In part 1 of this series, Painting Your Way to Calm, I discussed the pros and cons of the different paints types. Once you’ve selected the paint you wish to use the next step is to pick the appropriate brushes. I cover the shape, bristle type, size, usage and care below:
- Round: Used to paint details. Offers control and accuracy.
- Flat: Used for big washes and filling in areas.
- Bright Brush: Similar to a flat brush but with shorter bristles. Good for short strokes.
- Filbert: Good for making soft edges and for blending.
- Fan: Used for blending. Can be used dry or loaded with paint for texture. Not for watercolors.
- Angle: Used for details, shading or color blocking. Not for oils.
- Mop: Ideal for large watercolor washes or ‘mopping’ up excess water.
- Rigger: Great for making long continuous outlines. Used for lettering.
- Used with acrylics and watercolors. Not good for oil since cleaning with turpentine will destroy them.
- Being more porous than natural hair makes them versatile for using with different mediums and surfaces.
- Strong and durable.
- Good for oil and watercolors. Does not hold up well to the chemicals in acrylic paint.
- Often made from a mixture of animal hair. Sable is the highest quality. Camel (not from a camel) use the natural tip of the hair versus hair that has been cut.
- Stiffer brushes will leave stroke marks and texture. Softer bristles give smooth results and better blending.
- Choose a size proportionate to the canvas or other medium being used.
- Holding the brush close to the ferrule (metal band) gives the most control. Holding near the end results in loose strokes.
Usage and Cleaning
- Use different brushes for each paint type to preserve the bristle quality.
- Clean by first wiping the brush with a paper towel or cloth. Rinse acrylics and watercolors in lukewarm water and clean oil with a solvent such as turpentine. Wipe down again and wash with a gentle soap. Rinse, reshape and wrap in paper towel or cloth to dry.
- Store brushes upright.
Look for Part 3 next week, which will wrap up the ‘Painting Your Way to Calm’ series. I will discuss the various painting surfaces and how to set up your work space. You will then be ready to paint your way to calm.