A Word About The Series 7

UPDATE 2: Actually, my Series 7 is fine. No, it's great. We had a little spat, but we patched things up and now I love her again. Actually, if you must know, I tried a bunch of other brushes — and found some really great ones, too! — but I always come back to my Series 7, and it always kicks ass. Get one!

UPDATE: Wait, wait, wait... Scratch all this. My Series 7 has gone to crap. I now have a new favorite brush. Go read about it here. As any self-respecting, brush-using comic artist does, I've become obsessed with finding the perfect inking brush. I've found the absolute best info on the subject at Comic Tools, which is just a terrific site for anyone doing comic work. There's also a great page that compares some of the top brushes for inking at Mike Crowell's site.

After working with a fairly wide variety of brushes for the past year or so I finally find myself in a position to make some recommendations. As noted everywhere, I have to agree that the Winsor & Newton Series 7 is far and away the best inking brush money can buy. It's certainly the best I've tried. I have recently acquired a size 2 from the series and I can't believe how good it is. It's true what they say: you can go from the tiniest line to a big fat stroke just by varying your pressure. And what's great is, it's easy! It just feels like you'd want it to feel. Great snap, holds a ton of ink, draws the finest lines of any brush I've tried. Everything you've heard about the excellence of this brush is true.

WN-Series-7

WN-Series-7

What's weird, though, is that everything I've read also says that the Winsor & Newton Series 7's quality control is notoriously low. Legend is you get a good one every twenty or so brushes, and that you just have to try them in person until you find one that's not crappy. That's the conventional wisdom. But I just ordered one on the Internet from Dick Blick, and so far it's fantastic.

This can only mean one of five things: 1) Either the Series 7's quality control has improved and it's now possible to order online and get a good one; 2) the Series 7's QC is not as bad as everyone says; 3) I'm a total dolt and don't know a good brush from a hole in the ground; 4) the brush will fall apart in short order; or 5) I'm the luckiest son of a bitch alive.

My guess is that Winsor & Newton has recently made some improvements to their Series 7 quality control process. But that's only a guess based on the facts that: 1) I've never been a very lucky person, so it's doubtful I'd be lucky in this case; 2) the same people who recommend all the brushes I like have made the same complaint about the Series 7, so it's doubtful they're all wrong; and 3) I've been using a wide array of brushes and have gotten a pretty good feel for what's good and what's not. I really don't even want to consider the possibility that the brush will crap out in a week or so, so I'm sticking with possibility number 1.

So I just wanted to say that if you can't get to one in person, but you can afford to take a chance on one of these puppies online (they are a bit pricier than most), Dick Blick seems to have good ones, and good deals, and my experience has been great thus far.

And I also want to confirm — yet again — that the Winsor & Newton Series 7 truly is a fantastic brush.