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View Poll Results: Big or little brushes?
Bigger is always better. 20 18.02%
I'm afraid of anything large. 18 16.22%
Yes, yes, and yes! Big and little!! 71 63.96%
I don't use brushes, I use sticks! 2 1.80%
Voters: 111. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-06-2004, 01:34 PM
Carey Griffel's Avatar
Carey Griffel Carey Griffel is offline
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Small or large brushes?

This is a question born of curiosity, as I think that it's really just up to the individual artist and there's certainly no right or wrong... I got to thinking (highly dangerous, I know)...I've heard so many artists suggest the use of large brushes, the larger the better, in order to not get bogged down with details (among other reasons, I'm sure). But I find that I hate large brushes. In order for my work to look like I want it, I constantly find myself using a) my number 4 filbert and b) my number two round (except for blocking things in, of course). I hardly *ever* use anything bigger than a half inch for anything at all.

So, what do y'all use?

~!Carey

P.S. And option four is for people like Larry S.
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Last edited by Carey Griffel : 09-06-2004 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 09-06-2004, 02:12 PM
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Keith Russell Keith Russell is offline
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Re: Small or large brushes?

I start with large brushes, then work smaller and smaller.

Ignoring details is as bad (IMO) as obsessing over them.

K
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Old 09-06-2004, 02:19 PM
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artbabe21 artbabe21 is offline
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Re: Small or large brushes?

Depending on the size canvas & what I am painting brush size changes of course, but I find myself more comfortable with smaller brushes & that's exactly why I get too much detail! One of these days I'll figure it out but may use a small brush to do less detail...LOL...I'm not sure why I don't care for larger brushes, maybe I haven't enough practive controlling them...

A #8 filbert is about as large as I care for.
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Old 09-06-2004, 02:23 PM
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fiannah fiannah is offline
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Re: Small or large brushes?

I find myself using smaller brushes most of the time.
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Old 09-06-2004, 03:08 PM
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Re: Small or large brushes?

I use large and small, depending on what I'm working on. I'd advise any newcomer to oils to use large though. I painted with one of the best Landscape Artists in Southern Africa for a few years. He used the largest round brush ever. It tapered to a fine point with which he managed to paint the most amazing detail. I was always amazed watching him. I've tried to do the same myself, but always end up reaching for a smaller brush.
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Old 09-06-2004, 03:09 PM
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Jaysen Jaysen is offline
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Re: Small or large brushes?

My favourite brushes:

#3 Holbein filbert bristle
#6 Grumbacher 626b filbert
#8 davinci russian red sable
#3 and 5 Artbridge kolinsky sable rounds

I have a bunch of large bristle and hair brushes, but rarely use them. They tend to soak up too much paint and won't let go of it.
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Old 09-06-2004, 05:02 PM
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shrinkinviolet shrinkinviolet is offline
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Re: Small or large brushes?

My brush size is mainly in proportion to the size of the canvas among other things. I do find the smaller the brush the "tighter" my painting.
Judy
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Old 09-08-2004, 12:53 AM
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gunzorro gunzorro is offline
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Re: Small or large brushes?

That's a huge open-ended question! It depends on the canvas size, painting style and detail needed.
Personally, the smallest brush I normally use is a 6R in hog bristle, going up to my most recent purchase: 20FB in hog bristle -- that's a big brush!
I am preparing to buy Gainsborough flats between #14-20. I have Brights in 14-18 and use them pretty often in undercoats.
I use #8-12 the most, in all brush styles (hog). Favorite, most versatile brush? Maybe a #8R. Jim
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Old 09-08-2004, 06:22 PM
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Miss Vicky Miss Vicky is offline
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Re: Small or large brushes?

Greetings and Blessings All
I use both big and small. I like to experiment with the brush to see what type of stroke. I sometimes let the brush stroke dictate instead of drawing with the brush. Depending on the area, the subject, if there is detail, I vary my brushes. I try not to be confined to any one brush, even thou I have my favourites.
Blessings to all
and a special hello to Miss Cathleen (artbabe) "I'm back" I hope
Miss Vicky
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Old 09-08-2004, 06:28 PM
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Re: Small or large brushes?

Hello Vicky!! it's certainly good to see you back at WC!
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Old 09-08-2004, 07:05 PM
IAmLeavingEbay4Ever IAmLeavingEbay4Ever is offline
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Re: Small or large brushes?

I read a book by a student of Bouguereau. He said to use the largest brush that is small enough to do the job. A photo of Bouguereau showed him with a lot of brushes that looked like about 1/2" wide and smaller.

I think the idea of using huge brushes, huge canvases, and loose painting is more of a modern art thing, and I utterly reject anything coming from them.
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Old 09-08-2004, 11:02 PM
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gunzorro gunzorro is offline
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Re: Small or large brushes?

Well, my, my! And pshaw!
Speaking as one of "them" I utterly reject whatever your are purporting.
Duh.
Onward with large canvases and bold brushwork.
There is always tatting for those with faint hearts!
Jim
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Old 09-09-2004, 04:45 AM
dcorc dcorc is offline
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Re: Small or large brushes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by IAmLeavingEbay4Ever
I read a book by a student of Bouguereau. He said to use the largest brush that is small enough to do the job. A photo of Bouguereau showed him with a lot of brushes that looked like about 1/2" wide and smaller.

I think the idea of using huge brushes, huge canvases, and loose painting is more of a modern art thing, and I utterly reject anything coming from them.

You need to visit more art galleries, see more pre-20thC paintings in real life, and look at the brushwork!

Dave
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Old 09-09-2004, 02:27 PM
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gunzorro gunzorro is offline
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Re: Small or large brushes?

Thanks Dave! As I recall, many Old Masters were quite bold and loose in their approach. Quite exciting to see that change from the flat iconic styles that preceded them. Jim
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Old 09-09-2004, 03:12 PM
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piper2 piper2 is offline
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Re: Small or large brushes?

Aw, come on people, it's not the size, it's how you use it!

I personally only have one brush, since I'm still working out of my cheesy oil gift set that I got for Christmas, which came with one brush. It's about 1/3", stained, a little crispy, and on death's doorstep. I'm thinking of replacing it with something exactly like it. I, like my neurotic Jack Russell, am very reluctant to try something new.

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