When it comes to art, the excitement of picking up brand new paints and watching the shades blend to create your latest piece is unmatched. The unsung heroes in this whole process are undoubtedly your paint brushes so it is only fair to give them the recognition they deserve. It goes without saying that no art piece would truly look great without use of the right paintbrush. From the small details to the bigger ones, you can find the perfect brush for the strokes to come out just the way you want them.
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Choosing the correct ones from different types of paint brushes based on your medium and paints requires knowledge and skill. Listed below are all types of painting brushes you should stock up on as a beginner or a professional.
Types of Paint Brushes
1. Mop Brush:
This type of brush is typically used when in need of covering large areas, especially with watercolours. As the name suggests, this brush is very commonly used for “mopping” techniques like washes. Featuring soft bristles that form a round or oval shape, a mop brush is thick.
Other techniques you can use mop brushes for are blending paints, mixing oil paints and acrylics, adding minute details with lighter or darker shades and such. To maintain the condition of your mop brush, make sure you keep it clean at all times and allow the bristles to dry properly before storing as over soaking can cause the bristles to lose smoothness.
2. Flat Brush:
Flat brushes are another very common option that you will definitely find in every artist’s kit. These are a narrow type of brush with the bristles usually arranged in a wide manner so that they lay flat but not very thick. Flat brushes have a distinctive, sharp edge that you can easily tell apart from other types of brushes that tend to have a rounder edge.
You can use flat brushes for many different purposes including washes of different opacities, blending of colours, sharpening of edges, borders of paintings and many more. As these brushes are available in short as well as long bristle lengths, they are extremely versatile and helpful.
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3. Rigger Brush:
Contrary to what many inexperienced artists often believe, rigger brushes are a type of round brush. It is very easy to be thrown off by the extremely thin and sharp point of this brush. These brushes have a very small amount of bristles that are on the longer end in terms of length.
Despite the few bristles, they can hold a lot of fluid paint and are best used to make long, continuous strokes. You can put this to good use for a variety of purposes like outlining, lettering, calligraphic markings, and making other delicate elements like waves, leaves, tendrils and more.
4. Fan Brush:
As the name suggests, this brush resembles a fan. It has a thin base with a wide, splayed out bristle area that is quite thin and does not contain too many strands of hair. The edges of these brushes extend outside the base of the brush. These are usually made with natural hair strands for a smoother feel.
An interesting thing about fan brushes is how less they are used in the actual painting elements of any art piece. You can best use these to add textural details in paintings like landscape, ruralscape, etc. or to dust off any excess product on the surface.
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5. Bright Brush:
A bright brush is a type of flat brush that has short bristles, unlike flat brushes. It is thin and the overall shape of the bristle always comes off at a generous square. These bristles are typically stiff so the brush can be used to paint in short, distinct strokes.
One should always remember to keep in mind how stiff these bristles are as careless usage of this brush, especially in wet-on-wet scenarios can cause the lower layer of the paint to come off with the upper layer. You can also use this brush to paint open, wide areas in a quicker way.
6. Angled Brush:
They can be very easily used to paint larger areas but are typically the best when it comes to painting round edges. Angled brushes will, without a doubt, give you a clean edge on any painting without any hint of shabbiness to dull the painting.
Another essential that every artist must have is a set of angled brushes. These have flat bristles with an angled or slanted edge — one edge featuring longer bristles than the other. You can find these in any store in a number of sizes ranging from small, angled tips to larger ones.
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7. Round Brush:
These brushes are easily the most common type available in the markets. Introduced to everyone at a very early age, these are the brushes young students are typically required to carry for their arts class. Round brushes — you guessed it, have round tips that you can find in blunt as well as sharper edges.
The blunt brushes have more bristles while the sharp ones have less to give it a more pointed edge. The thicker ones can be used to fill in larger areas while the thinner ones are better suited for minor detailing. These are a versatile tool that you can use for a number of painting techniques based on the pressure applied while using.
8. Liner Brush:
While it is very easy to believe brushes do not get thinner than round brushes, liner brushes are proof that they do. These are extremely thin brushes with long bristles that can be either flat or square. If you pick out an angled liner brush, the same is called a sword brush.
The small size of a liner brush tip is useful in many detailing areas of any painting along with others like writing letters, etc. These brushes are widely used by artists to sign their paintings and need to be dipped in an inky consistency liquid to work well.
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9. Wash Brush:
This is another type of brush that you will commonly find in any artist’s supplies, especially if their niche is landscape, rural scape or cityscape painting. A wash brush is extremely wide and flat with medium length bristles that make it ideal for covering a large amount of space in just a couple of strokes.
You can also find a set of these brushes in different widths, with the widest being an acrylic wash brush ideal for varnishing with bold strokes. While these are exclusively used for applying washes, the width also makes it useful for other purposes that may or may not be art related.
10. Filbert Brush:
Last on this list of types of paint brush are filbert brushes. This brush looks similar to a makeup eyeshadow brush with flat bristles that end in a round or oval shaped edge. Similar to other types of brushes, you can find these in different shapes as per your requirements.
This single brush has many different edges packed into one so you can use it for everything from large, long strokes to narrow, pointed scribbles using the edge.
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The list above features just about every type of paint brush an artist needs to know about. Stocking up on high-quality brushes will not only help you get a better grasp on the art of painting itself, it will also help you explore where exactly your interests lie. A lot can be changed with the simple stroke of a paint brush so make sure you do not miss out!
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