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Readers Respond: What Type, Style, or Size of Paint Brush Do You Use the Most?

Responses: 19


Do you have a particular type of paint brush you like using the most? What size is it, what shape, and what are the hairs made from? Why do you like it so much, and how many others have you tried? Share your experiences and reasons why you use the paint brushes you do.

Anything goes!

I like any type of brush so long as I can use it for what I need it for. I do like brushes a little bit on the smaller side, especially because I love putting in details, but large brushes are fine when I'm trying to fill in big spaces or just get a general idea for everything. I love synthetic bristles a lot, too; they seem smoother to me in both feel and when they paint.
—Guest Cromwell

The good old round brush

I think my favorite would have to be the round brush. The size 6 brush is particularly appealing to me, though I don't know why. I use it for watercolor painting. I suppose I like round brushes the most, because for most of my childhood, until I was about 12 or 13 or so, I used only round brushes, and when I paint now, I guess it sort of brings sweet memories.
—Guest Rose

Riggers and Flats

It kind of depends on what kind of painting you do, but these are my favorites for what I am doing now. (Besides these I also use 1 1/2-4" housepainter's bushes, a squeegee, toothbushes, old credit cards, and palette knives--I love the Liquitex Freestyles. By the way I often paint broadly with a very wide brush, and then use a liner, rigger or other small brush to slightly change the brushstroke. If you are careful, you can do that combination to get it to look like you got it right in a single gesture, even if you didn't.

Brush Type: Riggers

I love my riggers! Not only do I use one for my signature, but for fine lines anywhere, especially grasses and twigs, etc. I have sizes 2/0 through 4 and use them all. For my signature I use the smaller ones and vary the brush strokes to create the varying widths I desire. The riggers are indispensable when I am painting in the Asian ink and wash style.

Brush for Paper

In doing watercolor I have found the no. 6 round brush the most versatile, although my 3/4" flat wash has gotten me some excellent results. I also use a tiny flat, one of my favs from my oil painting days, almost as much as my liner.
—Guest Dennis

Flat Brushes

Flats produce some crisp and straight edges, or lines. I agree with Jon's comment, ya' get little nervous lines and areas with small. They can't hold much paint, so re-loading threaten the line anyway. If I want detail I use Faber-Castile (Pitt) pens. Brush tips, and great range of greys. Since they are water based India ink can be blended. Use them constantly. Very good quality brushes do matter, but I'm afraid to use them (acrylics). I end up using brushes in those cheap variety packs. Something to be said for technique also.
—Guest john

Script Brush

I would not paint without my script or rigger brush. Fine detail is much easier with this long-bristle brush.

Angle Brush

I've found that I really love angle brushes. I find they're easier to control for sharp edges and I love the types of brush strokes I can get.

Favorite Brush is a Flat one

I love the flat brushes! Especially the 1-inch size. Gets the paint on the painting quickly to give me a general idea about colors, shapes, etc., without getting picky, picky about details. And it is so versatile, using the flat side, the ends, even the corners, for dabbing in smaller areas. What's not to love about it!

Little Brushes are the Work of the Devil

Always use the biggest brush you can get away with. The larger the brush you use, the wider variety of marks you can make. Learn to handle a large brush skillfully and you will be able to make surprisingly small, delicate marks with it. On the other hand if you always resort to tiny little brushes to make tiny little marks you will never develop this ability, furthermore your painting will lack both cohesion and conviction. Any brush smaller than about 1/2" is a step down the slippery slope which leads to a painterly hell of painting the whiskers on the portrait of your neighbour's kittens or the beads of sweat on a butterfly's brow whilst simultaneously missing the big picture altogether. You have been warned!
—Guest jon

Favorite Brush

I very much like a flat, coarse textured brush, about a mid-size, because I can paint square corners, or lightly touched fine lines, or just about anything I want.
—Guest Ray Brown

I Love Them All!

I use every size and shape of brush and have a fantastic basic collection. I tend toward bigger brushes as I usually paint on large canvas'. I've also used rags, beauty tools, and other misc. just to see what kind of 'brush' strokes I would get.

All Are Favorites

I do not know the names or number of brushes. I only paint for the enjoyment and mainly for and with my kids. so I use a variety of them.
—Guest -strokes of color

Brush preference: flat and round

I like using flat brush for spreading paint on large surfaces, round small brush for details.
—Guest chavali

Favorite Brushes

I like to do large paintings starting at 16x20" and up. Mostly up... I'm using Lowe Cornell synthetic bristle, 2" for blocking in large areas. A #12 flat angular and a #6 and #12 flbert for most of the rest. I like the angular for painting edges and tight spots. I have smaller rounds and rigger's that I use for details. Using acrylic I keep a container of water with a screen in the bottom for cleaning them off. I have a complete set but most haven't seen paint. I'm not against trying anything to get paint on canvas such as rollers, pads and foam brushes.

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