View Full Version : Newbie looking for Brush Opinions

06-21-2011, 07:37 PM
Hello Artworld!

I've decided to try my hand at painting and I am looking for opinions, thoughts, likes, dislikes....etc...etc regarding paint brushes. I know this is a matter of opinion and I'll probably learn the hard way - like most painters have - but I would like to hear from a few painters.

As a complete newbie, I have overwhelmed myself with all the Online ART Sites and with everything they have to offer. It is very daunting. Especially when one is trying to make sense of all the brushes, their manufacturers, and the different types of brush materials.

One of the major drawbacks is that there really isn't a REAL ART STORE in my area. I only have the Big Chain Craft store to shop from. Their selection is limited as you well know and this makes it hard.

Right now, I have tried:
- Grumbacher Bristlette (Local store purchase)
- Robert Simmons Titanium and Saphire (Local store purchase)
- Princeton 6300 (Online Purchase)

Of the above brands, I liked the Princeton the best which was of cousre an online purchase. Figures???? So now I am wondering about other brands I see in catalogs and online. How does one sort through this mess? Maybe I should go to a Big City and track down the all the art stores and see what's available.

So......what brushes are you using? What material type? and of course why?

I will appreciate all comments, thoughts and opinions. Thank-you

P.s. Oh - if you're wondering about my opinion of my local brush purchases, I preferred the Grumbacher Bristlettes over the Robert Simmons Titaniums.

06-21-2011, 08:40 PM
It really is trial and error.

What works for me may not be agreeable at all for you.

In time you will find what your preference is and how/where will be best to purchase it. Believe me it can be daunting but be patient and it will come around.

Consider a little time reading in the information kiosk (see my signature line)

06-21-2011, 08:54 PM
I LOVE Trekel,l they're just.... lush.... rich feeling... I don't know how to describe it lol Definitely check them out.

06-21-2011, 09:11 PM
Hog bristle. Biggest bang for your buck so you can stock up on more styles of brushes. I use "blick.com" stuff. Quick clean up. Best advice for protecting your brushes is to hang up something like a mobil that allows to hang your drying brushes with a cheap plastic clothes pin suspended to protect your bristles.
PS if you start getting a warm glow from using your brushes you must be on something. LOL

06-21-2011, 09:30 PM
Hi and welcome to the forum.

First off a general tip: search is your friend. For subjects that are sure to have been asked about before there will be information in previous threads; and with brushes it's more than a little - a search of the forum for brush in thread titles gives 96 threads, a search for brushes yields 94.

Here are a few:

There is inevitably some try-and-see when it comes to brushes I'm afraid, because it's only by using a brush - on the surfaces you like to paint on with the paint you're using - will you know what works for you.

Before getting to thoughts of one brand over another the main thing is to figure out the type(s) of brushes you want. Working smoothly and thinly? Then softhair brushes are likely what will suit. Painting with thicker paint and want some brush texture? Then you need something stiffer, so synthetic bristle brushes are the way to go. You can of course paint in both ways, in which case you'll need some of both kinds.

Then there's shape to consider and with the similarity of flats, brights and filberts you can see how you'd need to try one of each to decide which you prefer (possibly all three, each for different jobs).

In terms of bristle type, synthetics are a very good match for acrylic paints overall and they'll last and last if cared for well. If you have any need to do really fine detail then Kolinsky rounds are the top choice if you can afford them.


06-21-2011, 10:28 PM
I've used Simmons and Princeton and like them both. I'm going to be trying out some Silver brand brushes soon. I've heard a lot of people whose work and talent I respect sing their praises.

06-22-2011, 08:17 AM
Honestly? I use the cheapest I can get and I have a preference for those that are completely worn out.:)

06-22-2011, 11:28 AM
I know where you're coming from with regard to the big-box chain stores, but they can be a surprisingly good source of brushes. I really like the results I get with the Daler-Rowney "Simply Simmons" line as well as Royal & Langnickel's Majestic and Soft-Grip brushes--all of which are available at places like Michael's, Hobby Lobby, etc. No need to take my word for it--one evening in my acrylic painting class, the instructor was demonstrating a technique he thought would be helpful in my WIP, when he stopped suddenly and said, "These are good brushes." :lol:

George Servais
06-24-2011, 03:35 PM
The types of brushes you need depends a great deal on the technique you are using. Hog bristle for hard scrubbing, scumbeling and laying on heavy coats on canvas. Synthetics or sables for glazing techniques etc. I could go on and on but I think you get the idea. For the technique I learned I use Bristle, sable, synthetic flats and a hake brush. It all depends on what I need to do at the time. As far as bristle brushes go I have no real preference. For synthetic flats I like Dynasty Black Gold for their sharp chisel and for sables I but from Trekel. In the beginning it seems confusing but things will sort out for you. Just relax and have fun.
For good instruction go here http://www.yarnellschool.com :wave:

06-24-2011, 06:24 PM
BTW, Taklon is real popular, maybe the most popular synthetic brush for acrylics from what I can tell, but I can't locate an answer to this question-

what is the difference between golden taklon and white taklon? Lots of people say one is softer than the other, but which is softer than which?

What are the pros and cons of each type of taklon?