Football anyone – brushes

Canadian Blogger eh

July 14 2015

Thankful for France!    Today is their national day!

Category Painting


So many kinds of brushes, round brushes, flat brushes, flat-tipped brushes, fan brushes, flat wash brushes, bell-shaped brushes, thin brushes, thick brushes. Brush hairs made out of sable, squirrel, mongoose, goat, ox, imitation sable, hair blend, synthetic, pony, bristle. Brush sizes from 10/0 to 36 or whatever.  Wide brushes are sized in inches, 1 inch wide, 2 inch wide, etc.  What does it all mean? 

The number system is not consistent among manufactures, no standards here!   I have a very thin round number 4, that is a lot smaller than another manufactures number 1 round.

My understanding:

Round brushes:

  • take up more paint than flat brushes
  • have a pointed tip
  • able to paint in any direction
  • paints fine or thick strokes

Flat brushes:

  • take up less paint than round brushes
  • more accurate  for drawing contours
  • many different types flat tipped, filbert, or bell-shaped
    • Flat tipped
      • easy to control because they  yield predictable results
      • ideal for straight lines and outlines
      • fine lines and points easily achieved – touch paper with the right angle corner of the brush tip
    • Filbert
      • brush hairs arranged in an arching shape
      • also known as cat’s tongue
      • combines the usefulness of both the flat and round brushes
        • its tip can paint like a round brush
        • if brush held almost parallel to the paper, it acts like a flat brush
      • can be used for detailed work or for covering large areas
    • Bell-shaped 
      • a flat brush cut so the ends do not come to a point
      • used for applying brood brushstrokes and covering large areas
      • used for washes as it can hold lots of water
  • Fan brushes:
    • are the shape of a fan
    • used for blending to obtain an even transition between colours
  • Flat wash:
    • used for painting large areas – background or wash
    • when painting finished used to apply varnish

Cleaning brushes – I like using acrylic and water colour paint as water is an easy clean up. While painting, I leave my brushes in water.   Do not leave your brushes sitting in water for long periods, as it will splay the bristles.  Remove excess paint with a palette knife, rinse the brush in warm water, reshape brush hairs, dry with the brush end sitting up.

There are products you may  buy –  brush cleaner and preserver. I have not tried any of these products at this point.




I painted this picture this morning with acrylic paint on vellum Bristol 14″ x 17″ 100 lb. paper.  I’m calling it “Football – anyone”   spring/summer 2015






Lessons Learned:

  • always clean and reshape your brushes after each use
  • keep your brushes in water when painting with acrylic or water colour
  • never leave brushes in water jar for long periods


Final thoughts:

Buy the best quality brushes you can afford. Once you have your brushes, play with them and see what they can do.  You don’t need all the sizes of brushes, truly there is not much difference between a number 8 and  9 round.   Buy brushes from different manufactures, and different brush hair types, just to get a feel for the differences.     Happy painting!


Beacon Tate

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