My Watercolor Blog

June 3, 2017

Princeton Snap Brush better than Black Velvet and Neptune quill replaces squirrel brushes

Filed under: Uncategorized — Elizabeth @ 2:56 pm

I spent ~4 hours this morning and ~1 hour last evening practicing various brush strokes (filling 16 pages of 9×12), switching methodically between the famed Black Velvet round* and the Princeton Snap*.

15 years ago I started painting with kolinsky’s (as all the books then said to do until the more recent evidence of animal rights abuses has begun to shut down their industry, rightly so) and when they wore out in a few years I got a few more and tried out I tried squirrel, rat tail, and many others, enjoying them all I still kept trying various synthetics hoping something would come along so I could abandon using animal products all together. Well at last my friends I think that day has come.

Not only did the Princeton snap perform each kind of stroke much more quickly, there was a perfect ton of water! Genius. Not sure how Princeton did it, but they did it. Snaps to a brilliant tight elegant eensy point – so meticulously and consistently – I was SO happy! You can hold this point and continue the brush line well after pressing into the page for a thick line and back out to a thin line. It just enables you. And they’re not expensive.

The wood on the Snap is pretty to see exposing the grain as they have on the handles. I like the length of these handles better too. HOWEVER, why guys can we not make a handle like the Arches**?? why? Why are they all so thick and the ferrules so shiny – bling!?? Like a shiny truck. Is it so thick for a man’s hand?? Can’t we do something here?? The wood on the Black velvet is a more solid feel, still it is not the same good feel of the wood of the Arches which truly is magnificent. The black velvet acts a bit like a squirrel hair but you can tell they added synthetics which give a little more spring than a regular all squirrel brush. As with squirrel you can drown the page in a wonderful blurry slop which can be so freeing and fun. The thing is you can do that with the snap also, it just won’t go as limp, so there is a little something there, but not much.

As for the squirrel replacement – I believe Princeton has solved this puzzle as well! Enter the Neptune. You can languish all day in a blend of brilliant color combinations, slushing them together and letting their magic begin. Leave it, let it live there on the page, and then, after it dries, see the results. It is a great way of painting, one I think Jean Haines teaches best. I honestly can not tell this is not squirrel.

Anyway enjoy your brushes!

*Princeton Snap Brushes 12 white talon round and size 10

Silver Brush 3000S-12 Black Velvet Short Handle Blend Squirrel and Risslon Brush, Round, Size 12 and size 8

**Arches Pure Kolinsky Red Sable Brushes – Pointed Round – Size 10



  1. Betsy, I am more interested in your description of these brushes than I am of the brushes. It sounds almost like a love-affair with them. You are an incredible writer with a great deal of depth.

    Comment by susan cureton — June 3, 2017 @ 3:53 pm

    • Thank you so much dear Susan. FYI I really go by Elizabeth.

      Comment by Elizabeth — June 3, 2017 @ 4:21 pm

  2. I think that’s your best entry yet! Congratulations on your choice of words.

    Comment by Mom, who loves you very much! — June 3, 2017 @ 4:54 pm

  3. Where is a good place to buy this Princeton snap brush? Mb

    Comment by Meredith Bohne — June 4, 2017 @ 2:29 pm

    • Amazon has some sizes and they are reliable with excellent vendors. I would not choose dickbkick and have little experience with others like cheap joes, jerrys artarama etc. rozwoundup likes: wet paint.

      Comment by Elizabeth — June 4, 2017 @ 8:13 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: