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Product Review: Essentials by Royal & Langnickel Brushes

May 31, 2010


Run, run, run to a Michaels Arts and Crafts store and buy some Essentials by Royal & Langnickel brushes now!  These brushes are out-performing more expensive, even natural hair brushes that cost between $12 – $25 -and amazingly! – they are all $3.00 USD a brush, regardless of size. 

I have really been liking the size 8, 10 and 12 brights and filberts.  I have been using these for half a year now and have passed them around to other artist friends; we’re all amazed.  I can only hope they stay around for a while because they would still be a bargain at twice the price.

These brushes have a black coating that is matte and rubbery which is really good to grip.  The base of the brush flares nicely above the ferrule and is very ergonomic.  The handle of my size 10 round is a huge 11.5 inches (29 cm) including the ferrule.  The bristles are a tan synthetic and wash out really well.  They come in flats, brights, rounds, filberts and a fan from size 1 to 12 and people snap them up really fast.  You may have to make a few trips to the store to get a variety of brushes based on when new stock is shelved.  I did a few hunting expeditions to get a range of sizes and styles.

These have fine bristles and can do very smooth applications of paint or can be loaded heavily and used to apply textured layers of paint.  I have been using them to paint in acrylics and oil paints, because I make my brushes do double duty.  If I use oils, I wash the brushes out with Gamsol Odorless Mineral Spirits by Gamblin, then I use Masters brush cleaner soap, then I use liquid dish detergent (lemon scent and from the dollar store, nothing fancy).  If I’m washing out acrylics I rinse the brushes thoroughly in running water and use the dish soap once or twice.  I have them stored upright in heavy glass jars, and I reshape the bristles and store them this way to dry.  The bristles have been sturdy and are not falling out and have had very minimal frizz.  If you were very rough with your brushes, that may be an issue; but I tend to move my brush strokes in one direction and carefully, no scrubbing movements.

These brushes are a joy to newbies or pros.  I like to use bigger sized brushes, which tend to break the bank, as smaller sizes are priced lower and larger brushes prices can make you cry.  So I was panting and little giddy in the check out line when I had a fist full of big brushes for $30.     

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