This is for the absolute beginner, if this is your first time you are going to paint, it is necessary you pay attention to the materials especially brushes, you will need two types, bristle and sable, because like any other job if you do not have the rights tool it is going to be so difficult to do a nice work.

I am going to tell you about my experience as a teacher, first usually all the beginner do not care about the brushes, they just buy any kind, particularly the cheapest ones and these are bristle brushes.

If you were my student I will ask you to buy two sets of brushes, bristle and synthetic or sable and then I explain to you how to use every type of brushes, the bristle brushes are used when we start a painting, in the first layers of paint, or if we want very hard brushstrokes, we use the synthetic or sable brushes to get a very soft surface, to blend and get a very realistic painting.

Here is the point I have seen some of my students picking up any brush not caring about the hair, the size, and the first thing I hear is, Renso I cannot get the blending ok, and when I see the brushes they are using are bristle brushes hoping to get a very soft blending and that is NOT possible then I explain to them again about the use of the type of brushes but It is not enough, because I saw them making the same mistake over and over and I have to keep telling them to change of brushes until they get used to the idea of what kind of brushes they have to use.

For you as a beginner maybe it will happen in the same way, please do not feel bad about this, because it is going to take you time to get used to it.

I advice you to separate your brushes the harder (bristle) in one jar and the soft (sable or synthetic) in another jar.

If you want to paint like Van Gogh, you cannot do it with soft brushes, so you must use bristle brushes, because you can to load more oil paint with these brushes, and every brushstroke is noticeable.

On the other hand if you want a classic finish, let’s say as Bouguerau, then you will not be able to achieve a smooth finish with bristle brushes, it would be impossible. the softness of a sable brush would not leave so much the trail of brushstroke, if you want to get a very realistic painting you need to use this kind of brushes, these could be synthetic or natural, I am use just synthetic, I do not want to feel guilty of killing an animal to use their hair, no way.

When you go to buy brushes (sable or synthetic) do not buy a lot at once because you would not know what good the brushes are until you test them, some brushes with soft hair lose their shape when we load them with oil paint, and it is difficult to give brushstrokes comfortably, some others will be soft but very stiff and take out the paint instead of laying dowm the oil paint and some of them leave marks on our canvases , So there is no way to know how good is a brush for us until you use them.

In particular for me I buy brushes very often, but I do not fill 20, 30 brushes in a single purchase, many times I only buy one or two new brand brushes, because I love to test them, it is like playing a game that you know a lot because with my experience I already know what kind of brush to buy with just touching the hair , I know wich brush I can fill the background with, paint the face of a portrait, achieve the smoothness of the skin but I enjoy buying new brands and see the results and I have had many amazing surprises with very cheap brushes.

Bristle Hair Brushes

synthetic’s Hair Brushes

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