Artist paint brush 101

Just looking at the number and styles of rushed available can be frustrating. Paintbrushes come in many different shapes, sizes, styles and materials and they are all used for different techniques and purposes.

Most people start out with simple water colours while others head straight on to the acrylics.  If you start out with acrylics, it will be a bit much to take up because the number of brushed available for this type of art is shocking. There is a variety of paintbrushes to use for this kind of art. Acrylic paint brushes come in different sizes and shape to give out different results on the canvas. The shapes and sizes you chose will depend on the size of your work, details and the final look.

There are 8 types of paint brushes for basic acrylic techniques. The brushed include; the fan, detail round, angular flat, flat, bright, filbert, pointe round and round brushes. Each is made and intended for different uses.  A single paint brush has 4 main parts; the handle, crimp, ferrule and bristle.

  • The bristles are the hairs of the brush. They can be synthetic, natural or a combination of the two
  • The ferrule is the gold or silver bit that holds and connects the bristles to the handle firmly
  • The handle is secured to the ferrule with the crimp part.
  • The handle is made of wood, or plastic

Simple description of the acrylic paint brushed and how the work

Flat brush – has a square end with an average height or hairs.  It is perfect for making washes, bold strokes, impasto and filling in wide spaces.  You can also use it for varnishing, fine lines and straight edges.

The bright brush – short bristles that are curved inwards, more like a coffin shape at the top. It is perfect for short, controlled strokes, heavy colour and close up painting technique.

The round tip – this one is perfect for outlining, detailing, controlling the washes, sketching, and filling in smaller areas. It creates thin lines that gradually become thick and more pressed down when you apply the right technique.

The round pointed tip – the main difference between this and the round tip is that it is narrower. It is good for working in fine lines, retouching and spotting.

Detailed round

Fan – has flat spread hairs that look like a hand fan. This brush is good for blending, feathering and smoothing when the har is natural. Synthetic chairs allow for better textural effects.

Filbert – this brush has a flat and oval end. Its s great for soft rounded edges and blending. This brush is very simple to use, it works like a combination of all-round brushes.

Angular flat (shader) – they are flat with angled hairs at the end. You can use it to fill corners and paint curved strokes. Its tips help you reach some of the smaller areas that other brushed cant.

Final word

The paint brush will become more familiarised with your hand and technique after a few uses.  The more you paint, the more you become familiar with handling the paint brush and moving it in the right directions. When it comes to painting and brushes, practice makes perfect. Sonner than later, you will become familiarised with more brushed and get to pick ones that suit your style the most.