Building Your Arsenal of Brushes The Right Way

Every artist who uses acrylic paints knows that choosing the best brushes for acrylic painting is essential! Finding a good, sturdy and reliable brush is so important for revealing all of acrylics’ best properties. A correctly chosen brush will help you lay down your paint easily, making any kind of stroke in the technique you use, while creating the most stunning outcome.

Paint brushes matter very much, especially when the art on which you are working upon is so delicate. Some beginners think that all brushes serve the same purpose.  If you ask an experienced artist, you will find a long list of things to avoid and many more things to definitely do. However the first bit of advice you can expect is to be told to learn your tools and take good care of them. Remember, acrylic brushes are made of many kinds of natural hair as well as synthetic, so the life of the brush depends entirely on two factors: use and cleaning.

The Artist Paint Palette

The artist palette is an essential piece of equipment for holding and mixing your paint. There are many different types of artist palettes you can choose from, such as the classic wooden palette, or more contemporary options like glass or disposable palettes. Choosing this all-important palette can be a daunting and challenging task, given how competitive the market is. Fortunately, I am here to help with the ten best palettes for acrylic paint.

  • Concave or plastic formed
  • Glass Palette
  • Wooden Artist Palette
  • Disposable Palette Paper
  • Clear Acrylic Palette
  • White Acrylic Palette  (my personal favorite)
  • Makeshift Palette

Getting you Arsenal of Brushes Right

I remember when I first started to paint and offer consignment work, I never paid any attention to what kind or brush I used or what it was made of. I recall the first time I took an wildlife art class with a professional and finding out I really did need to learn a whole lot more. Becoming a professional artist is like building a house, you have to have a good foundation to start with.

Below I have prepared a short list of the different types to get you started.

  • Flat Brushes have a flat tip and can be used to make thick, consistent strokes or thin lines. Flat brushes are great for blocking in solid shapes of color
  • Bright Flat Brushes are pretty much a flat brush with shorter bristles. They are useful for short, controlled strokes.
  • Angular Flat These are good for angular strokes and hard lines with varying thickness (you can spin the brush as you’re using it to get greater coverage). They fill in corners nicely, too.
  • Round Brushes have a large belly and a long-tapered end. They are extremely versatile and can be used for long, bold strokes and detail work.
  • filbert brush A filbert is a narrow, flat brush with hairs that come to a rounded point. Used on its side, a filbert gives a thin line; used flat it produces a broad brushstroke; and by varying the pressure as you apply the brush to canvas, or flicking it across, you can get a tapering mark.
  • Fan Brushes These are well suited to blending, feathering, and smoothing paint. When using them with acrylic paints, be sure to get a fan with stiff bristles otherwise the paint will cause all the bristles to clump together and that defeats the purpose of using a fan brush to begin with.
  • Liner Brushed or Rigger a thin brush with extremely long bristles. These may come to a sharp point but can have a flat or square tip.
  • Mop Brush a mop brush will hold a large quantity of fluid paint. It’s a soft and floppy brush, ideal for large watercolor washes.
  • Palette Knives There are many kinds of knives available but what you use depends on the surface and the application. There are three basic types out their Plastic, Stainless Steel, and wooden handle with flexible silicone tops.

Taking proper care of your brushes is essential if you want them to last for more than just a few painting sessions. Just remember that prevention of brush damage is much easier than the restoration of it.  Check out my first solo art show at Albany Barn Gallery