Biologicially Illustrated


The Tools

Tooling - 2021 - Dieter Brehm - link

The water-full quill brush

Watercolor is a fickle medium which is, essentially, managing the movement and concentration of pigment in water (among other additives). The better the paint, the greater the amount and richness of pigment present. To facilitate moving water around, I used brushes in this project which have two primary qualities:

  1. They hold tons of water
  2. They release water slowly and at a fine brush tip

quill brush

size 5 and 6 brushes

To that end, I used Raphael SoftAqua brushes as my primary brush brand, specifically the size 4 quill and sizes 10, 12 rounds. These are synthetic brushes that still hold a lot of water and have sharp characteristics that resemble animal hair models. In my experience, it is better to save money and use these economical brushes that are designed to work similarly to more expensive natural hair ones.

twsbi 580 alr Prussian blue fountain pen

For inking these pieces, I used a TWSBI brand 580 ALR fountain pen with waterproof ink. For the borders I used a fine nib, and for the rest of the line work I used an extra-fine nib. Fountain pens strike a nice balance between laying down a consistent line and, well, not being extremely messy. Rapidograph technical pens are a good alternative.

holbein watercolour palette

For the paint itself, I used entirely Holbein watercolours. They are light, include a nice mix of transparent and opaque colors, and mix well. The only downside is that this set includes quite a few paints with several pigments, so it is important to be mindful when mixing colors. If too many pigments get mixed together, the resultant mix gets muddy and unpleasant on the page.

Tool images from Blick, TWSBI, Jetpens

Made by Dieter Brehm