Rosemary Brushes, Part 3

A new shipment of mongoose and chungking bristle Rosemary brushes
Yesterday I arrived home to find a wonderful little box leaning against my front door: a new shipment of Rosemary brushes. It's been awhile since I've written about brushes, and my Rosemary brushes have clocked several miles of strokes, so I thought I'd narrow down my list of what I like and don't.

I think the mongoose and the chungking bristles are amazing. The prices are shockingly low, the quality exceptional. Buy these.

At first I liked the ivory line - a synthetic bristle brush - but now they seem to splay when loaded with paint and the splay is not for me. I think these would be good for acrylic painters but for oil, I think natural bristle just performs better.

The ebony brushes are good but they do turn into a sort of crazy mop, like the bad perm I had in 1st grade, and no matter what I try I can't seem to persuade them to go back to looking like the brush I ordered. It could be my cleaning style but...this doesn't happen with the mongoose. The ebony bristles also seem a little more brittle to me than the mongoose. I do see small pieces of bristle break off usually when I use a paper towel to wipe the paint off.

But the mongoose are fantastic. They clean easily, hold up great and do what I want them to do. I can use them for more opaque heavy paints (although they smooth the surface more than I like) and they are rock stars for glazing. My favorites are the basic flats, series 274. I have the long flats and those are nice for a long stroke, but I prefer a stubbier brush. As you can see in the photo above, I just ordered two of the short filberts (I also have and love the long filberts) and can't wait to try them out.

Similarly the Chungking bristle brushes are wonderful. Soft but they hold their shape without splaying. After washing, they go right back to shape. They are my favorite for laying down opaque paint for skies and more texture in the foreground. But I've even used them for glazing and blending - they are that soft. I love the filberts.

And a note on Rosemary & Co's wonderful customer service. Last fall one of my ebony flat brushes started to dissolve. Bristles came out each time I touched it. I wasn't sure if I'd been too rough or if something was wrong with the brush. So I sent Rosemary & Co an email telling them what was happening and a minute later Rosemary replied :

Oh dear ! 
Sounds like one slipped through the net - the glue probably hasn't penetrated to the centre.Please let me know which shape and your zip then I can send another out to you.
sorry for inconvenience.
Kind regards

So yes, wonderful brushes, well-priced, handmade in England backed up by exceptional service. Order them here:

My past blog posts on brushes here and here.


Sarah Jayne said…
Thank you for your detailed reviews--they are such a help in placing my order!