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
Used for: details and re touching
Short haired brush and curved inwards with flat head
Used for: short controlled strokes, thick and bold application.
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.