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IAmLeavingEbay4Ever 09-09-2004 05:15 PM

Re: Small or large brushes?
 
I've been to the Getty and Norton Simon museums. I saw a lot of fine craftsmanship on the pre-twentieth century paintings. I saw some examples of extreme accuracy and control in how they handled the paint brush. I even saw one very small painting with extremely fine detailing that was done with a single hair brush. I recall seeing some brush strokes about 5/8" wide, but that was only on a few really huge paintings.

I had a HORRIBLE painting "teacher" who favored german expressionism. She couldn't paint or draw as far as I could see from anything she did. She told us to use very large brushes and canvases. I'm not taking any advice from someone who makes hideous, childlike paintings.

I only use large brushes to paint large areas, because it would take too long with a smaller brush.

dcorc 09-09-2004 05:51 PM

Re: Small or large brushes?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by IAmLeavingEbay4Ever
I've been to the Getty and Norton Simon museums. I saw a lot of fine craftsmanship on the pre-twentieth century paintings. I saw some examples of extreme accuracy and control in how they handled the paint brush. I even saw one very small painting with extremely fine detailing that was done with a single hair brush. I recall seeing some brush strokes about 5/8" wide, but that was only on a few really huge paintings.

I had a HORRIBLE painting "teacher" who favored german expressionism. She couldn't paint or draw as far as I could see from anything she did. She told us to use very large brushes and canvases. I'm not taking any advice from someone who makes hideous, childlike paintings.

I only use large brushes to paint large areas, because it would take too long with a smaller brush.


So if your horrible teacher had told you to use small brushes, you would be opposed to those? :p

Effective painting is done by using the right sized brushes for the job at hand. The advice you quoted previously to use the largest brush which is small enough for the job is correct - painting is about covering areas in colour - in general, use the largest brush you can comfortably use to cover a given area as efficiently as possible.

In general, block-in initially in larger brushes, and as the painting progresses, move to smaller brushes for increasingly fine detail.

If you look at paintings by Turner, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, Sargent, Hals, Titian, Constable, Waterhouse.... there's plenty of broad brushwork on display.

Dave

IAmLeavingEbay4Ever 09-09-2004 07:07 PM

Re: Small or large brushes?
 
I don't like the broad brushwork on many of Sargent's paintings. I like Sargent's finely rendered paintings much better.

Little-brush 09-09-2004 08:33 PM

Re: Small or large brushes?
 
I found some of Rembrandt's fine pieces are really small, anyone has idea what size he used and what was his favorite?

WFMartin 09-17-2004 02:28 AM

Re: Small or large brushes?
 
I use larger brushes for the blocking in layer, such as Dave mentioned. Then as my layers progress, and I get to the more detailed passages, I go to smaller and smaller brushes.

But, more important than the brush size, I'm finding that during the roughing in stage, especially, it seems more important to use long-handled brushes. I've noticed lately that this has been the most helpful when doing portrait and animal portrait work. I'm finding that being able to view my work at a greater distance as I'm working on it is becoming quite important to me.

Also, quite recently I have determined through experience that except for the finest of details, that I have been favoring filbert brushes over flats or brights. So, lately I'd have to say that long-handled filberts have been getting a real workout in my studio. The interesting thing is that I was discovering that my older flats were getting more use as the corners were becoming worn down, thus creating a sort of filbert in their shape. So, I decided that a buying filberts new was the next logical step, and I enjoy using the new filberts very much.

Bill

Dallen 09-17-2004 05:21 AM

Re: Small or large brushes?
 
There is an excellent piece about John Singer Sargeant's painting techniques with a Link to it posted on the Classical Art Board.

Sargeant favored large brushes.

I think it would be helpgul yo know how we all define "large" and "small"
Is a large brush 2 -3 inches wide, or is it 6 inches wide, to you?
Is a small brush 5 hairs, 1/4' wide or what, to you?

Dallen

jdadson 09-17-2004 08:12 PM

Re: Small or large brushes?
 
