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

Responses: 15


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.

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.

My favourite brushes 9 and 0

Usually I end up using two brushes, one the number 9/10 for larger areas and the number 0 which is my favourite as I can do fine detail in paintings and it also gives neatness to the edges.
—Guest Rizwana

Worn Out Brushes.

I have several new brushes which I have not yet used! I prefer old worn out brushes. Painting with acrylics I find wears down bristle brushes. The results are all sorts of worn edges that create some wonderful brush strokes. I have begun using synthetic brushes in addition to the bristle brushes. I find that I am refreshing my "stock" of round synthetic brushes because after a while they loose their pointed tips. I do not care if this happens with bristle rounds. I am thinking of also using the house painting brushes found in home centers as an addition to my bristle and nylon artists brushes.

Favourite brush #2 Filbert

I was taught to start with big flats and as the painting progresses,switch to smaller brushes. Whether out of habit or favouritism, I paint with a no#2 filbert. Yes, very small but I love the brush and I keep several in my brush collection. My canvases lately all have been 11x14. Another favourite.

One round brush, size 12

Having been inspired by your choice of one size 10 filbert, I have also taken to painting with just one (sometimes two) kind of brush. The biggest I can find in our local stores is size 12. Sometimes I also use a flat size 12 brush so that when it wears out, it becomes a filbert. Since then, my paintings have a unique look and feel, apart from my local contemporaries evident during group shows.

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