Paint Brushes 101 - A Guide to the Must-Have Paintbrushes

When you imagine a Harry Potter movie, you cannot miss thinking about the magic wand for casting spells. To an artist, the magic wand is his ‘paint brush.’ In order to create a masterpiece out of the blank canvas, an artist needs to have the correct paint brush set. However, how should an artist choose the right brush? We’ve put together a guide to the must-have brushes and all the intricacies related to it.
Paintbrushes come in varied shapes, sizes and bristle types – and all of these can either succour or a deterrent, depending on the end result the artist desires. To help browse through an array of paintbrushes in the market, we’ve outlined a few of the most common types below, and what they can be used for.

Soft Bristles Brushes :
These allow an artist to make smooth paint strokes. One can’t use these brushes to apply heavy body paints because they lack the strength for the same. These are commonly used where the consistency of the paint is
rather fluid. The soft bristles are commonly used for making irregular, “hairy” marks at the end of the brushstroke – a feature that is used to portray objects such as hair or grasses.

Stiff Bristle Brushes : 
If you want to create rough effects or thick layers of impasto, brushes with coarser bristles are the top choice.
These are well suited to heavy paint and are ideal for working in layers. One needs to cautioned if it is being used with fluid paints, since these brushes make scratchy and unappealing patches or marks.

Flat Brushes :
Flat brushes are multi-faceted. Artists can create smooth patches of colour; make long, bold strokes or execute fine crisp lines while using their edges. Marks made with a flat brush have a distinctive square edge.

Round Brushes :
One can choose between pointed and blunt tips as far as round brushes are concerned. Both of them can be used to create linear mark during the stroke; the pointed tip is round when you want to create fine detail. When used on their sides in a scribbling motion, they’ll make an irregular, broken patch of colour.

Filbert Brushes :
Filbert brushes are a must have in your painting brush set. They are long-bristled, flat brushes bearing a rounded tip. Figurative painters use this commonly to create different marks ranging from broad to linear, without the square edge of a flat brush. If you want to create a flat patch of colour with no recognizable brush marks pick up your filbert brush.

Watercolour brushes :
Watercolour artists like to use soft, short-handled brushes in the same shapes that oil and acrylic painters use, however, with two more features: the wash and mop brush.

Now that you’ve read enough about brushes, it’s time to pick up those brushes and paint that canvas.

Happy painting, artists!

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