DaVinci watercolor brushes and all the DaVinci brushes in general I think we have a video now for every single brush we make and we try to keep them short and brief. And then there are some longer videos as well. But I guess we'll start with the kind of classic watercolor brush which is the Kolinsky Sable I'm gonna talk about natural hair brushes. First is to divide the natural hair brushes from the synthetics so we make a line of brushes called the Maestro and this is our highest quality Kolinsky Sable line. Only the first quality and Kolinsky Sable has a snap and resilience holds an edge a hold water like no other brush in the world. And you know over the course of history it's been used for or watercolor wash, you know, oil painters using the rounds. We have a huge range of liners, short liners, long liners, inlaid liners. You know, sign painting brushes, lettering brushes. So our I think the the amount of shapes we make for Kolinsky Sable is mind blowing really, I mean, we make we make everything for kind of every purpose. And, you know, sometimes people ask me, Well, we have three different rounds, the rounds being the most popular. And we do that's kind of different, you know, many brands just have the one basic round. And you know, so we have the series 10, which is European round, and the maestro line, and this one's gonna have a little bit of a slimmer belly and the fastest action at the tip. We make the series 11 This one is has a bit larger belly, we call it the English shape, and then tapers to a beautiful point. And this one is the same shape as the Windsor Newton series seven or the Rafale at 404. It's the exact same shape as those two brushes. So those are also popular sable brushes, you know, the last 100 years or however long. And then we make a very unique brush the series 35 with an extra long taper. And this brush was originally made for animators, illustrators, architectural rendering, it was for years the Disney Animation brush when they were doing everything by hand. And so this is also now become one of our most popular brushes for watercolorist, quash artists. And with all of these brushes these three we've seen a big upsurge in quash the use of these brushes for guasha. Of course, all of you know if you see the old classic Disney movies, where things were painted on cells, that's all sable brushes and blush. That's any studio that did that. In Europe, in America, generally, that's round sable brushes, and, and wash. So you can also use them for ink. And so the maestro line is our top quality line. And like I said, there's every shape. So you just have to kind of, I can't if I talked about them all, every shape, we would be here a long time on just on this subject. We also that so that's the first quality. And then generally we always buy the second quality, you can buy sable up to 10 qualities. And like we we we dress the hair ourselves. So we clean it. We're not buying a hair and a bundle from a middleman, we do all of what's called the hairdressing ourselves, it's an extra step to control the quality. And DaVinci you know, is all about the quality. The same family has been making the brushes since 1890. And it's we're still you know, family owned factory. So everything made by hand is made by brush makers who, you know, perhaps their father or grandfather worked in the factory and made the brushes by hand as well. So it's generations of kind of know how go into every brush. So like I said, we have the maestro line. We also then you know, for artists who want to not spend as much money but get maybe the same effect. We make a line called the Harbin Kolinsky line that's about 40% less serious 1526 Why and then we make another round of series 36 which we call the you Surrey Kolinsky and that one is kind of a third quality but still excellent brush. And that's a little less expensive than that so we make three different qualities. In Klinsky save we make the maestro the Harbin and the serie Kalinsky brush. Then the classic kind of you know, generally all over Europe and an England people will be using sable brushes you know the in the past times. And then in France you go and you see people using squirrel hair brushes, what's called the petite Cree brushes. Generally in quills. We make that brush using only the best quality that's our series for 18 petit Creek Quill, the blue squirrel brush. To my knowledge there are only two or three manufacturers that use the best quality in that and then that you can buy it and much lower quality but we certainly only use the best and we also make that brush and rounds and flats with ferals to in the traditional shapes. And so this is you know what some people refer to as a mop. It holds it holds the most water it's not going to point like Kolinsky Sable but it's going to really lay down a lot of color in a wash. Or you know there are many different techniques but so if you want something that's just going to hold a ton of color, this is it and we have The YouTube channel you can see all these brushes in use, we've made a short video for, for every series. And then next we make a brush called the Cosmo top mix B. And this was a this is a blending of sable and squirrel. And the idea with this is we put some synthetic right up the middle of the brush and the longer hairs just a little bit. And it was a way to make larger round brushes that again would be less expensive. So here, you know, let's say you wanted to buy a 12 or a 16 or even a 20. It's much more affordable than buying that in a pure sable brush or pure squirrel hairbrush. So it's a blend and we have you know, we have many people who are well known flower painter brushes in watercolor using this brush because they can they're using these bigger sizes to do the petals. And so if that interests you check out that brushed cotton top mix beat series 5530.Laura Arango Baier:
