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Alternative to Sable Hair Inking Brush?

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:24 pm
by YKA
I think red kolinsky sable hair brushes are simply a marvel, one of the best tools the humans have ever produced.
Still I'm very concerned how they get the hair off the sables, and anyway, even if they don't hunt and kill them, what can be the quality of the animals' live in captivity for this process?
I hope not, but I fear it is horrible.
So, does anyone knows if tehere is a true alternative to these brushes. Synthetic ones were going in the right direction a couple of years ago, but were quite a long way to even attempt to get in the same league.
But probably have they now made more progress?
Does someone know?
Can someone recommend a brand?

PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 3:46 pm
by Lei
Considering they take the hair from tails of weasels, and you don't have to kill a weasel to trim its tail, I don't think its too much of an atrocity against the animal population.

PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:10 pm
by ChaosBurnFlame
I've been using a Windsor Newton series 7 brush for my entire inking career with a brush.

Are we really going to head in such a direction that artists are worried about where the tiny fraction of hair on the end of a stick came from?

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 6:19 am
by Earthboundwish
ChaosBurnFlame wrote:Are we really going to head in such a direction that artists are worried about where the tiny fraction of hair on the end of a stick came from?


I blame PETA. ._.;;

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:37 am
by YKA
There's been concern about this long before Peta.
Every child knows you're responsible for what you do. Now, you have to realize that you're responsible for what you buy and use, too.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 9:56 pm
by Earthboundwish
A lot of products nowadays are animal friendly / cruelty free. Such as... piano keys. They used to make the white ones with ivory, but now they use plastic.

The reason I said that I blame PETA is because of things like this:

http://www.peta2.com/Trollsens/

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 11:39 am
by Jen_Babcock
earthboundwish wrote:A lot of products nowadays are animal friendly / cruelty free. Such as... piano keys. They used to make the white ones with ivory, but now they use plastic.

The reason I said that I blame PETA is because of things like this:

http://www.peta2.com/Trollsens/


PETA's so... icky.

Don't get me wrong- I'm not a fan of killing animals for fashion either, but PETA is way too over the top and fanatical.

Anyway- I think if you're really concerned about where your bristles are coming from, you should just try out the synthetic brushes again and see if they've improved any.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 12:13 am
by Dan The Lefty
I actually do all of my inking with nibs. Of course, inking with nibs only does produce a different look from using a brush.

And yeah, I @*&!#ing hate PETA! I'm an environmentalist and I hate PETA! They give all of us nature-lovers a bad name!

PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 8:19 pm
by Montanto
These days I use Faber-Castell Artists Pens. They're nice and portable and virtually accident free.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 9:56 am
by TheSuburbanLetdown
Hmmm, all this time I've been inking with weasels. Now if only I can procure the blood of a weasel to ink with, I'll be set.

Faber Castell PITT markers are pretty awesome by the way. I still prefer a brush though whenever possible.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 3:56 pm
by Levi-chan
I use special brushes fashioned from White Rhino ivory with baby seal eyelash tips.

My pens have lemur fingernail nibs.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 3:43 pm
by Gloria
I'm actually concerned about the killing of weasels for brushes, too (yes, according to my research they DO have to kill them). It's sort of an ethical gray area... I'm no vegan, but then again I feel that it's pointless to kill wild animals when there may be other options.

I've never been able to afford real sable brushes, anyway, but when I was considering investing in some I did a little research and now I feel kind of leery of it.

In case anybody's curious, this is the animal that the finest brushes are made from:
http://www.inferret.ru/page-id-76.html

I'm certainly not going to go around saying people who DO use real kolisnky sable brushes are evil, though!

(Just a thought, what if this animal was listed as endangered? Would people view kolinsky brushes the way they view snow leopard fur coats? )

On the other hand, though... producing synthetic brushes may well require the use of chemicals, petroleum products, etc., which could arguably be just as bad for the environment as killing of a few thousand Kolinskies.

Heck, our dependance on the Kolinsky for its hair may save it as a species because it's a useful animal that we're motivated to keep around!

Quite a conundrum, indeed.

Re: Alternative to Sable Hair Inking Brush?

