Guide to Paintbrushes - How to Use

Guide to Paintbrushes - How to Use

With so many different shapes and sizes of paintbrushes, there are also many different uses for them.

For the most part, you can make any brush work for any of your painting needs. However, knowing what each brush can do makes painting easier!


Pointed Brushes

Round liner brushes, are some of the most common paintbrushes. Since they come to a point, these paint brushes are great for getting into small areas. They’re also great for making bold strokes because of their larger body.

You can get various line widths, depending on the pressure you paint with. Also, with the way the brush is shaped, they are great for holding a lot of paint and/or water.

Another great brush in the round family is the liner brush. A liner brush is fantastic for small lines, lettering and getting small fur strokes.

Since these paintbrushes have very long bristles, they are ideal for holding a lot of paint. You can also vary the line thickness, depending on your pressure.



Rectangular Brushes

With their rectangular bodies, flat brushes are among the most versatile paintbrushes.

Because of their thick shape, flat brushes are ideal for making bold strokes, and are fantastic for filling in large areas, and making clean edged strokes. They are also versatile in the fact that they can be turned to the side, to make a thinner stroke.

Flat brushes are well known for being able to hold a lot of paint, and for being able to get nice long strokes. They can also be used for blending different media, applying washes and varnish.

Bright brushes are extremely similar to flat brushes, in the sense that they are great for blending, varnishing, applying washes, cleaning up messy edges and more. However, since they have shorter bristles than the flats, they hold significantly less paint, and are not ideal for making long strokes.

Another paintbrush in the flat family is the angular brush. With an angle cut into its bristles, this brush is ideal for light shading and highlights. It’s also very popular for painting flowers due to its ability to get into small nooks and crannies. It isn’t great for long strokes, or holding a lot of paint, but it certainly has its uses.



Filbert Brush

Filbert brushes are a special kind of paintbrush that has a lot of uses.
With its rounded edge, brush strokes are evened out, and it’s great for making smooth blends.

Because of its shape, filberts are also great for holding a fair amount of water and making washes. Its shape is also ideal for painting flower petals and leaves. 



Special Brushes

Brushes that have an unusual shape to them, like fan and rake brushes, are not used as commonly as the others, but certainly have their uses.

Fan brushes are arranged in the shape of a fan, and are widely used for creating texture, like grass, tree leaves, and wood grain.

Rake brushes are flat brushes, that have multiple cuts into the hairs, making it resemble a rake. Since it is much smaller than a fan brush, it is ideal for painting items like hair and fur, as well as grass and wood grain. The more pressure you add to the paintbrush, the bolder the texture will become.




Hopefully this helps you in deciding which brushes you want to pick up for your next painting and get better use out of your current paintbrushes! :)



Article by McCaela Gates

Made especially for MyArtscape

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