With an artist's view of portraying creativity, all that makes it possible is important, right form the rag of cloth to wipe off the excess paint, to the most expensive canvas and tools for painting. With the right canvas on field, and oil colors to splash on, the other most important tool is the brushes that you will be using. Now when it comes to a brush for oil painting, regular brushes that work for other mediums of paint and color will not necessarily be apt for oil. The market has a lot of variants of painting brushes. Among these, one has to make sure to choose a brush that is easy to use and also gives you the desired effect.
The most recommended brushes are the ones that can hold the oil paint well and will not wear off after coloring the stroke. Most of the brushes are either too soft that do not rest back like a spring, and there are also chances of the bristles wearing off at the mouth of the brush and splashing paint on your canvas. Or there are brushes that are too hard and are not even flexible enough to give you the desired effect for the artwork. We will know more about the types of oil painting brushes, which will be a quick guide for beginners, and will also help you to choose the perfect brushes.
Brushes and Types
There are two types of material used to make brushes. Natural Hair and Synthetic Fiber. The best of these to begin with are natural brushes like hog bristle, that are made from hog hair. These are the most recommended brushes that are known to be of better quality, and good at bearing oil paint and retaining the color at the base of the bristles. These are tough brushes that can be used for oil paintings.
The other kind of brush is a softer brush as compared to hog hair brushes. It is called a sable bristle brush. This is basically made from the fur of animals like sable, mongoose and squirrels. These are soft brushes, and are on the expensive side. So for all the soft strokes and blends that you want in oil color paintings, a sable brush can be a good choice. There are synthetic brushes that are available which serve as excellent brushes too.
Shapes and Size
The most common type of paint brushes are:
- Bright - Short hair with flat body, excellent for short strokes in a composed pattern.
- Fan - It is a fan-shaped brush which is flat. This mainly serves in the blending of colors. It cannot hold more paint for a long time.
- Round - They are round in shape and are excellent to hold color. They can give more detailed work with a round and pointed tip.
- Filbert - This brush is similar like the flat brush in shape. The difference lies in the edge of the bristles that are rounded with medium and long hair.
- Flat - As the name suggests, it is a flat brush that is totally square or rectangular. It is a tough sort of a brush, and can hold good color, best for defining larger areas of the canvas.
The size of the brush will usually depend on their purpose in the artwork, and your comfort and command on a particular size of brush. The brush size is defined by the width of the bristle base, the point where the bristles are glued to the metal casing on one end of the brush, known as 'ferrule'. They come in various sizes, ranging from 0 to 10.
How to Choose Paint Brushes for Oil Paintings
When deciding on buying brushes, it is important that you know the area or the space that needs to be covered, the theme of the artwork, and at least a basic idea of your work. This will help you select the size of the brushes you will need, and also the patterns. Keep in mind the desired effect each brush gives, and also consider other factors like the length of the handle, weight, etc., which are all important.
The price factor is also very important when choosing. While the natural bristle brushes will be more expensive, there are sable and synthetic mixed brushes, or even synthetic brushes that are made only for oil paintings, and are a good option. It is not necessary that only the most expensive ones will give you the best results. There are certain brushes that are not expensive, yet are very good for oil painting. Choose wisely when buying brushes. You may not even need all the types and shapes of brushes available.
All you need to do is to pick the ones that will help paint your ideas. Most people will be comfortable only with two shapes of brushes with different sizes. Find out what gives you more command over the canvas and the desired effect. Make sure you choose a brush with an appropriate handle length. Some artists work very close to the canvas, and they may not require long handle brushes. But some a fair keep distance and paint, which needs longer handle brushes.
Most stores may not have the brushes specially designed for oil painting, and you might want to go and check some paint stores for artists that will give you the best. Check the brush before buying it, run a finger on the bristles in a vertical direction of the brush to check the quality of the bristles. Also take a water test, dip the bristles in water and check the stiffness compared to the softness of the brush. Also check if the bristles are in place and in good shape when wet.
Best Brands of Oil Paint Brushes
We are not ranking the brushes and brands. This is complied with the help of artists reviews of different brushes. Some of the best picks are: Escoda, Robert Simmons, Winsor, Newton, Rembrandt and Silver Brush. Most artists will use a typical brand which suits them the most, but choosing a good brush is an individual choice. Depending on the comfort and the requirement, an artist will choose over a brand of brush, or sometimes use many brands of brushes for a typical preference of shape and result.
This was a little piece of information about the best brushes to use for oil paintings. For all the beginners and the artists, it is wise to choose as per your preferred style of painting. Oil paintings make a fine stream of art, so go get some of your tools for the best in this stream!