Hardware focus: how to choose your brushes?

Hardware focus: how to choose your brushes?

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The choice of brush is essential to the success of a work: it is often said that the brush is an extension of the artist's hand. There are brushes of all sizes and shapes, in natural or synthetic bristles. Each brush is intended for a stage of production and for one or more techniques. Small guide (not exhaustive) of the different types of brushes.

The different shapes of brushes

A brush perhaps :

  • flat (acrylic, oil, tempera): long for more or less large areas (background), short for precise touches;
  • worn curved or cat's tongue (acrylic, oil, tempera): for painting in oil or acrylic, to achieve rounded contours, glazes (transparent color layer at the end of work), finishes, models (relief), repeats;
  • round (acrylic, watercolor, gouache, oil): for details and outlines;
  • fan (watercolor): for glazes, fades, blurring;
  • beveled (acrylic, watercolor, gouache, oil): for fine and regular lines, details.

There are still many forms of paint brushes, and it is necessary for any artist to have a wide range of paint brushes to adapt to all practices.

Brushes: the different types of bristles

Natural hair can be:

  • pig silk (acrylic, gouache, oil): robust and inexpensive, they can leave traces (material effects); they are often used for funds and masses;
  • petit-gris (watercolor, ink): the finest squirrel hair available, ideal for fine and delicate lines, to be reserved only for water-based techniques;
  • beef (acrylic, oil, tempera): inexpensive, flexible, for paintings thick;
  • mongoose (watercolor and ink): for fine details;
  • marten (acrylic, watercolor, gouache, oil): flexible, resistant, these are the most expensive.

Synthetic bristles (acrylic, gouache, oil) are of good quality, comparable to natural bristles and inexpensive. They are robust and elastic. Their main difference from natural hair is that it absorbs water and painting (therefore avoid for certain techniques). There are also several types of handles: the long ones for work on canvas on news: 739795 easel, and the short ones for close work on table. The prices of paint brushes range from a few euros to sometimes a hundred euros per unit.