New Brushes! Rosemary & Co Ivory Synthetic

Laura Charles

Illustrator, Artist, & Incurable Doodler

So I finally got to use some of the Rosemary & Co brushes I got for Christmas! I will be reviewing just the Ivories this week, and for this first impression, I only ended up using two of the smaller brushes. I usually need more than that, but they were really easy to clean and with my limited palette, I just didn’t end up needing more than that. I will give another review on these in 6 months when I’ve used them more and in a year when I’ve really put them through their paces.

When I received the brushes I was so excited! I was a little worried ordering from England, but they arrived promptly both when my mother ordered and when I did, and were packaged well. Even better, FedEx, which in my neck of the woods isn’t the best mail service, operated flawlessly. The brushes look beautiful, too (though I do miss copper ferrules – they are so steampunk!) I don’t know exactly what material Rosemary & Co uses for theirs, but they are not known for rusting or falling apart and they are of a comparable gauge to other quality brushes that I have purchased, so I expect that they will clean up just fine and last the lifetime of the brush.

The two brushes I ended up using were a #2 long flat and a #0 rigger (the first time I’ve actually used a rigger) and the experience was lovely. I was able to get way with only using two, (less than usual) partially because I was also practicing my knife-work, but also because they wiped clean so easily. I needed no or little walnut oil to switch colors, I just swiped with a rag and I was able to go from color to color. This is probably due to their synthetic bristles, again a move I’ve been wanting to take, as I think the real hair bristle market is both unsustainable and unecessary. There are such good options available now, and it’s clear that the Ivory line has earned its reputation as one of the better synthetic brush choices.

The flat had a soft snap as promised and a nice edge, and the rigger was amazing to use. The shorter handles threw me off for a little bit, as I am used to working with longer handled brushes, but it didn’t take me long to get over it, and they will travel nicely which is exactly why I bought them. I had no issues with shedding, or strange twisting issues, and they cleaned easily and reformed nicely when i was done painting.

One thing to note with the Ivories is that they don’t recommend cleaning them with solvent, as it will damage the brushes. I stopped cleaning my brushes with solvent long ago and only clean with walnut oil and gentle soap now, but I wanted to mention that. I can’t wait to try out the short flats and see how the snappier brushes feel. All in all I am really pleased with my first impression! I’ll do another review in six moths or so and let you all know how they’ve held up!

“A painting requires a little mystery, some vagueness, and some fantasy. When you always make your meaning perfectly plain you end up boring people”