There are three main types of brushes that we use in painting classes at the studio.

  • Hog Hair – a hard brush made from the hairs on the back of a pig (hog), which are strong yet springy. The bristles have natural split-ends, which increases the amount of paint they hold. Used for oils and acrylics.

  • Sable – a soft brush made from the hairs on the tail of a sable marten; these taper naturally, so when they’re put into a brush they form a point. Sable brushes are expensive, but are renowned for their softness, flexibility, and fine point.

  • Synthetic Soft/Stiff – both suitable for painting and can be a lot cheaper than natural hair brushes.


Round or pointed tip

Used for: sketching, outlining, detailed work, creating a varied line, small washes studies, becomes wider when pressed down, for diluted paint rather than thick paint.


Square head, medium to long hair.

Used for: filling wide areas, washes, bold strokes, vanishing, can use edge for fine lines



Flat and oval shaped end with medium to long hairs

Used for: blending, covers more area, soft rounded edges


Shaped like a fan

Used for: blending, softening tones, creating textural effects such as leaves on trees, clouds

Pointed Rounded

Pointed tip

Used for: details and re touching


Short haired brush and curved inwards with flat head

Used for: short controlled strokes, thick and bold application.


Angular Flat

Flat with angled hairs at end

Used for: filling in corners, curved strokes, can be used to cover lots of space because of its flat shape


Long haired brush with rounded tip.

Used for: creating effects such as tree branches, grass, fine delicate lines, must be used with thinned out paint.