Brush strokes demo by Caroline Marsden

FLAT BRUSHES

These can be used for a myriad of different effects. They are especially useful for painting buildings or any other subject which has straight edges, and are economical with the paint as often only one stroke is needed.

A BRIGHT is a shorter and stiffer version of a FLAT which will give you bolder strokes.

A flat brush is great for getting perspective and you can gently tap it to get a nice thin line as shown in the guttering and windowsills above.

Don’t throw away your old ones as these can be used effectively for texture , fur or feathers.

A FILBERT

is a flat brush with curved sides, great for giving a softer edge such as in clouds or petals. Caroline holds the brush at an angle to the paper and tries to  touch the paper with only the paint, not pressing down too hard on the brush.

A FAN BRUSH

is a specialist brush for doing texture, fur and feathers. Bob Ross can be seen on YouTube  demonstrating painting fir trees using this brush.

A ROUND

is the one of choice for Monet and is useful for  short expressive strokes. If you use a large one it can hold a lot of paint and be a good choice.

 

A FAT HOG

is an enormous brush which holds a huge amount of paint and is very good for stencilling

A RIGGER

gets its name as it was first used for putting in the slender rigging of boats. This is best used with really thinned-down paint making sure the brush is well loaded and with a good point. You an also use this for hair and fur but it’s best to use it for the finishing touches as it would be quite time consuming to draw in every single bit of hair. It’s great for cats’ whiskers.

WATERCOLOUR BRUSHES

are best kept separate from your other brushes as you’ll ruin them if you get acrylic or oil on them.

It is worth investing in a good large brush with a good point as this will last a long time and be very flexible. You can draw using the point and even do washes with it.

Washes over large areas are usually done with a flat brush or a hake.

Caroline likes to use Pro Art brushes but is also happy with Graduate. You don’t need to buy sable or other real hair brushes as synthetic brushes are just as good to work with.

 

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