What paint brushes to chose

Have you ever been in to an art shop and looked at all the fantastic brushes they have and wondered, which one do I need for my painting? Mops, Hakes, rounds and squares… there are many sorts of brushes out there, all with their own unique uses. Often, the shape of a brush defines the shape of the mark it will leave on your paper or canvas. In general, the larger the brush, the more area it covers with paint.

Square brushes
There are small and large square brushes which can be used flat or on the edge to get lines on flat surfaces. You can use a big size square brush for painting a large area of sky for instance. With a smaller square brush you can use this to paint foliage or rocks for example.

Round brushes
Round brushes come in large, medium and small sizes and are used for more detailed work. The finer the brush the more detail you can paint. All round brushes should have a good sharp point.

You have mops, which are very large soft round brushes, these hold lots of moisture, especially with water colour and are used for flat washes, for instance, skies. If used correctly you can get a really even coloured surface. 

Wash brushes
These brushes are soft and are sometimes called Hakes. Hakes are usually made from goats hair. With a Hake brush you can create a wash, a layer of transparent colour over your already dried work. This creates a filter over your work and joins the painting together. When you are using oil paint you can use the Hake to soften your edges or mix colours on your canvas.

Fan brushes
These brushes have bristles that are already spread out and are used for painting grass or fur. When these brushes are wet, the bristels spread out even more. 

Riggers are long thin brushes and hold a lot of moisture. These are used for making long thin lines. 

Varnish brushes
These brushes are super soft and have the ability to smooth out sticky varnish. If you cross hatch over the wet varnish on your canvas, your varnish will look even and smooth.

Handmade Chinese brushes
Handmade Chinese brushes go from small to very large and they are usually round. All of these have a large belly, even the small ones. They all hold a lot of paint or ink.

Always make sure to take care of your brushes and clean them properly. They will last longer that way.  Depending on what kind of paint you use, here are some tips about cleaning and storing brushes.
The best way to find out what kind of brushes to use for your work is to experiment yourself. Get a couple of different shapes and sizes and see what works for you.

Let us know what you prefer using and show us some of your art work. If you like you can be featured in our online exhibition and show the world your art work. Join us and become a Featured Artist.