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:20 am
by YKA
There are a lot of nice tools around, allowing all kind of great motivating techniques. Still, there is nothing like a Kolinsky Sable Hair Brush for inking comics.
I got information from Winsor & Newton. They get the hair for their brushes from "left-over" from the fur-industry. So, as long as there is (most unfortunately) a fur-industry, I guess we might as well use this brushes made out of tiny hairs that nobody else would want anyway.
The nice thing is that Winsor & Newton is frank and open about it. They didn't think it was a situation to make jokes about.
I thought the sick jokes about animal protection, etc... were pretty bearable, though. Not quite the class you'd expect from creative artists , or worse script-writers, though. I just sincerely hope for your sake that you people don't get re-incarnated in the skin of a sable, a ferret, or a snow-leopard.

Re: Alternative to Sable Hair Inking Brush?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 5:45 am
by YKA
Dear Levi-chan,
You're very, very funny.
The question though was: "Can someone recommend a brand?" This is what this post was meant to be all about.
Still, I'm very glad to have been allowed to see how funny you are.

Re: Alternative to Sable Hair Inking Brush?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:28 pm
by Industrialpowersart
Some sable hair brushes do not result in the death of the animal, but if you REALLY feel badly about it, try out various synthetic hair watercolor brushes. Specifically watercolor brushes, and not brushes for other purposes, because they are meant to be more absorbent and softer. I find that high quality synthetic fibers are more resilient and less prone to breakage and dulling than some real hair brushes. Here is a list of products of that nature carried by the art store Utrecht- who make a fine store brand and are competitively priced.
http://www.utrechtart.com/dsp_view_prod ... sID=121112

The thing about a true, high quality sable brush though, is that you should only ever need to buy it once. You ought to have it for the rest of your life. Therefore, you need only ever kill one weasel by proxy, if you know how to take care of your things. A word of warning however, just because it SAYS "pure Kolinsky Sable" on the handle, doesn'tmean it IS. the government does not control use of the term Kolinsky. I could trim my cat's tail, make a brush out of it, and label it Kolinsky, and nobody could legally do a thing. So, only buy whatever Kolinsky brushes you may purchase from very reputable companies.

Re: Alternative to Sable Hair Inking Brush?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:53 pm
by Industrialpowersart
All right- specific brands i have used and enjoyed? Windsor Newton, Utrecht, and Grumbacher. If you REALLY want to break the bank- Leonardo. well worth the expense.

Re: Alternative to Sable Hair Inking Brush?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:34 pm
by Metruis
Hmm... my brush is a Loew-Cornell, it was pretty cheap, I'm sure it's synthetic, I've never inked with anything better TO compare, but it served me well. Still does, I'm just not inking my pages at the moment. ^_^

I don't agree with animals for fashion, as such.... but I eat meat.

I'm not concerned about where a tiny, tiny bit of whatever on my paintbrush came from. One animal's going to do more than one paintbrush. And I think this is synthetic... though we have a couple sable brushes around.

Re: Alternative to Sable Hair Inking Brush?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:09 pm
by Industrialpowersart
Loew-Cornell actually isn't bad, either, now that you mention them. And yes, those are synthetic. I've tried almost everything at least once, and I find that i develop favorite brushes, but I have yet to develop a favorite brand. each of my favorite brushes were made by different people. Although I have it narrowed down somewhat. I really don't reccommend anything made by Dick Blick. I've used a few other minor brands I wouldn't reccommend, either, but that's the major one to avoid, in my opinion. Of course the point of them is that they're cheap, so what can you expect?

Re: Alternative to Sable Hair Inking Brush?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:18 am
by Koad
I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I don't know squat about brushes. I use a no-name calligraphy brush that I picked up in Chinatown a couple years ago. I have no idea what it's made of. It's probably past its prime, but I keep using it because I'm cheap.

So what's the deal with sable hair brushes? What's so great about them? From people's descriptions here it sounds interesting, but I want to have a better idea of why it's so good before going out and buying one (see previous comment on cheapness).

Re: Alternative to Sable Hair Inking Brush?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 5:36 pm
by Industrialpowersart
Because Kolinsky sable comes from weasels who live in a winter climate, the fur is thick and soft and verrrry absorbent. It is also strong, and a brush will never be "past its prime" if you clean it properly. I still use my mom's brushes from college- and it's been ten years since _I_ graduated college.