So one of the other things that I love about DaVinci which I keep saying that I love because I do is how much they take care of every single aspect of the brush. It's not just like the hairs, not just the handles. But I wanted to ask you a little bit more about the actual construction of the watercolor brushes.Greg Daniels:
Well, the watercolor brushes, you know, the Farrell is very important, the Federal being the connecting piece between the brush head and the handle because of course these brushes are gonna spend a lot of time soaking in water. And you know, so, you know, not only do we use what we think are the best handles in the world, you know, all comes from like I was talking about sustainable European forestry. But all of our ferals are either nickel plated brass, gold plated brass, or in a few instances silver. For all of our watercolor brushes. These are the highest quality Pharaohs that, you know, money can buy and they're also the best. So, for our whole watercolor line, these are the ferals we're using. We've developed a very unique crimping of the Pharos, it's not visible as much with other brands, we see things that are like double crimp triple crimp, that's more ornamental for it's not really something that that we we feel we feel like we found a much more innovative way to crimp our ferals so that our brushes whether natural hair or synthetic, we generally hardly ever get any back for losing hair, the Federal falling apart the federal twisting off. And, you know, we also take great care to with our both natural errands, synthetic brushes to deeply set the hair or the synthetic below the feral. So the brush has a great architecture. And what I mean by that is the hair is set below the Pharisee that's the invisible part of the brush you can't see but that's where the architecture of the brushes that really allow the brush to be flexible and to maintain its shape over time. And I always encourage painters, any kind of painter after you've painted and you've cleaned the brush to bring it back to its original shape, because with our brushes, the way they're made, the brushes will really last longer and you'll get better results if you just bring it back to its original shape. So yes, what's also very important that all these ferals is of course they're rust resistant, they're not going to rust over time. So I get that all the time I've been doing working with DaVinci since 1998 and my family had an art supply store in Los Angeles for you know 5060 years and we you know, I've just found that I've had people come to me that have you been using DaVinci brushes maybe they met me a long time ago and they say I'm still have that brush I'm still using that brush. Or you know this wash brush has been the best one wash brush the series 5080 cousin topspin wash, I've been using it It changed my painting, but I generally get that all the time that the brushes have lasted a long time. They've held their point they've held their their shape, the quills have held their their you know the belly and the shape. And you know the travel brushes even I mean way they're constructed, you know each travel brush you skirt, you take it out you have the brush head, you can paint your skirt back together so head is protected. There's a drying hole at the end. So the brush is naturally dry. And you know this design is not a new design for us, but we've never changed it because it's it's indestructible. It's very difficult to damage the brush the way it's designed. And we just keep making more and more different styles of travel brushes. They're so popular and we get lots of requests. So So, so yes, the feral is very important it doesn't seem like it is but you know not using tin or aluminum or a lower grade metal. That's what makes our watercolor versus overall lasts so long.Laura Arango Baier:
BoldBrush We inspire artists to inspire the world because creating art creates magic. And the world is currently in desperate need of magic. BoldBrush provides artists with free art marketing, creativity, and business ideas and information. This show is an example. We also offer written resources, articles and a free monthly art contest open to all visual artists. We believe that fortune favors the bold brush. And if you believe that to sign up completely free at BoldBrush show.com. That's B O LD B R U S H show.com. The BoldBrush Show is sponsored by FASO. Now more than ever, it's crucial to have a website when you're an artist, especially if you want to be a professional in your career. Thankfully, with our special link faso.com forward slash podcast, you can make that come true. And also get over 50% off your first year on your artists website. Yes, that's basically the price of 12 lattes in one year, which I think is a really great deal considering that you get sleek and beautiful website templates that are also mobile friendly ecommerce print on demand in certain countries, as well as access to our marketing center that has our brand new art marketing calendar. And the art marketing calendar is