Brushes, brushes & more brushes!
Which brushes would you recommend for Oils?
We get asked all of the time for the ‘magic’ brush. Sadly, there is no such thing, though there are certainly plenty of options available. And although it’s difficult to recommend a brush to someone without knowing specifically what they are painting, here are some helpful guidelines I want to share.
How do I look after my new natural hair brushes when they arrive?
When you receive the brushes the heads are set with Gum Arabic. We use this serum for transport purposes and to help the brush keep it’s shape. Gently rinse this out under the tap with Luke warm water. Place the brush head between your finger and thumb to remove the serum. This comes out very easily.
Natural Hair brushes will have a smell to them that you and I can’t always detect BUT moths and butterflies can sniff them out so be aware. These insects like to bury themselves in to the brush head, chewing their way in and laying eggs on occasion. They then quite literally buzz off leaving you with a damaged brush which will shed hair in fragments and render the brush unusable.
To prevent this, place the brushes upright in a jam jar and in the bottom place some moth balls / lavender / cedar wood balls, this will keep them away until you have used them for long enough to have washed off the natural smell. This little tip can save you a costly brush.
How would you recommend cleaning your brushes?
We often get asked what the best way to clean your brushes is. Truthfully, there are so many different ways and it really does depend on which medium you’re using, how often you use your brushes, whether you are in a rush or whether you have time to clean them thoroughly.
Are your brushes competitively priced?
I wish I had a penny for each time I’ve answered this one over the last 35+ years! By making brushes and selling to artists’ directly through our website, I am able to eliminate the ‘middle man’ or wholesaler. I simply don’t have the same expensive overheads as some of the larger manufacturers. I use the best raw materials I can buy and do not compromise on quality.
What size are the brushes?Unfortunately, there is no universal brush size. Our brushes sizes are different to every other brush company out there, and also are not comparable across the ranges.We have tried to measure all of the brushes and have brush charts underneath every range on our website.Alternatively, we offer a full catalogue which we are able to ship worldwide free of charge. All of the brushes in the catalogue are photographed actual size, and will be a valuable tool for measurements and comparisons for you. Please fill out our catalogue request form here if you’d like one.
How do I know which brushes to use for my medium?
As a general rule of thumb the finest hair used for watercolour is Kolinsky Sable, followed closely by Pure red Sable, Squirrel etc. At the moment, there are some excellent Nylon fibres which imitate Sable thus keeping costs low. It’s not just about ‘snap & spring’ which are familiar terms but how the brush strokes the paper. Sable has the advantage of holding a huge quantity of liquid and ‘flows’ when pressed onto the paper. Some beginners/intermediates would choose Sable/Nylon blends or indeed 100% Nylon as the feeling of a controlled strokes is more prevalent.
Oils, Sable is a favourite but because of the medium’s heavy viscosity and rapid ‘clogging’ of pigment in the brush head, it isn’t greatly favoured by frequent users as the price is a high one to pay. There are excellent alternatives of stronger Nylon filaments to suit the oil painter and my ranges of Shiraz, Ivory and Chungking Bristle are prime examples. A popular choice for acrylic painters are also Shiraz, Ivory and any of the Golden Synthetic ranges. Masters Choice is also a real treat to use!
What is the difference between Long Handles & Short handles?
Our long handles are approx. 11 inches.
Our short handles are approx. 7 inches.
We measure the handle from the tip of the handle to the base/collar of the ferrule.
The size of the handle can vary depending upon the diameter of the ferrule.
We look to get the perfect balance of the brush.
Generally speaking, watercolourists use the short handles because they are sat down at a table, and a longer handle would usually get in the way.
Acrylic painters tend to use a mix of both short and long handles.
Oil painters in the studio tend to favour the long handle. As a general rule, Oil painters are usually standing at the easel and the longer handle length allows for perspective. However, Plein Air painters do enjoy the short handles for on-the-go pochade boxes.
In short, the handle length is your personal preference and in truth, will depend on what feels comfortable to you.
