Brushes for Oil Painting
As one of the most important tools for wet traditional media, brushes are widely manufactured nowadays to cover
a variety of sizes and bristles to for every need.
It is important not to simply search for the cheapest brushes you can find, as quality is very vital to ensure
that it will last you for years to come. Just like many other art materials, what you pay is what you get.
Paying pennies for your art supply will earn you low-quality materials. Although you do not necessarily pay top
bucks for the highest quality material, buy the best you can afford and take good care of it.
The bristles of an art brush are usually the main consideration when buying art supplies. There are many
shapes for different painting styles and purposes, such as fan, round, filbert and flat hog bristles brushes.
When working on oil paintings, you can replace the bristle brushes with other type such as sable, synthetic or a
mix of both. Different types have different quality and texture effect with it. A sable brush, for example, would
usually give the paint a soft, smooth look, which can be useful when painting detailed areas.
The handle of the brush is typically quite long to help balance it, and also to prevent your hand or fingers
from coming in contact with the painted canvas surface. Some people might prefer to use shorter brushes and thus,
hold the brushes in the middle of the handle instead.
This might spells trouble when you are working on a particularly large canvas because of the risk of
accidentally touching and dirtying the paint, but if your personal grip preference does not trouble you, then you
do not have to worry about it.
The kind of brushes you need will depends on what you use it for. Although there are some tutorials will tell
you to use specific brush type or size, you do not have to worry if you have such brushes. Just 1 or 2 basic brush
types in different size can be quite enough to cover a large variety of painting styles.
For beginners, you can start with the flat or filbert brush set. Flats are excellent for drawing sharp edges,
while the shape of filberts brushes will create round and smooth strokes. Depending on you normal canvas size, you
really have no need to buy the whole set of brushes.
A number 12 brush is quite large enough to cover big areas, while a size 6 can paint medium and small objects
just fine. If you want to work with extremely small details, you might want to consider adding a number 2 to your
collection as well.
When browsing for brushes in an art store, try to fun your thumb across the tip of the bristles to check the
quality. The fine hairs should be back in shape even after the run through. This will ensure that when you
clean you brushes after a painting session, the
hairs would not suddenly go all over the place, but instead retain the original shape after washing.
Buying top quality brushes would not guarantee you paintings will turn out great, as there is also the artist’s
own skill to be taken into consideration. But generally, if you are serious about your oil paintings, buy the best
brushes you can afford and it should last you for a long time with proper care.