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Filbert Brush

A visual index of the different types of art paint brushes.

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Photo of Filbert Brush for Painting
Photo ©2011 Marion Boddy-Evans. Licensed to About.com, Inc.

A filbert is a narrow, flat brush with hairs that come to a rounded point. Used on its side, a filbert gives a thin line; used flat it produces a broad brush stroke; and by varying the pressure as you apply the brush to canvas, or flicking it across, you can get a tapering mark.

If the filbert has hog or bristle hairs, these will wear down with use. The photo shows (from left to right) a brand-new, never-used filbert, one that's done several miles of painting, and a very old one.

A filbert my favorite brush shape because it can produce such a variety of marks. Most of my paintings are done with a No.10 filbert. I don't throw away worn-down filberts as they can be useful for dry brushing; I don't feel sorry for them as I bash the hairs to spread them out.

See Also: Know Your Painting Brushes: Hairs and Bristles

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