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BRUSH TEXTURESOil painting brushes come in two different textures basically, and they are classified as hard and soft. Hard brushes are generally referred to as bristle brushes and they are quite resilient. Hard brushes are made from hog's hair and they are strong and stiff. They will hold a good amount of paint and can handle the oil painting medium quite well. I personally prefer working with bristle brushes exclusively as I tend to paint rather rough and direct.Soft oil painting brushes are made from softer hairs that come from animals like sable, squirrel, or mongoose. Softer brushes will generally give your painting a softer smoother appearance and are more often used for finishing or detailed work. Sable brushes are the most expensive usually but there are synthetic brushes made of nylon that are very good substitutes for sable. They are more resilient and cheaper than sable.BRUSH SHAPESThere are five shapes to brushes that are generally used and each is meant to have its own function. I prefer to paint with flats, brights and fliberts of various sizes, and only occasionally make use of the other shapes. This is my preference and you will certainly develop your own the longer you paint with oils.FlatsFlat oil painting brushes have a wide square end with medium to long hairs. Flat brushes generally have a lot of spring to them and can hold a lot of paint. You can use these brushes for broad sweeping strokes or you can turn the brush on its edge to create fine lines. Flat brushes are great for earlier stages of a painting when you are blocking in large areas.BrightsBright oil painting brushes are similar in shape to flat brushes but the hairs are shorter. They are best used for making shorter controlled strokes. They do not hold nearly as much paint as a flat brush.FilbertsThe filbert is also similar to the flat brush only the edge of the brush comes to a rounded shape. The hairs of the filbert are medium to long in length. This rounded shape will give you more control then a bright. The filbert is great for blending and figurative work.RoundsA round oil painting brush has a round or pointed tip. They hold a nice amount of paint and are great for making thin or thick lines. Use this brush for dabbing on dots or blotches of color. Round brushes are also good for washes, fills and detailed work. They are not suited for creating hard straight edges.FansThe fan oil painting brush is a flat fan shaped brush. The fan brush is a specialized brush. It is either used very often by the artist or not at all. It really depends on your style of painting. This brush is not suited for holding paint. It is used more often for blending colors and you should keep this brush clean and dry if you plan to do a lot of blending during a session. The brush will begin to lose its effectiveness when it becomes filled with paint. You may want to keep a few extras on hand.BRUSH SIZEOil painting brushes come in a variety of sizes indicated by numbers as in 1,2,4,6,8,10; size 1 being the smallest and 10 the largest.
Attributed to Creative Spotlite