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I prefer synthetic.
I prefer synthetic.
@Richard_P - may I ask what you prefer about it? Pros and cons?
As an overall brush, Synthetics are all fairly easy to clean, withstand a good amount of abuse, and they are relatively inexpensive. It’s also important you should understand that synthetic fibres have come on in leaps and bounds over the past 10 years, like many other man-made products and so they no longer hold the taboo they once had. If you haven’t dared to try synthetics in the past because you thought they were ‘student’ grade, I urge you to reconsider.
These are our most popular synthetic range for Oils. They come in lots of shapes and sizes, and are available on the shorter and longer handles.
The Ivory fibres have been sandblasted with shards of glass, which make them firm, and wear down well. They clean really easily, and last a lot longer than your average synthetics would. The Ivories will be a good work horse for you, and many of the leading artists all over the world consider these their go-to brushes.
The Eclipse Synthetics are a synthetic mongoose, which is designed to mimic the real thing.
They have much more spring then their natural companion (the Masters Choice). They are softer than the Ivories, and the Evergreens. This fibre would be ideal for blending and softening work. They are particularly favoured amongst portrait artists too. The Eclipse have been dyed four times to look like the mongoose, and again, the dye does make them feel different than the other synthetics available.
After extensive research in our lab, we have found that the brand ‘Gamsol’ or White Spirits are not the best way to clean our Ivory or Classic ranges. There seems to be some sort of chemical within those two particular products that can at times make those ranges ‘splay’ and or ‘curl’ at the end. If you have been using those products with those ranges and not experienced these problems, please continue as you have done in the past. We recommend alternatives which include (but are not limited to):
Zest It Oil Paint and Dillutant
Info: It’s an environmentally friendly, non-flammable, non-toxic, biodegradable, alternative to ‘turps’ and white spirit, made from the zest of citrus fruit for cleaning brushes and thinning paint.
Winsor & Newton Sansodor Low Odour Solvent
Info: a highly refined odorless mineral spirit that is used to dilute (thin) artists’ oil paints and is also used to dilute oil media (linseed oils, alkyd media, etc).
Lavender Brush Cleaner
Alternatively many of the essential oils also make great brush cleaning solvents. Lavender oil is actually a stronger solvent than turpentine. Walnut oil is good for cleaning brushes while painting. Final cleaning however should be done with soap and water.
I dislike bristle because it's like painting with a bouquet of twigs.Sable is the softest, and leaves no brush marks, even if you try. I like the Ivory synthetic. Definitely not as soft as Sable, but nowhere near bristle. Can leave brush marks.