Artist Brushes

I am sure you will agree your artist brushes are very important to you as a painter and artist. What brushes you buy and use is partly to do with personal taste and partly to do with the task you need to perform.

A few top tips of caring for your brushes:

  • always clean your brushes after painting
  • never leave your brushes bristles down in water or a storage container
  • dry your brushes off before you store them
  • invest in a good brush carrier such as a tube or brush roll

Sable v Synthetic

There is a long-standing debate over if sable (using animal hair) brushes are better than synthetic. As a watercolour artist, I felt quite strongly that sable brushes were better as they had the capacity to hold a greater volume of liquid. This was important for washes and as I did a lot of flicking and splattering.

In mixed media painting, I have found synthetic brushes to be excellent. Also, I am happier using synthetic brushes as they are more animal friendly.

A company I would recommend is Rosemary & Co 01535 600090

Getting your money's worth

Many artist brushes are very expensive. Having quality brushes is very important as they help create beautiful marks on your surface. You do need to be practical and sensible. Some people feel acrylic paints and inks leave a residue on your brushes,and over time they become spoilt - I have not found this to be the case.

When using pva glue I use old but reasonable quality brushes. To apply masking fluid I use one very old brush, knowing it will be ruined. Once a lot of rubber has built up n it I clean it up. Also when I work with gesso I use large cheap brushes.

Cheap brushes are great as you do not feel precious about them but do remember the hairs come out easily. You do need to decide if this matters - you do not want the hairs to show or spoil your finished results.

Different shapes and sizes

Many artists seen to own a huge number of brushes. Personally I think it is good to have a range but often find I am only using 3 or 4 most of the time. Obviously you can get round or flat square brushes. If you want to work in quite a painterly way with sensitive, gentle brushstrokes then round brushes are good. Choose ones that come to a good point.

I use flat square brushes (I particularly love the one inch Rosemary & co) to do a lot of my acrylic and mixed media painting. Home the maths you car achieve cud now you car make (age squares, small lines cud clots with the one brush. I also use a rigger (long this bristles) to paint in tree trunks, branches and grasses.

What is your favourite brush and why let me know using the contact form.

Artist Brushes - which is your favourite ?