something that you won't get with our competitor. The art marketing calendar gives you day by day, step by step guides on what you should be doing today, right now in order to get your artwork out there and seen by the right eyes so that you can make more sales this year. So if you want to change your life and actually meet your sales goal this year, then start now by going to our special link faso.com forward slash podcast. That's s a s o.com. Forward slash podcast. And then, you know, I also love and I mentioned this in the previous video and episode as well that you know DaVinci takes so much care to also create and you know, innovate synthetic brush brushes that really imitate the same feel and are as close to feel as the natural bristle. So I would love to hear more about some of your synthetic brushes for watercolor.Greg Daniels:
Yeah, we made we have a huge line of synthetics for watercolor. And, you know, Mr. dafabet, who ran the factory from the time he was after the war. I mean, he's took over the factory, his mother, you know, when he was 17 and 1946 and ran the factory until he was 90. And in incredible. He made incredible strides in brush making in every way shape and form. And in Europe, he's kind of known as the king of the brush makers. And because he had such a long career, and he really innovated in a lot of ways, but you know, we started making these multi diameter synthetic brushes, so three or five different thicknesses of fiber blended together. The first brush was the Nova green handle gold synthetic in the 70s. And that has three different fibers thickest on the outside dentist on the inside. And then we moved to the cosmic topspin, still our overall best seller, five different diameters. And the reason we're doing this was we found a way to blend thicker fibers in the outside, thinner fibers in the inside. So you get this capillary motion. So if you dip the brush in water, especially the modeller, water will just run up and defy gravity between the different channels or to you know, different, the different thicknesses of fiber and run right up the brush. So that just grabs and holds water. And, you know, a lot of these ideas came from the ancient Egyptians, you know, putting different size reeds into the Nile and the water would come up. You know, this was capillary motion. There were some of these similar ideas that Leonardo da Vinci had about ditch irrigation and bringing water up out of canals, spreading it across the fields, because this whole notion of capillary reaction, and that's kind of what we use to make these first synthetic brushes that were had different thicknesses of fiber and were blended in a way that DaVinci developed. So that's the Nova and the kosmos hub spin. And then we kind of took that a step further. With Castaneda align the kasnia line has been tremendously popular all over the world. And what we did with this is we developed a crimped fiber brush. So if you look at it under our digital microscope, it's a wavy fiber. And that had never been done before. And and eventually developed these fibers. They're not just buying the fibers from the same place everybody else is but buying the fibers. They're working with the fiber makers to develop Special Special fibres for synthetics to reduce the reliance on natural animal air over time. So the cast knows this grim fiber brush it holds a ton of paint, it's become incredibly popular all over the world. watercolorist squash artists, illustrators, and the urban Skechers which is a big movement groups all over the world going out and painting we've been involved in sponsoring them from from the very beginning. So we started the kasnia we hadn't you know, round flat, and we made these quill brushes and if you told me that a quill brush would be my best selling brush overall, 10 years ago, I would never have believed you. But there you go. That's our best selling brush overall is the Casanare quill brush series 498. So much so that we made a quill liner, so longer Quill, which is completely unique to us. And then a huge range of regular liners we have so much demand for liners. And in the Casanare line we also make it in our other lines. And then travel brushes. I mean, you know before we always made Cosmo topspin, the synthetic travel brush and the maestro the Kalinsky travel brush. But now we have a huge range of kasnia Travel versus we have the round brushes like we've always made and travel brushes. And we now make a quilt travel brush, a slant travel brush, a flat travel brush. And we've also made the Casio with short handles, for people that wanted shorter handles, either to fit in their painting box. Or to just you know, we had just had a lot of demand for it. And this making all these new shapes and sizes have just come from the demand from art stores and artists themselves to expand the range to make more shapes and sizes in the Casio range. So if you haven't tried these, please give them a go. kasnia range has been incredible for us. It's different from anybody else's. But what are called faux squirrel brushes. It's a different fiber. And like I said, so the kasnia was the first crimped fiber brush with five diameters of of and varying lengths. So you know, we create all the lengths by hand so and you know, shaping synthetic brushes for watercolors very particular, we shaved them completely different than we would for our oil and acrylic brushes. You have more of a belly. The brushes can be