Product review
Rosemary & Co. Sable & Kolinsky Sable Watercolour brushes.



For some time I used ABS Sable & Kolinsky Sable Brushes. These proved to be a superb brush at the fraction of the price of those offered by the large art manufacturers.
It was brought to the attention of the Paintdoodles forum that ABS were no longer trading.

A new Company was formed by Rosemary (Formerly Mrs ABS) to manufacture quality brushes. Forum members expressed interest in the new company as a possible new source.
A small sample of these have now been tested. The results are below.

The brushes tested were:

  • No. 7 Pure Red Sable, Series 99
  • No. 10 Pure Red Sable Series 99.
  • No. 7 Kolinsky Sable Series 33.

All three brushes arrived with exceptional points.

The following tests were done. These were not measured scientific tests simply those of an artist getting to know a new brush.

Flick test: After use the brushes were flicked to remove washing water and photographed without any additional forming of the points.

Capacity/flow: The No. 7s were used to paint the swatches below to test capacity and flow compared to a similar sized high quality synthetic brush (A No. 8 Round)

Fine lines and tip recovery tests

Broken wash test

Painting test: Tree (No. 7 Kolinsky) & Rock (No. 7 Sable)  No other brushes were used for fine lines.


Contact details

Flick test to test point recovery.

Result: All three brushes recovered to state shown.

brushes after flick test

L to R No. 7 Sable, No. 7 Kolinsky, No. 10 Sable.
State of brushes after use without reshaping by hand
i.e. flicked once to remove water.

Capacity and flow test.

Brush loaded full of paint. Painted until started to produce broken stroke.
All areas approx 2 inches wide.
Result: All 3 Brushes painted larger area than synthetic brush.
Flow much more controlled than synthetic.
Very similar result to ABS. Sable painted slightly less area than Kolinsky.

area painted

L to R: Synthetic No. 8, Rosemary & Co; No. 7 Kolinsky; ABS No. 7 Kolinsky (worn in);
Rosemary & Co No. 7 Sable.

Fine line and tip recovery test:

No. 10 Sable: Top lines approx 4 inches long
Result: Capable of producing very fine lines.


No. 7 Kolinsky: Tip recovery, painted left to right.
Result: Responded well

tip recovery

Broken Wash

No. 10 Sable loaded with watery paint.
Held parallel to paper
Result: OK

broken wash

Painting tests:

2 minute tree: Approx 6 inches high

2 minute rock: Approx 2 inches high



No. 7 Kolinsky
Colours used: Cadmium Orange, Indigo, Sepia

No. 7 Sable
Colour used: Sepia


Brushes responded well, balance good and feel is what you expect from a good sable. The points are perfect.



They'll do for me. Perform well, point well, exceptional value for money.

Contact Info:

Rosemary & Co P O Box 372 Keighley, West Yorkshire. BD20 6WZ
Tel: 01535 600090 Fax 01535 214114
Web site


Peter. 15th March 2004