Is A Hake Brush The Brush For You?

By Nicole Tinkham


We recently showcased our brand new display of Hake brushes (now with more variety) on our Facebook page and have received a lot of interest and questions on how to use these brushes. There’s nothing fancy here. Hake brushes are basic, inexpensive and larger, used mainly for wetting the surface or for washes in watercolor paintings. They may not seem too exciting but these unique tools are definitely different to work with. Since they’re so inexpensive, we highly encourage you to try them out! Here are just a few more things you need to know about the Hake brush before getting started.

What is a Hake Brush?

A hake brush is an oriental wash brush with a long, flat wooden handle used in watercolor painting. The brush is typically synthetic, squirrel, goat, ox or bristle. These brushes hold a lot of water so they’re perfect for wetting the surface, doing a large wash, or for picking up excess paint. There are things people love about the Hake brush and there are things that frustrate some artists. The downside of a Hake brush is that the bristles can fall out easily. The good thing is, this type of brush is inexpensive and is perfect for holding water if that’s what you’re looking to do. It’s also a soft brush so it won’t lift previous layers of color.

How to prevent the loss of hairs

A simple trick you can do to prevent your Hake brush from losing its hairs is to remove as many loose ones as you can and then apply crazy glue at the bottom of the bristles along the handle. Using a needle, you can press the glue even further down into the center of the brush. Be sure to let the glue dry completely before using it.

Different options

As you can see from our new display (YAY!) below, there are many options when it comes to the width of Hake brushes. Which one you choose really depends on the project you’re working on. You’ll notice different handle types but the bristles are consistently flat among all options.


Is it for you?

Not every supply is for every artist especially when it some to the unique Hake brush. Yes, the hairs fall out and the brush tends to be a little too bendy for some artists liking. But they also hold a large amount of water, great for wetting the surface or creating washes, and they’re totally affordable.

We recommend the Hake brush to anyone who…

•    Needs a boost in their artwork. When the creative juices aren’t flowing, we always recommend trying something new and different to mix up your style.

•    Works on large pieces.

•    Does not give up easily. These take some time to get used to (like any other new tool you aren’t used to using).

•    Is on a budget. Hake brushes are inexpensive so why not pick one up and give it a try?

•    Likes to work wet. These are great for washes since they hold a ton of water!

•    Goes with the flow. We’ve heard many stories that every Hake brush is totally different.Artists find certain ones they love to work with and others they dislike. Don’t be too discouraged if they don’t work out for you!

Have you or would you ever give the Hake brush a try? Let us know in the comments and how your experience has been with them.

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