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Brush handle length

Every demonstration I see shows not only long handled brushes, but they are usually being gripped almost by the end.

All my brushes have short handles, and I hold them like pencils.  It's the only way I feel I have control over what it does.

Is this just a matter of preference, or is there an underlying reason why I ought to migrate to long handles and change my grip?


  • dencaldencal -
    edited May 2017

    Short handle brushes encourages the pencil hold. This has the effect of drawing or painting with the movement of your fingers or at best the movement of the wrist. The result is a tight, detailed and overly controlled set of lines and brush strokes. This is fine for page size works of art.

    Larger canvases should be drawn or painted using broad, sweeping gestural strokes. The shoulder is the muscle and joint employed. The work is designed to be appreciated at six to ten feet from the canvas. The graphic emphasis here is on value, edge, texture, perspective, proportion and composition.


  • I thought they made the shorter brushes to fit in a pochade box. LOL. I hold my long handled brushes like a pencil for close or detailed work and I really like the W&N brushes that taper from both ends to the middle. The end is easier to grip when I do want to work farther from the surface.
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