Paint brushes are essential tools for most artists. As you know, there are many sorts of brushes around, hair brushes, washing up brushes, brushes to sweep the floor, toothbrushes and many other variations. Very special, are paint brushes in all their shapes and forms, which are usually made with great care and attention.
People have been painting for centuries using all sorts of methods. Smearing with fingers, hands, palette knives, credit cards, rags and much more. You name it most things can be used. But the easiest way to apply paint to paper or canvas is with a paint brush. Each brush, whether it be machine made or hand-made, has it’s own particular use. The shape usually tells you about the kind of mark it will make.
Hand-made brushes of high quality are usually quite expensive, so just buying a couple in the beginning is advisable, then later add to your collection when necessary. It’s always better to have a small set of quality brushes than a cheap set that is bought in a supermarket. These brushes tend to lose their shape and hair very quickly and are a complete waste of money.
There are many sorts of brushes on the market, brights, riggers, fans, hogs, hakes, cats tongues, filberts, flats, rounds, mops and varnish brushes to name but a few.
If you have to transport your brushes, there are many different sorts of brush carriers, that keep the brush points safe and dry. Brushes should never be transported in a tin, as this can easily be carried upside-down and damage the points of the brushes.
The hairs used in the making of brushes are usually natural or synthetic, or a combination of the two. Many sorts of natural hair are used, amongst others, pony hair, badger and pig hair, squirrel and also goat hair to name but a few. Synthetic brushes are very useful and durable, clean well and have a good handling quality, they also have more spring to them. Usually water colour brushes have softer more absorbent hair than oil or acrylic brushes, this is because the medium water colour, is a lot softer and more fluid than oil or acrylic paint.
Make sure you clean your paint brushes when you have painted with them. Here is the best way to take care of you brushes.
Every brush wares down eventually, but this can and does change it’s use as time goes on. A very worn down brush with very little hair, can be used to great advantage when you for instance, prepare a canvas with a rough sketch in oil or acrylic. You are not constantly worrying about wearing a good brush out, so that’s one stress out of the way. If you are painting with water colour on paper, a worn down brush, scratched into wet paint, makes very interesting and permanent marks on the paper.
Make your mark with what ever kind of brushes you prefer and enjoy the process…