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Designed & Tested
by Artists for Artists
Expertly Handcrafted Brushes For Watercolor
Feel Your Art Beating
6-pc Set Specific to Water-Based Art
Designed by artists for artists with all you need for watercolor, gouache, ink, & fluid acrylics; Rigger 2, Round 8,10, Flat 8, ¾”, Cat's Tongue ¾”
Using the finest Japanese synthetic hair to mimic qualities of squirrel and kolinsky sable, but without using animal products; extensively tested & proven for their professional performance
Consistent Flow Control
ZenART's Smart watercolor brush set has tips that maintain their shape even with heavy use while carrying enough color to paint expressively with control; they're easy to clean too
Transforms Your Art
Blend of a varying diameter of synthetic fibers enhances color absorbency, and creates crisp, smooth brush strokes; these watercolor paint brushes help improve skills and allow experimentation
Handcrafted by Master Brush Makers
Each ZenART paintbrush is meticulously handcrafted by master brush makers using complex methods that require high precision and years of experience.
Why Choose ZenART
Purchase with a purpose
Through B1G1, a portion of the proceeds of every ZenART fine art tool you purchase goes to supporting powerful projects that make global life-changing impacts. ZenART supports initiatives working to help women and children suffering from poverty, inequality, and injustices.
Professional Artist & Co-founder: Ardak Kassenova
We are a company founded and run by passionate artists and art enthusiasts. Ardak Kassenova created ZenART with the belief that its clients would never be just a number, but a name, and a real person. Each customer is personally invited to join the growing community of artists that she started—to support and inspire one another, and to continuously improve ZenART products based on real artist feedback.
Designed by Artists for Artists
Each ZenART fine art tool is designed and developed in close collaboration with professional artists and creatives, combined with Ardak Kassenova's personal experience.
Trusted by Professionals: Brand Ambassador Sara Berrenson
The Black Tulip set is endorsed by Sara Berrenson (@saraberrenson), who primarily works in gouache and watercolor creating fresh florals mixed with novelty prints and geometrics. Our Black Tulip brushes enhance Sara's uplifting, expressive art to bring light and blossom to your home, fashion and life. Sara is an accomplished illustrator working with major retail brands, and author of the bestselling Watercolor the Easy Way book.
High Performance Watercolor Brushes That Take The Pain Out Of Painting
Black Tulip Video
Stories from real people, real artists. Read what they have to say about our fine art tools, designed by artists, for artists.
These brushes hold a good amount of water, keep their shape, don't shed any hairs, easy to hold, not too chunky or heavy. All individually wrapped with the round brushes having caps to keep the bristles in place and they come in a wallet. Absolutely beautiful, I love working with these brushes, such a great company!!
I am pleased to say that these Black Tulip faux squirrel brushes are great. The cat's tongue brush is especially brilliant as I can paint an entire picture with it. It is especially good for painting leaves. Zen Art's customer service is as good as their products too and I can see myself buying many more of them.
Really unusual brushes that easily paint round corners. As good as squirrel brushes without harming the squirrels. Not too expensive and fabulous customer service. My art tutor liked them too. Don't miss these!
60-Day Money-Back Guarantee:
We know you'll love our fine art tools as much as we do and we aim to provide the best ones for your artistic practice. If that's not us, then don't fret. We proudly offer a 60-day 100% money-back guarantee.
Frequently Asked Questions
There's a complex manual process behind making each brush, and all the methods require high precision and years of experience. Let us try to give you a general overview of how these beautiful brushes are made:
- A ZenART Black Tulip brush is handcrafted with a brush handle made of genuine and exquisite lacquered birch wood and seven layers of UV coating. The bristles are manually formed using different techniques for specific shapes, tightly tied, combed, gripped by a non-rust nickel ferrule, glued with a precise injection of special glue. After drying, the ferrule holding the bristles is double-crimped to the handles to fasten securely. The brushes are then inspected again to remove any ‘floating shorts' —bristles which may sometimes remain, especially in larger sized brushes or round shapes, and cause initial ‘shedding' during breaking in period. After a thorough inspection, the brushes are then protected and sized before getting packed.
These brushes are soft yet springy, and keep their shape well without compromise. We use Japanese synthetic hair fibers to mimic qualities of natural soft bristles, for that crisp, smooth detailing; extensively tested for their professional performance.
However, if you prefer natural brushes, you can take a look at our Turner brush set or other lines of faux synthetic hair and natural hair blends.
These brushes are ‘trained' to maintain their shape even after heavy use and provide consistent control whatever art project you're working on. Using elegant seven-times-lacquered birch wood short handles allows for a luxurious feeling of unrivalled balance, particularly during intricate and exacting strokes. The use of high-quality faux squirrel bristles on these brushes also made them very sturdy. And of course, they'll last even longer if you take good care of them.
