How to choose correct painting brush

Brushes are an investment. Correct selection of brush will ease your efforts and help you get better results in your artwork.

Generally the long handle, about 9” in length, is for easel work/traditional oil and acrylic painting. A short handle, 5” to 6” in length, is for watercolor and other painting done at a table.

Using an appropriately sized brush head will save painting time and premature wear. Use of smaller size brushes, below size 4, are usually for detail work, medium sizes, 4 to 6, are for small areas, and large size brushes, above size 6, are for broad spaces.

Brush Shapes

Angle Shader
Angle Shader—A versatile brush used to paint both sharply defined edges and contrasting softly shaded areas like foliage.
 Bright—Provides better control then flats for details; produces short, crisp paint strokes.
Fan—For blending and softening the edges of other strokes; dry brushing to create hair, trees, shrubbery and grass.
Filbert—For edges and tight areas. Gives a rounded look to a flat stroke.
Flat—Broad sweeping strokes for laying in large areas of color like sky or foreground.
Flat Shader
Flat Shader—For blending and large, even strokes. Holds a lot of color. Clean crisp edges.
Grainer—For creating multiple lines- grass, hair and fur.
Liner—Very long hairs create consistent thick to thin lines for tree branches, vines and foliage.
Mop—For covering large areas, softening and blending.
Round—An all purpose brush; for fine detail and outlining; thin to thick lines, calligraphy.
Stroke—Used for lettering, blending and glazing. Long hair length, holds a lot of color, hairs are longer than a shader.
Wash/Glaze—For broad strokes and blending. Apply washes of color or finishes.

Brush Care and Maintenance

Brushes are an investment. If used and cared for properly, your brush will last a long time and perform better. A few basic suggestions:
  • Do not immerse the brush in paint up to the ferrule. Wet paint is hard to remove from this area and, if it dries, even more difficult.
  • Remove all excess paint with a rag or paper towel.
  • Never leave a brush soaking in water or mineral spirits for an extended period of time.
  • Never let your brush rest on its head. There are many accessories available that will suspend your brush.
  • Watercolor and acrylic paint should be cleaned with mild soap and water. Oil paint should be first cleaned with mineral spirits or turpentine and then with soap and water.
  • After cleaning, remove excess water, reshape the hairs into place with you fingers, and stand the brush upright on the handle to dry.
A little effort will protect your brush and save you money.

Check our range of Princeton Art Brushes at
Source: Princeton Art Brushes