View Full Version : 1/2 sheet brushes

08-02-2013, 02:09 PM
For you brave souls that paint on 1/2 sheet,can I ask please what size and type of brushes you predominantly use?

08-02-2013, 03:51 PM
Does it really matter? Use what size brushes you feel comfrtable with. I use small brushes on double elephant sized paintings (26 by 40 inches... biggest a size 3 winsor and newton 240 mop) but that doesnt mean to say everyone should do the same. Size of painting should not equate to size of brush. I know several professional artists who paint big with smallish brushes and equally several who paint smallish paintings with large brushes... they use the size brushes they do because thats what suits them and what they like. :)

Be proud of who you are and what you like and go with it.

virgil carter
08-02-2013, 03:59 PM
Interesting questions, Larry. Brushes are very personal, but here's my "most" used" for half and quarter-sheets:

2-inch flat squirrel for washes and wetting paper
16 Escoda Perla round
12 Escoda Perla round

and I am increasingly using natural and artificial fiber quills because I feel I can be more spontaneous with them:

No. 6 Jacksons 777 (artificial fiber)
No. 2 Jacksons 777 (artificial fiber)


No. 8 Yarka (squirrel)
No. 4 Harmony (squirrel)

Hope this helps!
Sling brushes!

08-02-2013, 04:57 PM
Hi Larry... Your brushes should be considered an extension of your hand. How you use this extension is very personal... and the brushes you choose to work with will likely be a trial and error exercise. Each of us works differently!

I really like to paint with big brushes regardless of painting size. But, having claimed that, I regularly do half and quarter sheet sizes. Because I like the tooth of rough paper, I've literally worn out my sables (they all look like mops since the points are gone) and have returned to synthetics and synthetic mixes...

For large background washes I like a soft 2" flat. Mine is a sable mix by "Q" brand. I also like a 1" flat for closer or more detailed areas.

I prefer to paint with rounds and my 'go to' brush is a Dynasty faux squirrel #16. I also use a "Q" #14 and #8 as my regular brushes. It's very important that these rounds have good points. I have #10 and #12 rounds, but for some reason I really don't use them very much.

For details, I use a #4 long point round and a #2 sable that doesn't get a lot of use.

Like Virgil, I have a beautiful #8 quill that I'm growing to love... I sure holds a lot of water!

08-02-2013, 05:27 PM
How are the Jackson 777 compared to squirrel (or the icon rounds compared to sable)?

I'm still at quarter sheets and a 12mm (width) mop seems ok for medium size washes. So probably a 16mm mop will be ok for half sheet skies. FWIW, the Zbukvic Escoda mop pack comes with 11.7 and 15.8mm mops (from the web; 34 and 41mm length).

08-02-2013, 05:53 PM
The reason I ask is that because I have never painted on half a sheet or even had one, I am wondering, seeing everything will be in larger scale, what size brush one would need to get around it and what brush would hold an adequate amount of pigment/water.Obviously for a landscape sky for example, a mop would be ideal but for say flowers,seeing the petals would be larger,then a larger brush would make sense? I think?
Virgil,I have an Escoda 12 so can I ask how the Jacksons size 6 measures up to it? Is the fibre quill the same feel as the Escoda..as springy? Thanks everybody

virgil carter
08-02-2013, 06:09 PM
My Jackson 777 synthetic fiber quills are very good quality brushes and I like them a lot. They seem to me to be a sort of compromise between squirrel quills and synthetic fiber rounds. That is, they hold more paint and water than rounds, but are stiffer than squirrel quills.

Thus, for me, it depends on the degree of "spontaneous" versus "controlled" stroke or application that I seek.

The Jackson 777 are a bit more forgiving and not quite so challenging to learn as are the squirrel quills, but once one has built up a degree of experience with both, each works well, albeit just a little differently.

Larry, the Jackson 6 and Escoda 12 are similar in size, but the quill holds more and handles in a way that is not as stiff as the Escoda or any synthetic round. So it all boils down to preference based on some experience. I used only rounds for many years, and it took me an extended period to try and like quills. Once I got to this point, however, I really like the quills for large and expressive applications, relegating the rounds for more controlled and limited work. Just my approach; other's milage probably varies.

Good thread--sling paint!

08-02-2013, 10:06 PM
I pretty much will use the same group of brushes no matter what size I'm painting, but then again I mostly paint in 1/4-1/2 sheet size. Large washes/large areas are usually done with a 2" hake. I've tried a few other wash brushes, and I really like the carrying capacity and textures you can get with the hake, plus it doesn't give you the hard edges some synthetic wash brushes do. The rest of my painting will usually be done with 14 Princeton Neptune and 8 Cosmotop Mix B rounds, with the last bit of final detail being done with a white nylon 4 round. Once in a while I'll use a 3/4" Black Velvet Oval wash and a few other rounds, but 80% of the time it's the hake, 14 round, 8 round, and 4 round.

08-03-2013, 01:04 AM
Gosh , I agree with all the above and have only heard of one rule for brushes , but don't really pay much attention to it any more .
That one was, to start large to small, but of course it "Depends" on what you are doing and what you are going for . No initial washes , no big brushes !! Use what ever You think does the job for That painting .
My teacher always said the Right brush for the Right job , just like a House painter does it ! Don't use the Roller for the windows right ? :lol:
June :cat: :wave:

08-03-2013, 05:59 AM
Thanks again everyone.

Virgil,I have been looking at the 777 range and am very taken with what you are saying especially seeing I am trying to move on to a less tight way of operating.Would the Jacksons No 2 be about a size 8 round or smaller do you reckon?

virgil carter
08-03-2013, 09:48 AM
Series 777 Specifications:

Larry, I'd guess that the two sizes are similar, but since shape and length vary, I find it hard to compare. Here's what the Jackson's site says about their 777 series brushes:

Size/Ferrule Width (mm)/Hair Length (mm)

10/0 5.0 20.0
000 6.0 23.0
0 8.0 25.0
2 10.0 28.0
4 12.0 34.0
6 15.0 38.

As you can see, a No. 2 is sort of in the middle of the range. But for large passages on quarter and half sheets, a No. 2 may be a bit small. Regardless of size, I like them!

Sling paint,

08-03-2013, 12:57 PM
My one rule for brushes is this: use the brush that gives you the mark you want.

I tend to use larger brushes when covering large areas on big paper, but also pull out my smaller brushes for finer areas.

08-04-2013, 02:51 AM
For Plein Air I mainly paint 1/4 sheets

Rekab 320S #2 Squirrel mop
Rekab 017 #16 Sable/synthetic round
Rekab 013K #10 Kolinslky round
Jackson Icon 702 1" Flat

These all needle point or chiesl edge
So because of this versatility, I can paint a painting using a single brush

I use the mop for wetter paintings and do not clean the brush the whole painting
Dip in water, dip in paint and the point is just wet enough to play on the wet paper

The #16 round holds a gallon of water, is great for washes and points down to the blades of grass. I can do anything with it

The #10 is my 'small' brush for controlled washes and layering, normally when I have a more detailed drawing

The 1" flat covers, edges, twirls, and splits
I can nuance a tree in one movement, double load each side with different colors, squeeze and split it to make grasses

I used for some time both the Jackson Icon Quill 777 and the Round 700
Niether of them came to a neddle point, and they did not have the flexiblity of either the sable or squirrel

1/2 sheets at home

Rekab 320S #6 Squirrel mop
Rekab 017 #16 Sable/synthetic round
Rekab 3 #12 Kolinslky round
Rekab 1 1/4" Bright sable
da Vinci #5080 50mm flat