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People passionate about painting will not go far without brushes, and it does not matter what they prefer –oil, watercolor, acrylic… Good quality brushes, together with talent, are the key to creating masterpieces.These basic artists’ tools consist of fibers, a handle and a metal ferrule to join them. They differ in shapesand sizes, and there is really much to know about them.
Before brushes appeared, our resourceful ancestors had been using sticks, whalebones and other improvisedmeans. But with the invention of paints they had to switch to something more appropriate. The first brusheswere made with animal hair. For example, hog bristles turned out a perfect material back then, and evennow they are still widely used in brush production.
Up to 20th century brushes were made manually. Then special machines appeared, and they made theproduction easier and quicker, hence cheaper. Although nowadays brushes for artists are produced on a largescale, the finest of them are those made by hand. They allow sophisticated strokes, but the price iscorresponding.
You can classify brushes by medium, by shape and by fiber.
Here are basic brush categories.
By medium brushes can be divided into as many types as there are types of paint. You can find special brushesfor oil, watercolor, varnish and even for murals. But it does not mean you cannot use one type for severalpurposes. They are slightly different, but a novice will not tell this difference.
The shape is more likely to become a determinant. Round brushes are considered universal – they allow youto create texture and to thrash out detail, to vary the thickness of a line. Filbert brushes have similarcharacteristics, while a liner brush is only good for working on details. Fan brushes help to blend colors. Flatbrushes create broad strokes, but can also produce thin ones if you turn them.
Brushes also differ in fiber – it can be natural or synthetic. If you choose the latter, you will get polyester,while natural fibers offer a wide range of materials starting with horse hair and ending with agave.Manufacturers often use bristles, which have proved to be durable.
Sometimes paint gets smeared with another stroke. You will need time to get the hang of how to paintneatly. But if you are tired of feeling uncomfortable with artist brushes and paint, the only way is to changeto pencils, crayons, markers and so on. They allow more precise strokes, thus making it easier not to spoilthe picture.
So, the art of painting is demanding, but it is up to you to simplify your life.A suitable set of artist brushes is a nice start. Follow the main recommendations of selecting brushes according to your paint, and then trythem in practice. Use different types of fibers to create attractive effects, and with time and experience youwill become good at picking out brushes adjusted to the techniques you use.