Black Sable
Russian black sable hair features a fine tip and a robust springiness. Due to its exceptional stability, which is unusual for hair brushes, the Black Sable is ideal for the classical techniques in oilpainting and represents the alternative for the painter who is looking for a combination of the advantages of Kolinsky red sable and bristle artist brushes.

Chungking bristles
term applied to a white and especially strong Chinese bristle; named after the Chinese city of Chungking.

English sizes
English producers use numbers for brush sizes that differ from those in Germany. With water colour brushes the difference up to size 6 is one complete number, e.g. the English size 2 corresponds to our size 3.

esagonal handles
autumn 1990 we had been granted a patent for our unique „esagonal handle“. This handle shows at its thickest part six imperceptible flattenings which are styled in a way that they do not make the hand tired during painting nor impede the turning or shaping of the brushtip (sizes up to 6 have only 3 flattenings due to the smaller diametre of the handles).

flags of bristles
while it grows the bristle splits into two or more tips, the „flags“. This fullness of the bristle accounts for the ability to hold a large amount of colour.

the hair and bristles of the finished brush must be protected for transport. We use a gum arabic solution for that purpose. See also under „original shape“.

all the handles we produce are made of wood. Artists often prefer unlacquered, so-called plainwood handles. We make a distinction between the lacquered handle and the polished handle.

two equal-sized portions of bristle are set against each other with the natural curve of the bristle turned inward. MAESTRO artists brushes of interlocked construction are labor-intensive; however, they will keep their form even after long and intensive use.

International size-assortment
during the last years all markets have converged. The effect has been a first standardization of brush assortments and sizes, which is now also followed by Asian brush producers.



Kazan squirrel
the name is derived from the Russian town of Kazan. It refers to a species of squirrel whose hair-tips are of brownish-red colour while the remaining part of the hair is flecked with grey. Kazan squirrel hair is manufactured especially into china painting brushes.

the tail of the sable „mustela sibirica“. We use and distinguish HARBIN-KOLINSKY, named after the capital of the northernmost part of Manchuria. The principal habitat of this „mustela“ is the river valley of the Ussuri, the Siberian border river to Manchuria. The tail of this Kolinsky sable is slightly smaller than that of its Russian neighbour, but the hair is very strong, straight and has a fine tip. TOBOLSKY-KOLINSKY and USSURI-KOLINSKY, named after the most eastern rivers of Siberia. The „mustela sibirica“ lives in the basins of the Ob, Lena, Amur and
Ussuri rivers. The colonies of these animals are under permanent supervision by the authorities due to their habit of digging into the embankments. The male „mustela sibirica“ has an extraordinarily beautiful, bushy tail. From this hair the da Vinci MAESTRO water-colour brush is made.

original shape
the hair or bristles of the brush are brought into their characteristic shape, which we call „original shape“, with the help of a gum arabic solution. By that the hairs and bristles of the brushes are well protected for shipment and storage.

prepared to interlock
our MAESTRO 2 quality artists bristle brushes are prepared to interlock, that means that the brush is made from straight bristles and is shaped by heat after gumming. This technique has also proven to be long-lasting and reliable.

produced from white ox ear hair through dyeing. White ox ear hair is exclusively taken from Alpine cattle. These cattle have particularly strong hair because of the climatic conditions in that region.

hair and bristles unbound in the ferrule.



unfortunately the European brush industry has never managed to agree on  common standards for brush types and sizes. The differing numeration often leads to miscalculations when prices are compared. This is chiefly felt with expensive red sable brushes and with bristle oilpainting brushes. On our website you will find details of all our brush series, that means the diameters, visible hair length, total length etc.

Squirrel hair imitation
It’s the ripe fruit coming from the fibre industry, which have performed magic by producing us now – after a decadelong progression – the fully synthetic squirrel fibre. Even our long-standing experienced brush-makers had to be convinced that they have in hands synthetic material.