thicker in the you know the flats and in the belly as well. And so the we have these unique shapes, somebody asked us for a super liner, so we made a 55 millimeter liner. So yeah, I mean, it's just, you know, we have it's just a huge range of brushes and again, we make them all in the quills we make up the size eight and 10 in some of the ranges. And with our very large quilt brushes, and certainly the cast and nail in the coffin we make up to size 40 in the rounds, all the way from 10 up to 40. So from the very smallest to the largest. And we have we this year we came out with a new brush called kala nail. And this is our first who's worked on a free years synthetic Klinsky brush. So we're trying to make a Kolinsky Sable brush, but with synthetic and what we did here is we found a way to mix straight fibers and crimped fibers together five different thicknesses and taper the brush like a natural hair Kalinsky brush. So we feel this colony of brush is really unique amongst you know, a lot of manufacturers make synthetic sable brushes. And this is something I think we think is completely different. And, and all of our brushes, you know, the handles are from sustainable European forestry generally Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and the handles that are made by a certain handle manufacturer we've worked with for generations in northern Italy. And so everything's being done. Ecologically. Davinci has built two new factories for all BoldBrush making in the last 20 years. And these are, you know, the greenest, cleanest, non polluting eco brush factories in the world. The old factory we've made into gallery space and artists studios. So you artists can do a residency there, whether they're watercolorist, oil painters, Acrylic Painters, and so yeah, the line of the line of synthetics is very, very different because we've developed these fibers that nobody else has. And they're unique. They're different from other watercolor brushes. We don't call a cast snail brush or faux squirrel brush, we think it's something completely different. And, you know, and on another note, we make very affordable student watercolor brushes. Because we think that's really important too that beginners have a Great brush off. And if they're using a brush that's too cheap, they don't have good results and they get discouraged. So we have a whole line of brushes called the fit. And which means just fit for all types of paint. And the Junior, which is a very interesting laser engrave brush it has like a number two pencil handles, so it's very easy to hold for beginners. And, you know, these are, these are great student loans as well. So we make from kind of the most professional, you know, Kolinsky Sable down to basic beginner brushes that are still made in Germany, we make everything in our factory in Germany, were one of the last brush manufacturers to make everything and I really encourage artists when you you know, look for brushes in online or in a store, look at the brush brands and say Do they make those brushes, do they have a factory, are they making brushes, because really, there are only two or three of us left that are making all of our brushes independently or independently owned. A lot of watercolor brushes have gone down in quality over the years, for major brands because so many so much there's been so much consolidation. You know, you have a few brands that own up, you know, a few big corporate companies that own up to like 20 brands. And usually, when that happens, you know, the quality of the materials goes down, but especially with brushes, because if you you know, with in our factory, you have 40 Brush makers, 50 brush makers, the head brush makers, a woman and we have specialist specialists that only make the small sable brushes, women that only make the quill brushes. And, you know, maybe their parents were brush makers, their their grandparents or their uncles and aunts or cousins, because it takes three years to become a master watercolor brush maker. And this is a skill that's often handed down through families for generations. And so it's really knowledge, you can't just open up a brush, make a brush factory anywhere, because you're not going to find skilled brush makers. This is kind of an ancient art form that comes down through families. And like I said, it takes three years to become a brush maker at DaVinci and join the brush making guild. And so it's really it's really something special and it makes our watercolor brushes unique. Now, I do get questions more and more these days to about like, what brushes do you have there would be considered Mixed Media Brushes, which is kind of a term that a lot of brush manufacturers are using now more and more. And I would say like you know, we have a great brush called the Nova and shorthand land long handle but our watercolor series 1571 of our most popular brushes worldwide. When I started with DaVinci, you know, we were in eight countries, and now we're in 95 countries 25 years later, and the Nova is all over the world. So that's a great mix media brush, the whole line of Nova comes in all the different shapes you could want. And as you know, as well, we have, like I said, the less least less expensive lens, the junior the fit, we have one called the Forte basic that's very stiff. That one you can paint on, you know stone you can paint on wood. So that's designed for that. So it's just it's an enormous range of watercolor