Betty’s Brushes

derek mah waterbrushes

Betty’s Brushes

video tutorials and overviews

Videos for Anna-Marie that illustrate some different perspectives on the goat hair water brushes. Complete playlist is also on youTube.

Betty’s Brushes Playlist


A Look at Typical Water Brushes

Basic use of a typical water brush with nylon bristles and squeeze reservoir for brush lettering. This is how a lot of people use water brushes. This is not how a goat hair brush is used, but it is good to understand how most people regard and expect to use water brushes.

Teoh Yi Chie on water brushes. He reviews a lot of Asian writing tools, and has a pretty good grasp of what normal people want to do with them. He keeps it simple and simply shows the broadest overview.


Goat Hair Water Brush

Teoh reviews the goat hair (wool) piston feed water brushes. He doesn’t like them. Of note is that he is using them in just about the worst way possible in trying to use them as a straight colour application device like a felt tip pen. The goat hair has such a high water carrying capacity that there isn’t a feed in the world that could keep that brush tip saturated. The videos further in this playlist will clear this up and show how this sort of brush tip can be more optimally be used.


How To Use Goat Hair

Yanghaiying is one of my favourite instructional people on youTube. She is very knowledgeable and skilled, and has a charming presentation manner.

Her mannerisms are patient and gentle. I love her descriptions. She putters around like Yoda while unhurriedly explaining. It is like being in the room with an aunt who is showing you stuff while she is working on other stuff.

Her voice is very listenable and I sometimes play her stuff in the background for the calm presence.

very easy to manipulate… this one is a very humble brush… one to be loved and cherished


Introduction to goat hair, and how it works. This is a normal brush without a reservoir, but you get a good idea how a goat hair brush is expected to function.

I suggest two (brushes) to get you started… do not buy too many, you cannot build up a bond with your brush… you build up your relationship, your feeling with the brush and start from there


Yanghaiying talks about other traditional Asian brushes in her distinctive style. A nice comparison of the different types of hair and tip shapes, and how they can be used. Video in two parts.


A Quick Sample

Trying out the 4mm nylon brush with Iroshizuku Ina-ho ink on sketch paper. It has a nice spring, and goes from 0.5 mm to 4.0 mm easily. Will post a sample using the goat hair as soon as I have something.

Derek Mah illustrator waterbrush iroshizuku ina-ho

Playlist has been split into two pages in case your browser is trying to load every video when it loads the page.

Betty’s Brushes Part 2