View Full Version : Brushes

10-28-2014, 03:51 PM
So everyone talks about paint. Professional vs, student grade. Heavy Bodied vs. liquid. Open vs. everything else. LOL

But what about our beloved brush? What about the love :heart: for the hardest working and most abused piece of equipment we own (well, except for maybe the easel, in some cases :) )? What brands do people prefer? What about nylon vs. Sable? cheap-o vs. Professional grade? Is it really worth spending $50 per brush or will $8.00-$14.00 per brush be ok? Do you really need the humongous #22 size, or is #12 the biggest you really typically need? C'mon, inquiring minds wanna know. :)

10-28-2014, 04:11 PM
Oh I want to hear what everyone says about that!

Also, different brushes for different supports, i.e. soft ones for paper, stiff ones for raw fabric...

10-28-2014, 07:13 PM
I have a ton of different brushes and admit I don't think much about them, just grab one and make marks and if it'd not the right mark I look through and find one that will make the stroke I'm thinking of. I admire people with the patience to think about the number and size and who are more thoughtful about reproducible results! Excited to hear how everyone else works

10-28-2014, 08:07 PM
My favorite is Winsor Newton University. It's about a lower mid level in price but I think they perform very well and are durable, good bang for the buck.


10-28-2014, 08:12 PM
The thread above has a whole section on brushes.

10-28-2014, 08:14 PM
Funny: I have some high end, mid range and cheapo brushes. I just grab what looks good for an area in my painting.....and bingo, it usually works well. I clean all my brushes with care, though.
being a line guy, I do get very good liner brushes.

10-28-2014, 09:16 PM
Davkin - interesting about the Winsor-Newton University line, I'm very fond of them as well. They do a good job on most tasks.

For large areas though, I tend to use rags, cheesecloth, or sponges; and for smoothing glazes I use some rather pricey mop brushes. But for fine work I recently came across a brand of very cheap, soft, pointed rounds called "Oriental Art Brush". I was wandering around a fabric store of all places (I needed a new Italian easel, and for some reason they had them, and on sale to boot) and saw the brushes, a package of 7 for $3.50 Cdn. Couldn't resist trying them out, and so far so good.


10-29-2014, 07:30 AM
Brush selection is a personal decision. I use synthetic bristle almost exclusively but that isn't all I use to apply paint. I use sponges (especially makeup sponges), sea sponges, container lids, credit cards, plastic pieces, plastic forks, all for the sake of the mark.

To me, the synthetic bristle brush seems to take abuse a bit better than natural bristle brush. Acrylics can be tough on a brush.

10-29-2014, 11:26 AM
Acrylics can be tough on a brush.

Ain't that the truth....:clear:

I swear my brushes reproduce when I'm not looking. Of course, there are few visits to my local art store that I don't carry a brush home with me. :angel:

Can't really say that I have a favourite brush. I have separate brushes for different media. Expensive sable brushes for water color. For acrylics I usually use synthic ones.

I have brushes that I got 10 for 5 Euros. I have brushes that I spend 10 Euros on - or more. Each has a different function: for large washes, for blending, for fine details, to scrub the heck of it...

I'd say my favourite brush is always the one that is perfect for the job I ask of it.

Charlie's Mum
10-29-2014, 05:36 PM
I have some quality Escudo brushes but the ones I use almost exclusively are cheap ones - Royal Talens and DR Graduate - they're synthetic, have spring and the Graduates have a good point .... they're around 2GB each here.
Of course they may not last as long - as Howard says, acrylics are tough on brushes - but it doesn't break the bank to replace them!

I don't like natural bristle for acrylics.

I don't use/abuse my sables by putting acrylic on them!

Size depends on how big you paint - you'll not want to cover a square metre of canvas with a #1 - or even a #6 - brush!

Clean thoroughly after use and they'll be good for a while!:)

Ann - thank you for pointing people to the stickied 'Umbrella thread' near the top of the forum page :)

Ken Carrano
10-29-2014, 10:03 PM
I have brushes all across the board. I usually start a piece with rougher bristle brushes and then move softer with successive layers. Some of my softer brushes are less expensive nylon/synthetics but my brush of choice has long been the Windsor Newton Monarch series...love those brushes. Might be a mental thing at this point but I feel very comfortable working with the Monarch series.

10-30-2014, 03:28 AM
Personally I rarely pay any attention to the brand of the brush. Mainly I go to the store and "feel out" the ones I'll need/want.

chammi kaiser
10-30-2014, 05:16 AM
I have every brush you can imagine - some very cheap and one or two very expensive from my watercolour days. I am like Derek - I just grab one that suits the passage I am doing in my painting. I think if I had to say I had a favourite it would be the filbert brushes. I am also meticulous about cleaning my brushes and palette.

10-30-2014, 03:42 PM
I have a bunch of brushes, mainly cheapos. However, my main set of brushes are Liquitex Freestyle brushes. Not only is the neon green handle perfectly contoured and weighted, but they are amazing brushes too.

Best buy I ever made. I bought a total of about 35 of the brushes in a store clearance. Barcodes weren't working properly and self service tills scanned them as 1p each, meaning I got about 200-300+ worth of brushes for 35p! All types, all sizes and a couple of spares for each one!

Lady Carol
10-30-2014, 06:19 PM
I like Royal Soft Grip Golden Taklon brushes. They are very durable and the best bit is that they all cost the same price ($1.99 @ Blick) - large or small.

I tend to find it is the gesso and the canvas not the acrylic paint that trashes my brushes.

10-30-2014, 09:28 PM
I have a bunch of brushes but I actually use only about 3 or 4. Acrylic is very harsh on brushes, but I take good care of them and most last for years. The one I used the most is the smallest nylon brush for fine details, which I need a new one for each painting; but they are cheap, I buy them at the dollar store.

10-30-2014, 11:49 PM
I also have a variety brushes that go from very inexpensive to some which are a little more expensive. Like others have mentioned, I tend to reach for whichever one gets the job done. I do seem to spend quite a bit of time with filberts, and I have used the fan brushes a fair amount as well.

10-31-2014, 09:13 AM
I do seem to spend quite a bit of time with filberts, and I have used the fan brushes a fair amount as well.

Same here. A sucker for filberts and fans!

10-31-2014, 10:36 AM
I don't own a lot of brushes, maybe a couple dozen or so. But I always find that i use only a few of those, mostly flats. Not sure why. Although when i switch to paper, as opposed to canvas or fabric, I had to dig out some softer brushes. Still trying to decide if I'm going to stay with paper, would save money and storage space, but I'm still not used to its feel.

11-01-2014, 01:47 AM
Same here. A sucker for filberts and fans!

Funny you mention this as that is the perfect description of me! It seems I can never pass up a new filbert or fan brush lol!:D