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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've heard how sable brushes can be so expensive so I prefer to use synthetic brushes that has good quality but doesn't break the bank. :crying:



Please share what you currently work with and what size is the best overall for you.



Thank you for your replies,

Don
 

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I have somewhere around 100 brushes. I do oil painting and it depends on the picture that I am painting which brush I will use most. Right now I'm doing a painting with lots of detail so I'm using small fine pointed round brushes mostly. For a country scene I would use much different brushes, larger brushes and bristle instead of soft. I find I need every kind of brush at one time or another, all sizes, all types. It saves from wasting paint to use a different brush for each color, then you don't have to clean the brush while you are painting. Oil paint is expensive and I find this approach really saves me money in both paint and mineral spirits.

If you are just starting out I would suggest getting a set of flat brushes, a couple of fine pointed round brushes, a thin strip liner, a bristle fan brush, a one inch bristle brush. That will get your feet wet and as you paint you'll find out what you need.

I only use acrylic and oil, so I know nothing about doing a watercolor painting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much for the reply Terry :)

What type of brushes do you usually work with in general, hair or synthetic?

100 brushes, wow! That's a lot!

-Don
 

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One of the best brushes that one can buy for watercolor, acrylic, and oil, is what is known as a "Taklon" bristle brush, or a "Golden Taklon".

They have enough spring to spread the paint evenly, but are soft enough that they don't plow up more paint than they are applying. Being a synthetic bristle, they do not become soggy, when used with a water medium, such as watercolor, or acrylic.

Good brushes! I've used them for years. A good brand is Loew Cornell, or La Cornielle, as they may be called more recently in the rack at an art store.
 

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I'm fairly new to painting, but like you, didn't want to invest too much, at least until I "got the hang of it". Here's what I've learned so far: it's true what they say - buy the best you can afford. At the start I bought a few different brands, types, sizes and shapes, also a couple of multi-brush packages, which was a bit of a waste of money - poor quality and didn't use half of them - but what I did discover is that I tend to favour certain shapes and sizes and use them more than anything else, so in that regard, cheap was the way to go. It helped me to decide exactly what shape and size I wanted when I decided to take the plunge and invest in a few good quality brushes. I bought Winsor and Newton "Monarch" synthetic Mongoose hair and I love them. Also, I found that brushes that say they are good for oil and acrylic were too soft for oil. Found hog bristle better for oils. Again, Winsor and Newton.
For shapes and sizes, for me, a couple of scrip liners in 1 and 2, a couple of rounds, 1, 2 or 3, and filberts and flats or brights in 1/4", 1/2" and 1". These were enough to take care of what I was doing at the start, with one or two larger flats to cover large areas of the canvas. I even have a couple of 2" good quality brushes from the hardware store for that. Having said all that, there are far more knowledgeable and experienced artists on this forum than I, but this was my experience. Hope this helps.
 

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A zombie of a thread, I know, but this might help anyone looking for decent brushes:

First, expecting a single brush to perform well with all paint media, might not be a good way to buy brushes. As an example, a Watercolorist might use three or even four different bristle styles depending on the piece being created. I've used very soft bristled brushes for applying very wet washes, stiffer bristles for more detailed work, and very stiff short bristled brushes for stippling/dabbing effects.

Yes, there are brushes that perform equally in more than one type of paint, but the artist still must decide things like type of bristle for the job at hand and life expectancy of the brush.

Princeton Brush Company's page Find the Perfect Brush for their brushes is a grand resource for helping an artist
decide what they might want to use. The brushes are American made, of excellent quality, and generally affordable.
 

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If you’re in search of a portable watercolor brush set that you can use for colorful washes, you’ll have all the essential brushes with this Ohuhu 6-piece brush pen set.
 
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