What is the difference between Kolinsky Sable Hair & Red Sable Hair?
Apart from the price (Kolinsky Sable being the more expensive of the two) – Kolinsky Sable has more snap and spring than the Red Sable. Both hold the same amount of pigment or liquid but the Red Sable does tend to wear down quicker.
In short: buy the best you can afford. I like to describe the Kolinsky Sable as the finest hair money can buy, closely followed by the Red Sable.
Why can’t I get the plastic cap back on my brush?
The cap is placed on the head by us purely to keep the brush in pristine condition in transit. Once natural hair is wet it will swell and the belly will expand thus making it nigh on impossible to squeeze back into the cap. I tend to throw mine away and store brushes without caps as this will allow the brush heads to remain dry and ventilated, also this discourages any mould.
Please note, all of our protective caps are 100% recyclable.
My Synthetic brush has curled at the tip. What can I do?
It is important to know before we discuss this further that synthetic fibres wear out and natural hair brushes wear down. The reason for curling at the ends of the brush can be down to several factors:
- The surface you are painting on.
- The surface that you are mixing your paint on.
- Your technique. e.g if you ‘scrub’ with your brushes, this will wear them out. This causes friction and thus the hairs to splay/curl.
You could try the ‘boiling water’ trick. Carefully pour boiling water into a suitable container, immerse the brush head for 30 seconds to a minute then reshape and allow to dry naturally. This sometimes revives the twist or curl in the brush head.
How long will my Sable brush last?
Depending on how often you use it and how you clean and condition it, a good Sable brush should give many years service. Rough paper and cheaper watercolours which contain ‘fillers’ can wear down your brush. Remember not to ‘scrub or mix’ paint to retain good point!
Do you cut or trim the brushes to get a good point?
Ouch! No, No, No! The brush is formed in a ‘goblet’ (sometimes called a brass cannon) and tapped/twisted by hand. With experienced manipulation I can form a beautiful sharp point from the natural hair tips. As I’ve mentioned before, a smaller size brush would require the shorter lengths of hair progressing to the longer lengths for the larger diameter brush heads.
Can I redeem my gift card towards a Rosemary & Co workshop?
Unfortunately not. However, you can use your gift card for any of the other products on our website.
How do I buy a gift card?
We offer two cards.
Paper Card (which arrives through the post) & Electronic Card (which arrives via email).
You can see those here.
How do I spend my gift card?
You can either use your gift card online through our website, or by calling us over the telephone (you would need to quote your gift card code to us).
For the website: Once all your items have been added to your cart, hit the checkout button at the top right hand corner of the screen as normal. When the “SHOPPING CART” page appears, enter your code in the box provided and press the ‘APPLY GIFT CARDS’ button . This will then automatically deduct the value of the gift card from the total in your shopping cart.
My gift card does not work?
If you find that your gift card is not accepted at checkout, please check the code you have entered and try again.
TIP: Please note the code is case sensitive.
If you continue to experience any further difficulties please contact us or call us on 01535 632666 (+44 1535 632666 for international callers).
Our office hours are 10am – 6pm (GMT) Monday-Friday.
Can I print off my own gift card?
When you order an electronic gift card this will be emailed to you. You can print this off if you have a printer!
When purchasing a paper gift card you will be sent this through the post, so there is no need for you to print it off.
TIP: If you wish to print the voucher yourself to give to a friend, enter your own email address as the recipient for the electronic gift card.
I have sent my electronic gift card to the wrong email address – what should I do?
If you entered the wrong recipient email address then please contact us immediately so that we can try and help. Unfortunately, if your gift card has been sent to the wrong recipient through your own error and has been redeemed, we cannot be held responsible for this and no refund will be offered.
TIP: Please make sure you are careful when entering recipient email address for electronic gift card.
What happens if my gift card is lost, stolen or damaged?
Please contact us so that we can try and help you.
What if my gift card is a different value to my order?
If your gift card is worth more than the value of your order, you will be able to use the remaining amount on the gift card on any future orders.
If your gift card is worth less than the value of your order you will need to enter your debit/credit card information at the check out to pay off the remaining balance.
TIP: Save your gift card code for your future purchases!
Can I cash in my gift card?
No. Unfortunately, all gift cards are non-refundable and are only able to be used on the Rosemary & Co Ltd website.
I would like to return something bought with a gift card.
If you would like to return something that you have paid for with your gift card, we will refund you back via the same method of payment.
This does not affect your statutory rights.
I have more than one gift card, can I use both codes on one order?
Yes! You can redeem more than one gift card on the same order through our website or over the telephone. Please enter your code in the “APPLY GIFT CARDS” box one after another which can be found at the checkout page.
TIP: You can use a code from a gift card and an electronic gift card on one order!
Is there an expiry date for my gift card?
No! We do not have an expiry date for our gift cards!
TIP: We’re nice like that 🙂
Can I use my gift card with you when you have a booth at an event?
No, we are sorry. The gift cards are for use over the telephone or the website only. We appreciate your understanding.
How much is postage for a gift card?
The shipping price quote will be shown at check out when you enter your Country.
What payment methods do you accept?
We accept Paypal, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, BACS Transfers and cheques (UK Only).
To pay via American Express, you must select the Payment Method labelled “Paypal / American Express”. See the image below for details.
Can I view your prices in my own currency?
We have several currencies available for you to view our prices in. If you look at the top-right of our homepage you will see a flag icon – click on it and you will see several currency options. If you your currency is not listed please feel free to Contact Us.
I am outside the EU – Will I still pay taxes?
We do not charge UK VAT (20%) for shipments to countries outside the EU. Any taxes that appear on the website will be deducted from your order total when you enter a delivery address outside the EU on the checkout page.
However, we cannot be held responsible for any Tax or Duties your country sees fit to charge. For small orders generally speaking there isn’t any tax especially if you are the end user and not a retail outlet etc… if you are concerned please check with your own country’s authorities who will answer your questions accurately.
How do I find my tracking number?
Once you have placed your order, you should have automatically received your tracking information.
Please check your spam/junk.
If you haven’t received this, please contact us.
Tip: This will be shown on the top right of your order confirmation
Where is my order?
Once you have placed your order, you will receive a confirmation email – at this stage, we are processing your order! As soon as your order is shipped, we will update you via the email address you placed your order with. Your order is fully trackable at this stage.
We endeavour to get all orders shipped within two working days or sooner (if you are outside of the UK, please allow for the time difference).
Why is my Airmail tracking number not working?
When you place your order with the Airmail shipping option, this does not have tracking information – the code you may have been sent is a reference number. In short, this means your order has been shipped.
TIP: The reason Airmail is less expensive than Tracked & Signed is because there is no tracking information.
How much does shipping cost?
This varies on which country we are shipping to!
When you come to place an order on the website, this will be calculated for you. This depends on factors such as weight & dimensions.
For more up to date information, please see our Delivery & Returns Information.
Do you ship to my country?
We ship to most countries in the world!
There are only a few exceptions; India & Nigeria.
Can my billing address differ to my shipping address?
You can send an order to somebody else, or to a second home etc – you would just need to make sure you are using the correct credit card/debit card which is registered to your billing address.
TIP: If your order is a gift, you can select gift wrap & leave a note when you come to the check out!
Covid 19: Will this affect my order?
Updated June 2021
As a workshop, we are almost back to normal so business is as usual.
For more up to date information, please see Delivery & Returns.
Do you offer Next Day delivery?
United Kingdom (mainland) – We do offer DPD as an option, but your order must be placed before 12pm and is subject to stock availability. We are working on offering a Saturday DPD delivery – watch this space!
International – (Outside the UK) – though we do not strictly offer next day delivery, Fedex International Priority should take 1-2 working days and is subject to stock availability.
TIP: Any of our European customers should be able to enjoy Fedex as an option soon – we are working on this for Summer 2021!
My order is being held by customs – help!!
