Hello there !!
Let's talk about "Brushes" !! i wanted to write this one for a while but i didn't had the chance.
I don't know if you remember but a few months back i reviewed the Artis Opus brush Kickstarter. My conclusion back then was : "Very good brush but very small for the size and a few tips problem". While saying this the Artis were my new favorite brushes for blending and highlighting, they allowed me to "Lvl up" my painting.
A few weeks back, the good peoples from RGG sent me their new brushes set for review. I was off course Super hyped to do it as i love the Wet Palette they made last year.
The set is composed of only 2 brushes . One size 2 and one 00. It's advertised you can do everything you need with these 2 brushes, like a pro ^^.
I totally agree with this philosophy and unless you need a super large brush to dry-brush a castle wall or something, you don't need anything more. Let's look at the quality and then at the promise of painting everything with 2 brushes only !
The brushes in details
Prices are around 15€ for a size 2 and 13€ for a 00, it's roughly the same as Artis Opus (per brush). They have the size 2 at 14£ and the 00 at 11£. The RGG brushes are made from natural Kolinsky hair in germany. the ferrule is black and the handle is red. The finished product is a beautiful brush that look high end ! (like it supposed to look for the price $$)
The size 2 is the workhorse of the set, very big, with a huge reservoir and a very pointy tip. he's maybe a bit stiff and you need to compensate for this when 2 brush blending or feathering, that mean you have to incline the brush a bit more. Also at first i had some trouble of paint release but i think it was du to the preserver the brush maker used, after washing the brush with warm water there was no problem anymore. Lastly if you have to much paint in the reservoir it start to deform the tip so even if it's tempting to load the brush big reservoir, show some restraint !. Other than that, this brush is my new stapple, i do everything but the finer details with it and honestly the tip is so crisp that i do eyes with it.
The Size 00 : I usually don't bother with brush under size 0 unless i paint eyes so i wasn't that hyped by a 00. After using it for a while my point of view changed, allow me to explain why. First, the brush tip is perfect and you can trace the most precise line with it, secondly the reservoir is big enough to have paint not drying in 10 seconds. It was quite a good experience to paint with this one. More and more now, when i am on a tricky part of a model i reach to this size 00 as it make my life a lot easier !! I couldn't go back now !
I did this model (from guildball) using these brush, nothing super fancy but the size 00 was super handy in the end ! everything else was handled by the size2
When testing brushes i tend to treat them roughly to see how they endure a few weeks of bad treatments. I still use Master Cleaner and Preserver but often i don't wash when i stop, or i stuck paint into the ferrule. In this case after 4 weeks of use, the RGG Brushes are still in a ok shape. The size 00 is more fragile and you need to take care of it to keep a perfect tip and hairs. Size 2 seem ok nothing special to say about his toughness this is not an old Raphael but still got a very good durability.
So now that i have used a large number of brush brand i want to share a Top 5 of them. Off course it's only my point of view. And even the 5 is still a super good brush.
RedGrassGames Size 2 and 00 : Yea they are the new top dogs now, you can get them both for less than 30€ and free shipping if you are in Europe. The only problem here is that new painters could need a size 1 as not everyone is confortable painting with a size 2 (even with a super good tip)
Size 2 Artis opus : Very good brush, the tip is a bit weird but does the work. Only needed if you want something smaller than the size 2 from RGG. Artis opus brush are smaller than Raphael or RGG so this size 2 is a size 1.
size comparison :
note : The Raphael on the left is 12 years old i think ^^, the old series from R and W&N were the best. Read the note at the end.
Artis Opus series everything from 1 to - 000, didn't tried their new size 3 & 4 so i can't comment.
Raphael 8404 : used to be my favorite brush, they are still super good but the competition make better products now.
W&N Series 7, the venerable WN. Good brushes but a bit too soft to my liking. Size comparable to Artis Opus.
ps : Old series of W&N and Raphael (8+ years) should be Ranked First without much trouble, but those times are behind us. Now the quality control and hairs used is not as good. I heard multiple explication but i can't confirm or deny these version, i just know that the quality offered by these 2 brands is not as good as before.
Big yes on the RGG brush, If you are in Europe and can get free shipping there is no need to hesitate for the price. These are 1 step ahead of the competitions and if you treat them ok you should be super happy for a long time. The size 00 from RGG is now part of my process and i don't imagine how painting without it.
Still don't forget that the size 2 is huge and could require some adaptation or a size 1 brush (in this case i would advise the Artis Opus size 2 as a supplement.).
ps 2 : i have 2 more items that i want to write about : Needle sharpen for AB and a new paint holder by RGG.