WetCanvas
Home Member Services Content Areas Tools Info Center WC Partners Shop Help
Channels:
Search for:
in:

Welcome to the WetCanvas forums. You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload your own photos and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit our help center.

Go Back   WetCanvas > Explore Media > Oil Painting
User Name
Password
Register Mark Forums Read

Salute to our Partners
WC! Sponsors

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

Our Sponsors
Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #16   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-09-2004, 05:15 PM
IAmLeavingEbay4Ever IAmLeavingEbay4Ever is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 199
 
Hails from Abu Dhabi
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.
  #17   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-09-2004, 05:51 PM
dcorc dcorc is offline
A Local Legend
London UK
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 8,950
 
Hails from United Kingdom
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?

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
  #18   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-09-2004, 07:07 PM
IAmLeavingEbay4Ever IAmLeavingEbay4Ever is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 199
 
Hails from Abu Dhabi
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.
  #19   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-09-2004, 08:33 PM
Little-brush's Avatar
Little-brush Little-brush is offline
Senior Member
Massachusetts
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 404
 
Hails from United States
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?

Last edited by Little-brush : 09-09-2004 at 08:59 PM.
  #20   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-17-2004, 02:28 AM
WFMartin's Avatar
WFMartin WFMartin is offline
A WC! Legend
Glendale, Arizona
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 11,701
 
Hails from United States
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
__________________
wfmartin. My Blog "Creative Realism"... http://www.wfmartin.com
  #21   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-17-2004, 05:21 AM
Dallen's Avatar
Dallen Dallen is offline
A Local Legend
CA
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 5,804
 
Hails from United States
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
  #22   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-17-2004, 08:12 PM
jdadson's Avatar
jdadson jdadson is offline
Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,894
 
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.
  #23   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-18-2004, 05:44 PM
habondia's Avatar
habondia habondia is offline
Senior Member
Stockholm, Sweden
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 110
 
Hails from Sweden
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... 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.
  #24   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-02-2004, 03:27 PM
nick-50's Avatar
nick-50 nick-50 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 110
 
Hails from United Kingdom
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.
  #25   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-02-2004, 07:02 PM
bobcue's Avatar
bobcue bobcue is offline
Senior Member
Cue Western Australia
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 177
 
Hails from Australia
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
__________________











dont paint what you see.....paint what you feel..R Murray
  #26   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-10-2004, 11:38 AM
JamieWG's Avatar
JamieWG JamieWG is offline
A WC! Legend
New York's Hudson Valley
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 24,936
 
Hails from United States
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.

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
__________________
My Blog/Website/Paintings/Demos/Studio Tours/Paintmaking/Pochade Boxes
If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got.
  #27   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-10-2004, 05:02 PM
xkarolx's Avatar
xkarolx xkarolx is offline
Member
US-DE-CH-PL
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 95
 
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.

Last edited by xkarolx : 10-10-2004 at 05:04 PM.
  #28   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-10-2004, 06:46 PM
Sketchpad Sketchpad is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 8
 
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".

Last edited by Sketchpad : 10-10-2004 at 06:48 PM.
  #29   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-10-2004, 08:03 PM
Mario's Avatar
Mario Mario is offline
Lord of the Arts
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 2,632
 
Hails from Mexico
Re: Small or large brushes?

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.
__________________
"I would paint something and be satisfied with it for a period of time and then, foolishly, I would go into it again and destroy it. That became so painful that I stopped painting for about five years. Iíd get to a place, maybe an ecstatic moment, or maybe not that good, but somehow it was concluded... Why go and mess with it? But the idea would come to go back into it, assuming that the more times Iíd go back into it, the better itíd get. Well, itís just the reverse!! It doesnít work that way. Itís a gift. Itís kind of given to you" -Nathan Oliveira
  #30   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-11-2004, 03:19 AM
DLGardner's Avatar
DLGardner DLGardner is offline
Immortalized
Somewhere under the rainbow!PNW
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 4,835
 
Hails from United States
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
__________________
My website
Prints of all my work are available at Fine Art America
My author blog

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:13 AM.


© 2014 F+W All rights reserved.