Only a small percentage of our customers are affected with customs and although this is out of our control, please contact us and we will do all we can to help you.
Why can’t I order Kolinsky Sable brushes to the USA?
Shopping Cart / Website
I just ordered some brushes just now but didn’t see an option to apply my “smart points”?
You will not be able to use the smart points that you earnt on that order against the same order. You will be able to use them on future transactions though, but just make sure you sign in so the website knows it’s you & your account. When you come to the check out, you will see you can “Apply Smart Points”. Enter the amount of Smart Points you’d like to apply, and you can go from there.
How do I create an account on your website?
To create an account on our website simply visit this page, or use the link found at the top of any page on our website which is highlighted in the image below.
You will need to enter some personal details such as name, email address, telephone number and postal address.
I have forgotten my password / my password is not working.
My email address is not recognised when trying to reset my password.
If you are trying to reset your password and receive the message “Warning: The E-Mail Address was not found in our records, please try again!”, please double check that you entering the correct email address.
If your email address is still not recognised, it is likely that you do not have an account on our website. If you would like to create one you can do so on the registration page.
I have not received my new password after using the password request form.
Your new password should arrive at the email address you entered immediately after clicking the “reset password” button. If your new password does not arrive, please firstly check your spam box incase your spam filter caught the email. You might also like to try adding “email@example.com” to your safe sender list to make sure your email service provider is not blocking the email before retrying the password reset form.
Failing this, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us on +44 (0) 1535 632666.
My email address has changed – how do I login?
If you have an account with us already and have changed your email address, you will firstly need to login to your account using your old email address. You may then visit the “My account” section of the website using the link at the top right.
Once on the “My Account” page, click on the link labelled “Edit your account information”. Here you can change your personal details including email address. When you have made the changes click “Continue” to save the changes.
I want to update my personal account details (address, email etc).
To update your personal details, firstly please login to our website. You may then visit the “My account” section of the website using the link at the top right.
Once on the “My Account” page, click on the link labelled “Edit your account information”. Here you can change your personal details including email address, name and telephone number. When you have made the changes click “Continue” to save the changes.
To change your address, or add a new address please use the link labelled “Modify your address book entries”. Again, this is found under the “My Account” section of the website.
How do I change my password?
To update your password, firstly please login to our website. You may then visit the “My account” section of the website using the link at the top right.
Once on the “My Account” page, click on the link labelled “Change your password”. On this page please enter your new password, then once again in the next box to confirm it. When you have entered your password in both boxes, click “Continue” to save the changes.
How do I logout of the website?
To logout of our website, simply click the “Logout” link which is found at the top right hand side of any page on our website. If you can’t see this link – you are not logged in. See the image below for more info.
How do I amend the quantity or remove items in my cart?
If you would like to change the quantity of items in your cart, or to remove them completely. You must first visit the shopping cart page. You can find a link to this at the top right of any page on our website – as shown in the image below.
To the right of each product in your cart you will see a box with a number and two icons next to it. To update the quantity of that product enter the number you would like in the box and then press the arrow to save your changes. To remove the item completely, simply click the red X icon.
The website shows “your transaction cannot be completed” when I try to checkout.
If the website shows “your transaction cannot be completed” and you are sure you have typed all the details correctly, this could be due to your bank blocking the transaction. This happens occasionally for customers who are overseas where transactions are flagged as fraud by the customer’s bank. You would have to contact your bank to confirm if this is the case.
Alternatively you could select “Paypal” as your payment method on the first page of our checkout. With this method you can still use your credit/debit card but you will be taken to the paypal website to make payment.
Can I add brushes to my order once if has been placed?
If you call us on 01535 632666 or email email@example.com, we will try out best to get the additional item(s) added on to your order. This may not always be possible, though, as we aim to get all orders processed and dispatched as quickly as possible. If your order has been dispatched then unfortunately there is nothing we can do.
What events/shows will Rosemary & Co attending?
To view which events Rosemary & Co will be attending please click here.