Aquaflex Brush Series

FC Art
5 min readApr 23, 2021
A collection of Nobel Aquaflex short-handled brushes

The Nobel Aquaflex series is one of our classics. Created in 1996 in Montreal, this series has been an artist favorite ever since and has contributed to the accessibility of quality art materials across Canada ever since. This brush comes in a short-handled brown synthetic Taklon hair that is perfectly suited for water-based practices such as watercolor, as well as a long-handled golden synthetic Taklon hair that makes it better suited for oil and acrylic painting. In this article, we’ll be overviewing the short-handle series.

The full collection of Nobel Aquaflex Short-handle Brushes


This brush has a soft and flexible brush point with the capability to retain a tremendous amount of water and paint comparable to that of sable hair. This brush series also boasts an assortment of brush shapes in vast sizes; something for every practice! The short-handled series comes in the following shapes: Angular, Bright, Dagger, Fan, Filbert, Round, Bent Liner, and Long Liner in sizes as small as 20/0 to as big as 16.


What makes this brush so incredible is its ability to match the properties of sable hair. The filaments of the Taklon are designed to be thick in body and tapper off to a thin tip. This makes it so that the overall shape of the brush retains the thick belly and tapered end that is so characteristic of sable hair brushes! The hairs of the brush are also placed to have a little separation between them making it so that they can hold greater quantities of paint and water.

The short-handled brush measures 5.5", making it better suited for smaller-scale water-based mediums. A black lacquered finish keeps the wooden handle of the brush from deteriorating and rotting. The ferrule of the brush is nickel-plated to offer the ultimate strength and durability against corrosion and rust. The double crimping will ensure the brush head won’t come loose or shed hairs and the hairs of this brush also extend far into the ferrule with an adhesive, which will further keep the bristles firmly secured and endure seepage of paint and water better than your standard brush.

Taklon hair:

#0–4 Fan-shaped Nobel Aquaflex Brushes

Taklon is a type of synthetic polyester fiber. Its novelty comes in its ability to be fabricated to mimic any kind of animal hair. The filament can be made thick and coarse like that of hog hair or thin and fine to resemble sable hair. In the case of the Aquaflex brush, the filaments are constructed to the finest quality to take on the functionality of sable hair. These bristles are a highly durable material that resists friction and damage caused by consistent use against painting surfaces. They are reliable brushes that can withstand persistent and excessive use, scrubbing, and wear over time.

Animal hair tends to have more of a coarse and uneven surface, which can lead the brushes to accumulate particles, paint, chemicals, and bacteria far easier than Taklon. Taklon does not have the same irregularities that you’ll find with natural animal hair, making it easier to clean and maintain! Taklon is also a more eco-friendly, hygienic, allergy-free, and cruelty-free option to natural hair.

The brown synthetic Taklon of the short-handled series has a softer feel in comparison to its long-handled counterpart, making it better suited for delicate watercolor applications and greater water retention capabilities. You’ll find they are exceptionally well suited for blending and creating soft textures.

The Experience:

We put this short-handled series to the test using both watercolor and oil paint applications and here are our findings!

Watercolor application using a #3/8 bright-shaped Aquaflex brush:

Nobel Aquaflex Brush in size 3/8 with a bright tip
Retention and fluidity test using a #3/8 bright-shaped Aquaflex Brush

This brush's strength lies in its ability to retain a considerable amount of paint! These curves were painted using one charge and you’ll see that the brush fades the paint out gradually as you apply it. Given the softness of these brushes, curves and linework will appear more soft and rounded than structured or angular.

Blending test using a #3/8 bright-shaped Aquaflex Brush

The brush’s ability to blend out colors and achieve smooth opaque to transparent transitions is remarkable. This was achieved with one charge and by dipping the brush into the water with further paint applications.

Texture test using a #3/8 bright-shaped Aquaflex Brush

You’ll be able to create a diverse range of textures with this brush. From vibrantly fluid brushstrokes to choppy dry-brush marks, this brush can help you achieve a range of subtle, soft, and dynamic textures.

Oil paint application using a #10 filbert-shaped Aquaflex brush:

Nobel Aquaflex Brush in size 10 with a bright tip
Retention and fluidity test using a #8 filbert-shaped Aquaflex Brush

This brush can also retain greater quantities of oil paint with one charge. The application is consistent and will fade out gradually as you are painting. Going over your application can help soften and smooth out the inconsistencies.

Coverage test using a #8 filbert-shaped Aquaflex Brush

Semi-opaque coverage was achieved with this brush across a 3" patch. You can achieve a higher opacity on a smaller surface area or by using a larger brush size.

Blending and dry brush test using a #8 filbert-shaped Aquaflex Brush

In dry brush applications, this brush will perform soft and even blends of dry brush. It is possible to apply an opaque coat of paint and blend it out to a large surface area of a transparent dry brush application.

Texture test using a #8 filbert-shaped Aquaflex Brush

This brush will apply a low thickness of paint. This is the brush for you if you are trying to achieve a delicate, faint, and subtle texture!

A collection of Nobel short handle brushes


The Aquaflex Brush Series is a high-quality brush offered at an affordable price point! This brush is perfect for blending and achieving equal parts opaque and transparent applications of color! This is a go-to brush if you are working with watercolor, however, its versatile usability and strength make it a staple for artists working in all media.



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