I'm only a beginner, but I have it on pretty good authority that it's best to use the largest brush that will do the job. That makes sense to me for a couple of reasons: One is that you can paint the area with fewer strokes. Less is more, and all that. The other is that you will not be tempted to press the brush so it paints a wider line. Paint that's applied deftly to the surface always looks better than paint that's mashed into the surface.

habondia 09-18-2004 05:44 PM

Re: Small or large brushes?
 
I agree with using long-handled brushes...and I use all sizes depending what I'm working on! It never occured to me that one would only use small or large... :confused: If you need a lot of texture for something, you need a big happy bold brush. If you need minute detail, a tiny brush (or a huge one that tapers to a fine point if you know how to use it which I don't :) ). I guess it just depends on style, but most of my favorite work in the art world combines bold with detail. Rembrandt is a perfect example.

Actually this is something I have been meaning to ask here: does anyone recommend a certain make for 0 or 00 brushes in oil? (Yes, I get minute sometimes.) The ones I buy get destroyed pretty quickly, since they're not really made for oil. Maybe such small ones don't exist? I've never found them anyway.

nick-50 10-02-2004 03:27 PM

Re: Small or large brushes?
 
surely the best brushes are those which allow for the most controll over your painting , as soemone here has implied. if the brush is huge and it gives great controll it is right for you. i use small, no more than ten asa rule, in isabey, for instance, for most of my glaze work. i find that keeping them small and manageable, one has total control over the work one does. i am curious about those mongoose brushes, would love to try them, they are a synthetic of course, and would love to try sable, black and red. The trouble is, one can spend until the money runs out, painting is addictive, as is buying.

bobcue 10-02-2004 07:02 PM

Re: Small or large brushes?
 
well I use all sizes and other things like...toothbrushes.fingers,and anything to give me the effect I want in my painting :p

JamieWG 10-10-2004 11:38 AM

Re: Small or large brushes?
 
I use sizes ranging from 24 to 15/0. It goes without saying that a 24x36" painting requires different size brushes than a 2x3" painting. :rolleyes:

I agree with Bill that filberts are king when it comes to portraiture and figures. For most other subjects, I prefer flats and rounds. I start with the largest bristles possible for the size of the painting and subject matter, and switch to smaller sables or Monarchs once the first layer is down.

Jamie

xkarolx 10-10-2004 05:02 PM

Re: Small or large brushes?
 
I only use filberts, mostly small, + the very small rounds (00-08) for details.
The rest just didn't work for me...but I guess it depends on what you're painting.

also, I use the cheapest brushes, I find that the real hair tends to break much easier than the synthetic ones.

Sketchpad 10-10-2004 06:46 PM

Re: Small or large brushes?
 
As a beginner in oils the best instruction I have received, regarding brush sizes, came from William Whitaker's web site (www.williamwhitaker.com) where one of his demonstrations includes the advice to decide the biggest brush you think you can use for the job in hand - and then use the next size up. Obviously the job in hand will change umpteen times during the course of a painting. When my paintings are anywhere near as wonderful as Mr Whitaker's, then I might start to question his advice! Meanwhile it is working well for me and preventing me from becoming too "fussy".

Mario 10-10-2004 08:03 PM

Re: Small or large brushes?
 
:wink2: :angel: :cat: I use 004 to begin with then I move down to smaller sizes.. it's detail that counts .... the more the better.. don't listen to these guys that preach the bigger brushes..they are just jealous of the fine detail that us obsessive types can render. :evil:

DLGardner 10-11-2004 03:19 AM

Re: Small or large brushes?
 
I love my filberts too Bill!

I think variety is best. And it depends on what you like and how you express yourself.

Lots of variety here for sure.

My big brushes put on the paint and make my figures move. I couldn't get the motion in my paintings that I want without them. Its kind of like the difference between a charcoal drawing and a tight pencil drawing. What do you want to relate to your viewer? Do you want to spell out every detail to them or do you want to let them fill in the blanks?

I use little brushes too.

Its good to know when to quit though.

Dianne


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