Types of Paint Brushes and How to Use Them

Types of Paint Brushes and How to Use Them

In order to do any job well you need to have the right tools. For an artist, your brushes are your main tools. While you have the freedom to create your artwork however you like, certain paint brushes are designed for certain types of paint and certain applications. Keep reading to learn more about the different types of paint brushes and how they are used.

The Parts of a Paint Brush

Before you learn about the different types of paint brushes and their uses, you need to understand the anatomy of a paint brush. The largest part of most paint brushes is the handle – it is usually made from wood or acrylic and it may vary in length.

Connected to the handle is the silver part called a ferrule that holds the bristles and connects them to the handle. The bristles themselves are at one end of the ferrule and the crimp is at the other – it is what secures the ferrule to the handle.

Paint brush bristles vary in shape and thickness and they can be natural, synthetic, or a combination of both. The number and arrangement of bristles will also vary from one type of paint brush to another.

Common Types of Paint Brushes

Different paint brushes are best for certain mediums and for certain applications.

Below you will find a list of different types of paint brushes as well as a brief explanation of how each one is used:

Round – This type of brush is thin at the tip and wider where it connects to the ferrule – it is best used for sketching and outlining as well as detailed work. Depending on the size, you can use a round brush to create thin or thick lines.

Pointed Round – This brush is similar to the round except it has a more sharply pointed tip – it is great for fine lines and details as well as spotting and retouching.

Detail Round – This type of round brush has a shorter handle and shorter bristles that come to a point. It is great for short strokes and fine details.

Flat – This brush usually has medium to long bristles with a square end and it is usually used for filling large spaces and making bold strokes and washes. You can also use the edge to create fine lines or straight edges.

Angular Flat – Typically used as a shader, this type of brush is similar to the flat brush but is angled. You can use this brush for filling corners and curved strokes – the tip can also be used for small areas.

Bright – This brush is similar to the flat brush but the edges curve inward – it is good for thick, heavy areas of color and for short controlled strokes.

Filbert – This brush is almost a combination of the round brush and the flat brush, having a flat, oval-shaped end made up of medium to long bristles.

Fan – This type of brush has flat, widely spread bristles that create a fan shape – it is good for feathering and blending.

There are certainly other kinds of paint brushes out there, but these are the most common and the ones you are most likely to use on a regular basis. Remember, each of these paint brush types comes in different sizes and may be made from different materials so don’t be afraid to experiment a little bit to find which ones you like best.


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