Brushes Collection

Artist brushes - All you need to know

Unless you are an aspiring street artist - whose main art supply is a can of spray paint - or a young child - whose medium of choice is finger paints - you are going to need some brushes; a quintessential art supply.

But the world of artist brush sizes, shapes and bristle types can be confusing as the different paintbrushes are for creating different effects as well as being suited to different mediums.

Artist brushes are investment pieces, so some ‘art geek’ knowledge is required.

Natural vs synthetic?

Seriouoil painters love animal hair - hog, sable, badger, camel, squirrel and ox as the bristles hold the paint really well slowly and evenly even release the pigment.

Today, however the quality of synthetic bristles has evolved, transforming the art world. Synthetic brushes are made from nylon or polyester and replicate the qualities of natural animal hair brushes. They are also durable and affordable.

Your basic 8 brush starter kit:

TIP: The little number on the handle of the paintbrush is determined by the length, diameter and width of the bristles.

1. Flat brushes - For thin to broad strokes, blending and painting larger areas.

2. Bright brushes - Flat brushes but with shorter bristles for smaller controlled strokes and switching between thin and thick techniques.

3. Filbert brushes - Oval-shaped brushes that hold a lot of water for washes and blending.

4. Angular brushes - Angled flat bristles for precise strokes and straight edges. But also good for curved strokes.

5. Fan brushes - For soft blending, smoothing, feathering and texturing.

6. Round brushes - For washes, fills and thick to thin line paint techniques.

7. Liner brushes - For detailing, outlining, intricate strokes and lettering.

8. Mop brushes - Large soft bristles cover large areas and for softening and blending. Twirl for circular shapes.

Just starting out? Invest in a quality artist brush set and slowly add individual brushes to your art collection.

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