brushes. And I encourage you to try them and and look into the travel brushes and the quills if you haven't tried them because these are become more and more popular over the years. Travel brushes, you know, you can unscrew them, screw them together, the brush heads protected, they can get fit in any brands painting box, whether you're using Daniel Smith, or Shinka, or you know, one of the Golden watercolor sets, I mean, they fit in all of those. So, watercolor, squash artists, illustrators, urban Skechers, enjoy these brushes, we love making them for you. And, and thank you so much BoldBrush, we might have some BoldBrush watercolor sets coming up down the line. We're working on oil painting sets at the moment for BoldBrush. But check out the DaVinci sets, we really make a huge range of sets. And you know, we have specialized sets. So if you just use rounds, or you just use quills, you can get specialty sets that just have those shapes. And then we also make shapes as well where you get you know, in the Casanare you might get one of each shape and upset. But we have a very large range of sets and often when you buy a set it's a good way to try something out and you could you can save a little money as well in many of the art supply stores and an online but you know, I encourage you all to to support your independent art supplies stores. They're the first stop you should make. They're the lifeblood of kind of the the art materials industry. And you know, there are many online dealers as well that carry DaVinci but if you ever have trouble finding our brushes, just just email us Greg Greg annuals.com will get you out of catalog. Please check out our Instagram site sites, you know, there's DaVinci brushes official DaVinci brushes North America, which is our site. My, my company runs Gregory Daniels Fine Arts. And it's been great being here, Laura. Thanks. And you know, DaVinci has been begging the question since 1890, my family started in the art supply business in Manhattan in 1924. So next year will be 100 years and our materials. And, you know, we love what we do. My father used to say to me, you know, once you get a little paint under your fingernail, you can't get out of the art supply industry.Unknown:
Plastic won by him that he always used to tell me about that.Greg Daniels:
Thank you very much, I really appreciate the opportunity to be on the BoldBrush podcast.Laura Arango Baier:
Yes, it's an honor. Because honestly, I I love how, you know, the DaVinci brush family really, it has become so like, they're like one of the last bastions of like, artisanal brush making that's, you know, been spanning generations. And I think, you know, it's it's such an honor to have someone here who represents, you know, not just a highly ethical company, but also a company that cares about the actual product that they're making, which is something that's so rare today. So thank you.Greg Daniels:
Yeah, I think it's, I think they're really unique in that, you know, they, they've, they're devoted to making the highest quality art materials they possibly can. But, you know, the fact that they have been running an art gallery to since 1958, they've had that connection to painters for such a long time. And, and they're really, you know, they're really in touch with contemporary artists all over the world. And, you know, that's, that's really the fun part of our job is being in touch with artists visiting with artists. And that's what makes the job great, actually,Unknown:
you know, soLaura Arango Baier:
great. And also, for anyone who wants to know a lot more about the history of DaVinci, definitely check out our previous episode, because we go a lot more in depth into the ethics of the company and how you know where they started, and when they started, because this is very old company. So definitely go check out that episode. Thank you so much, Greg. I will also be including every single link you mentioned in the show notes. And also, if anyone wants a catalog, the link is there as well.Greg Daniels:
Thanks, Laura. And thanks, BoldBrush. It's been great working with BoldBrush. And, yeah, I look forward to hearing from a lot of artists and and I appreciate the opportunity very much. Thank you. Of course,Laura Arango Baier:
yes, we here at BoldBrush want to extend our sincerest gratitude to Gregory Daniels, as well as the team at DaVinci for all of their hard work in making this collaboration possible. I personally also want to thank Michael Olsen for providing me with all of the footage of the DaVinci factory, as well as all the brush demos. If you're listening to this episode, I highly recommend visiting BoldBrush show.com. To watch the video version of the episode, you'll be able to visually see what the DaVinci factory is like see the wonderful artisans and makers of the brushes, and also the demonstrations of specific brushes we mentioned. And once again, part one is mostly about the history of the VINCI their practices, some of the history of Gregory Daniels and his family, as well as the oil painting and acrylic brushes. And of course the site where you can purchase the DaVinci and BoldBrush paintbrush sets is life. Just visit brush offer.com forward slash collections forward slash BoldBrush And you'll find them there. We also have a discount code to get an extra 10% off the already special pricing at checkout. Just use the code BoldBrush. Your order supports our community efforts at BoldBrush and FASO