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Drew Davis
02-23-2000, 07:25 PM
W&N University is the best nylon brush I have (L-C, American Painter, and W&N Artisan being the other brands, some of which are about as good). I also like the Loew-Cornell Golden Taklon synthetics, but I've had more mixed results from their white nylons. I haven't tried a lot of other brands of sable-like synthetics, though.

Natural bristles (whether white hog or sable) aren't often recommended for acrylics. Some people claim the paints actually flow better from synthetics. Generally, it's a practical matter, since if you accidentally let acrylic dry in a brush, it's mostly a goner, and you don't want that to happen to your $100 W&N Series 7 or Isabey sable. (Oils take long enough to dry that you probably won't forget, and you can re-dissolve watercolor.) The white nylons seem to me to make smoother marks than bristles, so if you want a painterly effect with the bristles showing, you might prefer the natural brushes. The nylon also seems stiffer than the natural bristle, yet another one of those things you might like or dislike.

Size depends on the size of the work. "As big as possible" makes it go faster, but a brush you use on a 9x12 isn't going to be too useful on the 90x120 format. You're probably going to want to buy brushes that are smaller than you really need; they look awfully big until you get used to them. Also, as you get more practiced, you can get the same effects with bigger brushes without splattering the whole picture.

Styles, too, depend on personal preference. Flats and rounds are the basic workhorses; everything else gets increasingly gimmicky. That's not to say other shapes aren't useful. Brights are short flats, and are good for increased control compared to flats (which you may like or hate; for me, it depends on what I'm doing). Filberts are sort of in between, kind of like flats with softer edges or maybe rounds with a better edge, depending on your point of view. Fan brushes are usually used for blending or special effects. Riggers are good for very fine lines. Angled brushes (like brights, but trimmed at an angle) let you do linear sorts of things, as well as soft edges just by loading the point instead of the whole brush.

If you're going to work on relatively small formats (say 16x20 and under) in easel painting (oil) style, then start with a #6 flat and round. If you like lots of detail, add a couple of smaller rounds. If you like big simple shapes, move up a couple of sizes. Sables are good for overpainting and detail, but you can live without them at first.

For watermedia-style acrylics, you'll want the softer sable-like synthetics, a 1" wash brush and a couple of small rounds for lines and detail.

As you go on, you'll accumulate more brushes and decide which ones you like best. In fact, they seem to have a tendency to pile up when you're not looking. You don't need a whole lot to start out.

CrowsNest
02-24-2000, 12:03 AM
What are the best brand of brushes for the money? I am fairly new at acrylic painting and was also wondering the best style, size, etc. of brush to use. I paint mostly portraits but was thinking of exploring into landscapes. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Electra
02-24-2000, 12:41 AM
I've been told that Winsor and Newton University series is a good investment to make.

Personally, I've made several brush-buying mistakes, so I'll impart them while I'm here.

Don't make the mistake of buying camel hair brushes. They are much too soft and shed terribly.

Sables are your best bet, but a medium-soft white nylon or yellow taklon is also a good idea. Feel the bristles before buying them. Acrylic bristles should be firm, but not too firm. They should be soft enough to bend easily but not soft enough to fluff out if you blow on them.

Also, I bought a fan brush made of some type of white natural bristle, made by Martin F. Weber. After I used it only about 5 or 6 days the bristles began to get stained and break off. Bad idea.

I have several very fine Loew-Cornell sables that have proven to be very good brushes.

Good luck!



------------------
Electra
---
Life is less about who you are, and more about who you choose to be.

HappyPainter
03-20-2000, 07:20 PM
I've found that the most durable and easiest to clean brushes when using acrylics, are Taklon. It's a golden hue Sythetic bristle with the choice of long or short handles, and they are a dream! Unfortunately they don't have Fan brushes (as far as I've seen) made of golden Taklon. So... That's my two cents! :-)

~Happy Painter

Drew Davis
03-21-2000, 05:44 PM
L-C makes golden Taklon fan brushes in their 7000 series. I've got one right here http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

HappyPainter
03-21-2000, 07:31 PM
Oooo!!! I'm turning green with envy! I'll have to go and get a set (different sizes!!) when I find where they sell them.

*grr* I want some!

~Happy Painter
: )

vita brevis
04-04-2000, 09:04 AM
If you don't mind a little wallowing in paint,use regular household sponges cut in half with water squeezed out. Thin the acrylics also. Good for initial filling in and gessoing canvas. Disposable foam brushes from any hardware store are also great,you can reuse them.As far as brands, Utrects own are a good buy plus online ordering. No, this is not a paid commercial.

Jamiegossett28
05-17-2004, 11:17 PM
[B][/BI've found that the most durable and easiest to clean brushes when using acrylics, are Taklon. It's a golden hue Sythetic bristle with the choice of long or short handles, and they are a dream! Unfortunately they don't have Fan brushes (as far as I've seen) made of golden Taklon. So... That's my two cents! :-)

~Happy Painter

yes they do, several sizes. i have some Dick Blick sells them

HRH Goldie
05-18-2004, 04:19 AM
Well I personally love angle shaders - they are pretty brilliant for florals and are always the ones I end up with in my hand.
I was bought a set of sables for Xmas but I'm frightened to use them with acrylics. Maybe I could use them for glazing. Acrylic in its natural state seems to thick for the natural hair of a sable.
Christine

PS I'm having a dreadful job finding a large wash brush locally. I've only got a chinese wash brush which doesn't work particularly well again with thicker paint. It looks like I will have to look at mail order but not from abroad as shipping is so expensive. I could have had another brush by the time I've paid that :mad:
Christine

Andrew
05-18-2004, 01:15 PM
My favorite brand of brush for acrylics is the Pro Stroke Ultimate Acrylic Brush by Creative Mark. The are a blend of synthetics, and are the closest to natural bristle in texture and consistancy of any synthetic I have tried. Jerry's Artarama has them on sale frequently. Next are Blick's Taklon and Wonder White nylon brushes.

I still use Natural Bristles, normally the Eterna form Grumbacher. At a buck an a half per brush, they are a solid investment for quick studies and loose plein aire work.

For a wash brush, I invested in a 2" professional house painters brush for waterbased paint. It was a $25 plus investment, but save for some paint discolorisation on the handle, is still looks practically new 4 yrs later. I also use it to apply my primers and gessos to my supports, so it gets a lot of mileage.

Andrew

dspinks
05-18-2004, 01:35 PM
My favorite brand of brush for acrylics is the Pro Stroke Ultimate Acrylic Brush by Creative Mark. The are a blend of synthetics, and are the closest to natural bristle in texture and consistancy of any synthetic I have tried. Jerry's Artarama has them on sale frequently.

And Pro Stroke has huge brushes - I just purchased 1-1/2" and 2" filberts - haven't found them that size in a nice springy synthetic anywhere else. They are so nice I used ASW's 2-for-1 sale to get a set each for my watersoluble oils and acrylics.

Debra

welshman
05-18-2004, 05:38 PM
hi hrh goldie,if you are after some brushes have a look at jacksonsart.com or
johnjones.co.uk,they both have lots of choice and will send you a catalogue if you request one ,jacksons are the cheapest though ,i have dealt with both of them and will be using them again
hope this helps
regards john[welshman]

blumoon
05-18-2004, 09:42 PM
I found I really like the Daler "Dalon" brushes with the clear handles. They are synthetic and sable like and they seem to be durable, and dry very well.

surreal
05-19-2004, 12:09 AM
Well I personally love angle shaders - they are pretty brilliant for florals and are always the ones I end up with in my hand.
I was bought a set of sables for Xmas but I'm frightened to use them with acrylics. Maybe I could use them for glazing. Acrylic in its natural state seems to thick for the natural hair of a sable.
Christine

PS I'm having a dreadful job finding a large wash brush locally. I've only got a chinese wash brush which doesn't work particularly well again with thicker paint. It looks like I will have to look at mail order but not from abroad as shipping is so expensive. I could have had another brush by the time I've paid that :mad:
Christine

I ruined lots of sable brushes when I first started using acrylic paints.
Now I only use synthetic brushes for acrylic painting.
:)

Einion
05-19-2004, 07:13 AM
Christine, you might like to also give Art Express in Leeds a try (0800 731 4185), I think their prices are good and they were pleasant to deal with. I have a catalogue of their that's a few years old now but they have a very good selection of brushes, ten pages' worth. This page (http://www.searchpress.com/materials_art.htm) might give you some other useful options.

You can paint with sable and Kolinsky brushes with acrylics but you really have to use the paint diluted and a good cleaning routine is a must. The occasional conditioning won't hurt either.

Einion

Edit: I see Art Express have a website now, here (http://shop.artexpress.co.uk/asp/default.asp).

HRH Goldie
05-19-2004, 10:50 AM
Wow :D
Thanks for all of the useful info.
I had a quick spy at the two you suggested Fred and Einion Art Express looks pretty comprehensive.
I think it will take a long time to go through these but at least I now know where to get hold of stuff without getting my eyes taken out in the process lol! Only thing is Art Express doesn't picture all of its range so its going to be pretty hard to choose.
I took a quick look at the paints on all of these sites and started drooling!
I see that at jacksonsart there is a terrific price on canvasses compared to what I have been paying.
Thanks once again
Christine