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REVIEW: Black Tulip Watercolor Brushes

A few weeks ago, the generous folks over at Zen Art Supplies contacted me and asked if I would like to try out a set of their watercolor brushes. I was thrilled to receive such an offer and happily agreed to try them out. A big thank you to Zen Art for sending me this lovely set of brushes!

A little bit about the Black Tulip Collection: it is a 6 piece set that includes two round brushes, two flat brushes, a rigger, and a cat's tongue (swipe to see photo). The set is listed on Amazon for about $25 which works out to just over $4 per brush which is a pretty good value in my opinion. The set also offers a really nice variety of brush shapes. Lastly, the brushes are made with vegan synthetic bristles that are meant to mimic squirrel hair.

First Impressions:

The set came all together in a single package, which gave excellent information about the brushes themselves as well as usage and proper care. I thought this was a nice touch since most brushes do not come with any information whatsoever. This also gave the added bonus of eliminating the need for those pesky UPC code stickers from the handles which are a pain to get off and leave behind a sticky residue.
The brushes themselves are aesthetically pleasing to the eye, with well balanced and beautiful handles that feel very comfortable in the hand. All of the brushes come to an excellent point or edge, especially the round brushes, which is something I love and is a quality I look for when purchasing brushes.


The bristles on these beauties are a bit springier than what I am used to, but not excessively so. They do hold a smaller pigment load than my usual natural fiber blend brushes but both of these qualities are to be expected of a synthetic brush. The only thing I found while using these was that it was possible to overload the brush with pigment which would then drop off leaving a big drip. Once I realized this, I was able to adjust my brush loading to avoid it. Naturally, there is an adjustment period when using any new art supply as you learn how it behaves.

Final Thoughts:

Overall I would say that these brushes are a great value for the price point and the best full synthetic brushes I have tried in recent years. If you are in need of new synthetic brushes or are a beginner looking to purchase a set of brushes this Black Tulip collection from Zen Art Supplies may be just what you've been looking for.
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