These brushes are resistant to heavy use and can hold a significant amount of water to allow you to get the perfect results for your paintings. The faux squirrel synthetic fibers lay down a good, even wash. Therefore, many professional artists were pleasantly surprised and compared our Black Tulip collection brushes with the squirrel and kolinsky sable performance in a much more affordable yet surprisingly effective set.
Yes! These brushes are high quality, and many professional artists praise them for their fantastic performance, thoughtful variety of shapes and sizes specifically designed for water-based media. When it comes to art materials and tools, a famous saying among the artists and the art tutors is that ‘One should buy the best quality one can afford.' It's so true, especially for beginner artists, who are still building up their confidence and knowledge of techniques. The best art tools will help accelerate progress and keep you motivated to paint and experiment with new techniques.
Considering the value for money we offer for such an extensive artist-quality set, including the guides, tutorials and advice, you'll make a significant long-term gift for yourself or other artists, whether beginners to advanced and professionals.
In order to bring you the best quality brushes intact we apply special protective solution to keep the tips of the brushes in the original shape.
We also wrap the brushes in transparent films, and it's done to protect and waterproof the brushes for transit. We want to make sure that you receive your brush set in its best state, wherever you are in the world.
It also serves as a seal of guarantee to our customers and our return department that the brushes have never been used before. In some cases, we experience customers returning used brushes and these are not re-sold. Having these plastic films ensures that you received a brand-new set.
Our Black Tulip collection brushes are easy to clean and maintain:
- For new brushes: First, always remove the transit solution by washing the brushes with mild soap and lukewarm water. Slightly massage between the bristles on the palm of your hand, letting any floating bristles to be washed away, if any, especially in large sized-brushes.
- For regular cleaning or every after painting: Clean the brushes well with soap every after use—before the paint dries— to avoid damage from paint build-up at the base of the ferrule. Do not push the brushes too hard into your palms.
- We recommend using vegetable oil-based soap, gentle to the bristles and your skin.
- After rinsing thoroughly, use a microfiber or other absorbent towel to remove excess water.
- Gently reshape the bristles with your fingers, and let it dry naturally on a horizontal or flat surface.
Brush Care Tips:
- Never leave the brushes soaked in water, as this will ruin your brushes and cause damage to the bristles, glue and handle.
- From time to time, and for optimum results, you can apply a special lanolin-based brush conditioner (optional), for TLC and extra longevity of your brushes.
- Follow our recommended cleaning guide above to reduce possible initial ‘break-in shedding', which might be just short bristles not glued inside the ferrule that are trapped between the longer bristles.
- After washing and drying, always gently reshape the bristles with your fingers, and let it dry naturally on a horizontal or flat surface.
- Shedding: It is natural for brushes to shed lightly. Minimal shedding is common especially while you break them in. To reduce problems of shedding, ZenART has crafted these watercolour brushes with faux squirrel synthetic fibers. The brushes lose fewer bristles and normally don't shed at all. In rare occasions, it might happen, and such cases are significantly less compared to other ones on the market. Reasons can be any of the following:
- Using brushes before removing the transit solution
- Harsh “breaking-in” of new brushes. We suggest trying the above method of cleaning, drying horizontally, and gently removing any floating bristles while dry, before giving up on your brushes.
- Misuse and ruining of the brushes due to harsh chemicals, abrasive surfaces, soaking brushes in water or other solution, vertically letting them stand and loosening the glue.
- In extreme cases, manufacturing defects, when not enough glue was applied and the brush (losing bristles long enough to be potentially glued in the ferrule, not floating shorts). In such situations, we are here to support you, too, and offer our help to resolve any issues.
The Black Tulip collection brushes are short-handled for full expression with water-based paints: watercolour, gouache, inks, and dyes. They have been specifically designed, weighted and balanced for precise horizontal painting and avoiding any hand fatigue or poking in your eye. The exquisite birch wood brush set also has seven layers of UV coating to prevent flaking, and provide slip & wear resistance.
We only want you to find the best fine art tools that you will enjoy using. If that's not us, don't fret. We offer a 1-year guarantee and 100% money-back for 60 days. Just drop us a few lines about your issue, send them to our email address: email@example.com or scan the QR Code to get a quicker response:
This is a very versatile brush and it is so easy to use it and transition from thin to thick lines.
