Brushes

Artist’s brush shapes

The styles of brush tip seen most commonly are:

  • Round: pointed tip, long closely arranged bristles for detail
  • Flat: for spreading paint quickly and evenly over a surface. They will have longer hairs than their Bright counterpart.
  • Bright: shorter than flats. Flat brushes with short stiff bristles, good for driving paint into the weave of a canvas in thinner paint applications, as well as thicker painting styles like impasto work.
  • Filbert: flat brushes with domed ends. They allow good coverage and the ability to perform some detail work.
  • Fan: for blending broad areas of paint.
  • Angle: like the filbert, these are versatile and can be applied in both general painting application as well as some detail work.
  • Mop: a larger format brush with a rounded edge for broad soft paint application as well as for getting thinner glazes over existing drying layers of paint without damaging lower layers.
  • Rigger: round brushes with longish hairs, traditionally used for painting the rigging in pictures of ships. They are useful for fine lines and are versatile for both oils and watercolors.

Other brush styles:

  • Stippler and deer-foot stippler: short, stubby rounds
  • Liner: elongated rounds
  • Dagger looks like angle with longish hairs, used for one stroke painting like painting long leaves.
  • Scripts: highly elongated rounds
  • Sumi: Similar in style to certain watercolor brushes, also with a generally thick wooden or metal handle and a broad soft hair brush that when wetted should form a fine tip. Also spelled Sumi-e (Ink wash painting).
  • Hake: An Asian style of brush with a large broad wooden handle and an extremely fine soft hair used in counterpoint to traditional Sumi brushes for covering large areas. Often made of goat hair.
  • Spotter: Round brushes with just a few short bristles. These brushes are commonly used in spotting photographic prints.
  • Stencil: A round brush with a flat top used on stencils to ensure the bristles don’t get underneath. Also used to create texture.

Types include: