Choosing the Best Brushes

The new artist or first time painter can often find the selection of brush types on offer quite over whelming. It’s difficult to know quite where to start and to be honest the best way to learn whys what is to grab a handful of different varieties and experiment, finding out for yourself how each type of brush handles the medium of your choice. Unfortunately not all of us have a never ending pot of money and unlimited amount of time on our hands so we’ll do a quick round up of the different kinds of brushes you are likely to come across and what you might best use them for.

We will break down the most common types of artists paint brushes for use with acrylic paint in to eight groups:

Round tipped brushes are ideal for detailed work like outlining and filling in smaller areas, the thickness of the line produced can be easily controlled from thin to thick depending on the pressure applied, for the finest of lines use just the very tip pushing down further to produce more width.

Pointed tip brushes are very similar in appearance to the round tipped brushes except as the name would suggest, they are narrower and end in a definite point. This makes them ideal for ultra fine detailed work and lines.

Round detail brushes have shorter bristles than the standard round brushes and are used detail work and short controlled brush strokes, they tend to hold more paint than the pointed tip brushes and the shorter bristles are ideally suited for working close to the substrate

Flat brushes have a square end and produce good bold strokes, great for filling large areas of colour but also to produce stripes and reasonably fine straight lines. Bristles are usually medium to long in length.

Bright tipped brushes are similar to flat brushes but have edges that curve in towards the tip. Brights usually have medium to short length bristles which make it better for working closely to the substrate. They are excellent for applying thick, heavy colour.
flat and oval-shaped end with medium to long hairs.

The filbert brush is a kind of hybrid of the round and flat. T slightly rounded tip enables it to be used for detail and as it is also flat it can also be used to cover larger areas, the shape also lends it’s self to blending and shading too.

The angular brush is a variation on the flat tipped brush cut across at an angle making it ideal for filling areas such as tight corners accurately, as a flat brush it can also cover large areas and it’s cut off shape lends it’s self well to producing curved shapes.

The fan brush is a flat brush that contains an arrangement of bristles spread out in the shape of a fan. The fan brush is not so versatile as the other groups listed but can be invaluable for shading and feathering and also adding texture or alternatively smooth textures off.