Brush Reviews And Advice – When Daggers Are Drawn

As with many of our brushes at Rosemary & Co, we rely on the world’s top artists to tell us what they need and work hard to make the specific brush for them. At the beginning of 2015, Australian artist, Liz Steel contacted us and asked if we could make a brush shorter than the sword liner (a dagger brush), but in the larger sizes, and suitable for travelling. Liz describes why she uses a dagger, “mainly to get more expressive strokes – thin strokes like a rigger, big wider strokes like a flat and lots of other expressive calligraphic marks.

A lot of artists use a dagger with precision, however I have not tried to master it in this way as my natural flow is to work fast and loose. I allow my dagger to twist and do crazy things on me and as a result sometimes get a few strange marks. There is no doubt that using a dagger has taught me a lot about being deliberate with my brushstrokes and this has paid off when I use a round brush”. Liz is part of an extensive network of urban sketchers, and the need for the dagger brush in larger sizes became more apparent when we were contacted by several other top artists desperate to try this new innovation.

It was only last week that a friend of Liz’s, Suhita Shirodkar wrote to me, “while I love having an assortment of brushes to play with, I find that I tend to gravitate towards a brush or two that I use almost exclusively when I paint. Right now the brush that works magically across all my work, from smaller urban sketches created on location to larger studio figure studies is the Rosemary Series 772.

I love the versatility of this brush: just a twist of the hand, and I can fine-line and draw with it, and then I can move back to the wide, flat side for bold, painterly brushstrokes: it is a lot like using a sword brush, but with much more control. And unlike a regular flat brush (which can also give you thick and thin strokes), the angled dagger shape of the brush means that the transition between thick and thin strokes itself holds so many varied and subtle stroke widths you can produce”.

The smaller ¼” size is also available as a travel/reversible brush.

For more information please click here.

Images courtesy of Liz Steel & Marc Taro Holmes:


  1. Hedi Moran

    I bought the small dagger brush, now must try the larger ones. Your brushes are just the best, but of course you know that!

  2. Meda Halmaciu

    Ah, I know Liz’s work. Didn’t realize she used these brushes. I am just looking to buy a sword liner and I found out about your brushes through Anna Mason. Will try them soon myself 🙂

  3. Jim Huppenthal

    I purchased this brush after reading Liz’s review and having followed her online for the past year or so. Living in the United States I couldn’t find a state-side distributor, so I ordered direct. Boy was I surprised at the fast delivery – I had my bush in less than a week! I love this brush….it does everything that has been reviewed about it. The range of stokes is so broad, that for most paintings, it’s the only brush I need. A fantastic product!! I definitely will order more brushes from Rosemary & Co.

  4. Cheryl Wright

    I love my R12 Reversible 1/4″ Sable/Nylon Blend Dagger Pocket Brush and I’d like to add a 1 /2″ Reversible Blend Dagger Pocket Brush to my art tool kit. Just let me know when you have one and you’ll get my order. Fingers crossed and waiting. ?

  5. Deb Paquette

    I am looking for Series 772 sable blend dagger SHORT HANDLE 3/8″. I see that my only options for this product are standard and long. Please advise as to where I can find this brush. Thank you!!

  6. Jude Oliver

    I just brought 2 dagger brushes after hearing Li Steel sing their praise highly. eBelieve me I am still a total novice but the action f this brush fate exciting and inspiring@ just thrilled! The brush as such life and versatility and just feels creative! I sent to the UK from Canada for the brushes and they arrived in exceptionally good time. Real impressed, Now looking for a plain round sable No.8 that Liz recommends. Hmmm…


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