Brushes For Oil & Acrylic Painting 

Finding the right brush can make all the difference to your work. When choosing a brush to use with oil colour and heavier applications of acrylic colour, consider a brush with hair that is able to move thick, viscous colour, such as hog hair or a stiff synthetic equivalent. If using thinners to alter the colour properties for a more fluid consistency or for a greater focus on detail, brushes with softer hair can be used.

Natural hair is available in both stiff and soft varieties The quality of natural hair brushes is superb, especially Kolinsky sable brushes which continue to retain their spring over time.

Hog hair is the most commonly used hair for oil painting brushes. It is a stiff, strong and durable natural hair, stout enough to pick up oil or acrylic colour straight from the tube. The best quality hogs also wear down gradually, maintaining their shape but getting smaller, so the initial investment will pay dividends.  

Stiff synthetic brushes made for oil and acrylic paintings also offer good flow control and a well-defined tip or edge for detail and blending work.  An additional benefit is that they are resistant to damage from acrylic resin and won’t soften in water.

Brushes For Water Colour Painting 

When choosing a brush for use with water colour, gouache and fluid colour, consider three things: 
1. A great point which can be held to create edges and fine detail.
2. A perfect ‘snap’ or spring enabling the brush to spring back into shape during use. 
3. Even flow control so that the colour flows evenly and consistently from the point of the brush. 

Water colour brushes can be made from both natural hair and synthetic fibres. The highest quality natural hair brush comes from the Kolinsky sable from Siberia. Other types of natural hair include squirrel and goat.  Both of these make good mop brushes because they are naturally soft and have good colour carrying capacity.

A good selection of water colour brushes is available made from superior synthetic filaments. They are affordable and the fibres have excellent colour carrying capacity and much improved spring, thanks to the possibility of combining different filament thicknesses in the same brush