Can't say much cos they are not here yet
Beautiful brushes that make it so easy to paint, thank you
Thank you so much for writing us this review We truly appreciate it. :)- Ryan
Truly outstanding brush quality, extraordinary price , and a noteworthy company -- and that is despite having a significant issue with my order. Let me explain... I am new to watercolor (as in only discovered this medium about 8 weeks ago), but I quickly learned *the quality of your artwork is directly proportional to the quality of your tools* If you paint with chalky cheap paints, your art will look chalky and cheap. If your paper is not high quality, your art will not be either. And no matter how clever your hands, you MUST have a decent brush to make the marks you want. I bought the proper quality pigments, an acceptable cotton paper, but was struggling to find decent AND affordable watercolor brushes. When I found ZenArt's Tulip Brush set, I honestly worried they were too good to be true. But... they were the best I could find in our price range, so my husband gave them to me as an anniversary gift. I was SO excited when they arrived. Seriously giddy. My hopes were immediately dashed however. * 5 out of 6 of these brushes had extremely loose ferrules. I could twist them fully around and even bend one almost 5° within the ferrule! I was devastated. I contacted the company immediately. Within 24 hours, Ryan, from ZA responded personally. He explained that this is rare, and that ZenArt took their product's quality and customer's satisfaction very seriously. They would send me a new set ASAP. In the meantime, I could do what I wanted with the defective originals. Well, of course, I decided to try them out while I waited. I just had to be cognizant of the wobbly handles and hold the brush more like a pencil. The unfinished painting of the lake/canoe (above) is one I did with the original wobbly set. So far, not bad, but I will get into that more below. Today is the first day I have had the new set and the half completed dog painting in my sketchbook is being done solely with the new Tulip set. I am letting a section dry atm, and am so overwhelmed by how well these brushes perform, I just had to review them now. Now that you know about the loose ferrule issue, here are my other observations... 1. The brushes keep their shape beautifully. Seriously, they snap back together instantly. One of the wobbly rounds fell from its drying position overnight onto its tip (I know, cue the panic!). It dried bent. I rewetted it first thing that next morning and it stayed bent (eek!). So I drenched the bristles in Gum Arabic solution and gently rolled it back into position, let it dry, and voilà! Good as new ever since. 2. The tips are perfect fine points. The rounds, rigger and cat's tongue have astonishingly fine points. Easily able to produce thick smooth marks with a little pressure or fine lines with only a little finesse. After over a month of near daily use (and even some incidental abuse) the points are still perfect. 3. Not a single bristle has fallen out. And thats with the ferrule issue. 4. They hold a lot of water and release it smoothly. I don't have any fancier brushes to compare to, but more than once I've been amazed at just how much pigment these brushes can hold before you must reload. Yet they also dry very nicely, even over some of the humid days we've had this summer. 5. The flat brushes snap back into place immediately as well, with very little splitting. If you want to paint a perfect swatch, these are your brushes. The edges of the flats, too, make fine lines exactly as you want. 6. Finally, as to the loose ferrules, those even snugged up with use, so the brushes can be held more loosely and they hardly wobble at all. I am not sure they will fit so nicely once the humidity is gone this winter, but for now, they are exemplary despite this defect. I am glad I decided to wait to review these brushes, because I needed time to realize that they absolutely deserve 5 stars. Even despite the defects, this watercolor brush set is outstanding for beginning watercolorists. The brushes are forgiving for minor errors, and make absolutely lovely marks on the paper when you need them to. I look forward to expanding my ZenArt supplies, because this company is doing it right. Mistakes happen to everyone, but not everyone handles them with as much integrity as ZA does. And these brushes are absolutely amazing. Thanks you, Zen Art!
Wow, we were blown away by your positive words, we really appreciate the time you took to write such a detailed review. - Ryan
As a newbie watercolorist I found these brushes via a review video on youtube and was so impressed with how they handled I had to buy them for myself. These brushes do not disappoint. They're almost - if not better - than the black velvet brushes I've recently purchased. They hold a lot of water, are easy to hold and they put paint to paper really well. Not only that, the brush variations are a perfect starter brush set for people looking for good brushes that get the job done at an affordable price. On top of all of the above, the package included a card where you could request a free gift direct from ZenArt - a sketch book - which I ended up requesting. The customer service with Zenart is really lovely and I was super excited by how quickly the sketch book arrived after requesting. Definitely will be back to purchase more supplies from this company and will be recommending them to any and all friends looking for fabulous brushes!
Wow, we were blown away by your positive words, we really appreciate the time you took to write such a detailed review. - Ryan
One of my favourite buys ever is this set of watercolour brushes... I've had them for over two years now and they're still amazing... I've only had to buy one additional brush for tiny line work and that's it... love the set!!! It fantastic quality, but still affordable to the not rich...
I love your black tulip number 7 round brush. I don't know why but it has magical effects on my paper.
Superb brushes for all levels of creative artists. I found reviews and new to art I hadn’t been happy with the previous brushes. These are my go to brushes and are always packed for journeys.
Love them very pkeased!
Really like these brushes