Artist Paint Brushes

Paint brushes are the main arm of an artist. This brings life to their imagination on the canvas. But wait! It is not as simple as that. It is not ‘just like that’. One has to consider several things in the paint brush regarding the specification perspective. Various dimensions has to be kept in mind, viz. shape, filament type, outer diameter of the handle, width, length etc.

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Detailed Description for Artist Paint Brushes

The paint brushes are magic wands for the artists for weaving colours across the canvas. Artist paint brushes are a beloved tool for them. The size and shape of the brush one choose to work with depends mainly on the type and scale of work you want to do.

The two qualities of artist paint brushes are:

1.       The shape of brush, and

2.       The type of hair the brush is made up of.

Shape of brushes: There are mainly 8 types of brushes that are used with acrylic. Each of them are intended to be used for different purposes.

·         Round: pointed tip, becoming wider at the end. It is good for sketching, outlining, detailed work, filling in small areas and is used with thinned paint rather than the thick paint. 

·         Pointed round: narrower than the round paintbrush. Has sharply pointed tip and is good for very fine details and lines and retouching.

·         Flat: square end with medium to long hairs. Good for bold strokes, filling wide spaces, straight edges. Long haired flat brushes are ideal for varnishing.

·         Bright: flat with edges point inwards toward tip, with the shortest hairs.

·         Filbert: oval and flat-shaped end with medium to long hairs. These are good for blending, soft rounded edges like flower petals. This brush is sort of a combination of the rounds and flat.

·         Fan: flat with spread hairs. Such natural hairs are good for smoothing, blending, feathering. Synthetic hairs are better for textural effects like clouds and leaves on tree.

·         Angular flat (shader): flat with angled hairs at the end and is good for curved strokes and filling corners. Can effectively reach small areas with tip. Also can be used to cover up lots of spaces like the flat ones.

·         Detail round: round hairs, shorter in length. Have shorter handle. Good for details and short strokes. Has capability of holding more amount of colours as compared to the other ones.

Type of hair the brush is made up of: There are 2 types of hair artist paint brushes are made up of.

1.                    1.        Natural hair,

2.       Synthetic hair

Natural hair: Broadly, there are two types of natural hair brushes- Sable and Bristle.

Sable: A good quality Sable hair brush should properly hold its shape and have good spring. The tips must be having very fine points. Sable brushes are also used in oil and acrylic painting.

Bristle: These paint brushes are made up from Hog’s hair bristle and are the firmest of the natural hairs. They are more often used by the oil and acrylic painters but could be seen in the hands of a water-colour artist too. They have split endings at the tips which are called “flags” which serves the purpose of holding lots of liquids and add “texture”.

Note: Hog bristles are often called as China bristle or Chunking bristle. This is stiffer and stronger than the soft hair and may be bleached or unbleached.

Size: The brushes for paint artists have different sizes and are usually having numbers. There is no exact standard for their physical dimensions. From smallest to the largest, the size may be-

20/0, 12/0, 10/0, 7/0, 6/0, 5/0, 4/0 (also written 0000), 000, 00, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 25, 26, 28, 30.

Sizes from 000 to 20 are the most common.


Synthetic hair: These hairs are made up of special multi-diameter extruded nylon filament. Taklon or Polyester. Taklon is used in many mediums of paintings due to many variations possible in the manufacturing process.

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