Three leaves

I’m flattered that Princeton Brush Company sent me some watercolour brushes to try out — a good selection of mops, flats and rounds. Instead of using them all in one sketch, I thought I’d be a little more scientific than usual and test them one by one. The first one I chose is a Neptune Series 4750 #8 Round. It’s a faux squirrel brush and it’s advertised as being their “softest and thirstiest brush”. I already own the Neptune quill brush (a big fat mop) but this is sleeker with a great point on it. After drawing lightly with a pen, I painted the leaves, first with big juicy washes and then moved into the smaller details. The brush holds quite a bit of wash for its relatively small size, but what I liked best was the sharp point that allowed me to move into the curly leaf ends without having to change brushes. Good quality for the price, which seems to be under $15 on their website. The real test will be to see how long the sharp point lasts.


25 Comments on “Three leaves”

  1. christine says:

    Lovely. The shadows are particularly good. Thank you both for the sketch and the info on the brush.


  2. Barb says:

    i just collected a few leaves too, a ginko leaf and Bloodgood japanese maple I’ll try them tonight. . Just finished the first trip through your craftsy couse. Now To do it again and paint too. Your leaves are lovely. and I see your method clearly. So I now have more hope of a little success . I’ll practice until the new ones come in spring during ‘greening week ‘ Thanks for sharing these .


    • Hi Barb, So glad to hear that you’re enjoying the class. It sounds like the shapes you picked will be great. I would have loved to find a Gingko leaf but there are none in my neighbourhood. That is such a great shape to draw.


  3. Carolyn says:

    This company is wise. You will give an honest , and complete opinion iof their brushes. You cover every aspect, that gives us, your followers confidence in your opinion.


    • Well, they don’t pay me to do this so my comments are honest. But I like the brushes and think they are very good value. If you can find a synthetic brush that keeps a good point, I am happy. I am quite hard on brushes and hate to ruin sables, although I have some of those too. But if a good synthetic works reasonably well, that’s all you need.


  4. Louise, Montréal says:

    Quelles belles feuilles et vive l’automne!
    Un gros merci Shari pour cette information concernant les pinceaux.


  5. Louise Boyer says:

    Super beau, Shari. J’aime beaucoup, c’est lumineux!
    Ah! Si cette saison pouvait durer 2-3 bons mois….avec du bon soleil et du temps frais et toutes ces belles couleurs!


  6. Ashish Chopra says:

    Very nice. I really like the way you explained the brush quality with an example. Thanks


  7. Judy Sopher says:

    So simple and so lovely. I often ask if you used pencil or ink with this. I am trying to decide if I want to continue with ink or just pencil and watercolor as I feel I am now too heavy and too dependent on the ink drawing. Two of my favorite paintings in your book are “Overlapping” and “Chocolatier Marlain”. And neither looks as if ink was used.

    And on another note, I love the comments in French giving me a chance to try using the little I learned in college.


    • Hi Judy, Merci pour les commentaires. Je vais vous écrire en français pour vous donner la pratique. Pour le croquis, j’ai dessiné avec de l’encre en premier, et après avec l’aquarelle. “Overlapping” et “Chocolatier Marlain sont fait avec crayon et aquarelle seulement.


  8. Kathleen Knowling says:

    Loved it! Thanks Jean.


  9. Linda Murray says:

    Lovely painting, Shari. I like the curly leaf ends and the colors. The light drawing with ink is just perfect!


  10. TonyU says:

    Autumn perfectly, beautifully and skilfully encapsulated in just three leaves!


  11. Gil Zarins says:

    All three so clean… great! I especially like the highlights and the granulation in the right leaf is something else.


  12. anthoniaart says:



  13. sue fenyvesi says:

    nice work on making them 3 dimensional


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