Which brush shape do you like best?

I know Mark recommends Filberts in his videos, but I prefer rounds as I like to do curved brush strokes from all angles without dealing with rotating the brush like you have to do with flats and filberts.

What about you? :)

Comments

  • edited December 2022
    I quite like filberts but it depends on what im working on I also love using riggers and tiny brushes if im doing detail. 
    Dagger brushes are great too I find them quite versatile.

    .
    dencalAbstractionkaustavM
  • Love filberts for medium size, and rounds for small ones. For landscapes, square brushes are convenient for manipulating straight edges, especially in cityscapes.
  • edited December 2022
    I used to like flat and filbert bristle brushes best but now I'm leaning more towards large, soft, fine pointed rounds because you can make so many different shaped marks with them depending on the fluidity of the paint and pressure you use - anything from a fine line to large broad mass. 
  • dencaldencal -
    edited December 2022
    Folks

    Agree with all of the above because the brush I like best will be the the one that best does the job.
    There is a time and a place for every shape made and then some. Probably the most versatile and useful brush is the fan.

    Denis

  • Actually I didn't realise that until the invention of the metal ferule there weren't flat and filbert brushes available. So the old masters only had round shapes..
  • edited December 2022
    Big brushes:
    I avoided filberts for years because I thought they looked useless. For large shapes I preferred long flats and occasionally rounds. Now I love long filberts because:
    a) You can make so many different marks with them. It's easy to find the sharp edge for instance - they have a better sharp edge than flats for fine lines.
    b) Well-made filberts hold their shape really well, so are quite robust. I like daggers for their mark making but they lose shape more easily.
    Those four constitute most of my big brushes and I only use synthetics - again more robust and hold their shape better than hog hair, for instance. I prefer long brushes and this also protects the brush from paint inside the ferrule (beginning of the end).
    Small brushes:
    I spent a small fortune on failed tiny brushes. I thought: fine mark = fine brush. Wrong. They don't hold enough paint - you make a mark and lose your place going back to the palette. They quickly collapse in oil paint lose their shape.
    Then I discovered all these below mostly when doing my creek painting. The tiny dagger was worth its weight in gold to produce countless leaf shapes or fern leaves at different angles.
    Long flats, long filberts, riggers, rounds, tiny daggers mostly. I have a selection of synthetics but for really fine work have sable blend and kolinsky sable. I'm assessing which it better but both are a leap up from synthetic riggers - but for grunt work I use the synthetics.
  • Mostly filberts #2,#4 and #6,  larger sizes for large background areas.  I also use liners and China blenders .  I don’t like flats because they tend to leave a chisel mark.
    Abstractionjudith
  • edited December 2022
    I use rounds all the time as they can do more or less anything, can produce abstract strokes, flat strokes, details etc. They are an integral part of my technique now. I live bigger rounds for scrubby strokes that I don't think I'll get from any other ones.

    I love using long filberts now more for dragging strokes with thicker paint. This I can't seem to do well with rounds. Also, nowadays I prefer to detail in very small areas with smaller long filberts.

    Modified fan brushes: I use them for folliage most often. Rounded fans are good only for softening or blending.

    Big daggers are best for me when I'm blocking in. Other brushes come up only after block in.

    I wish to have long flat chiselled brushes but they are not available. But I don't use regular flat too often.
  • Great thread! Very useful information for those of us with little experienced and/or art education. Thanks for sharing. 
    joydeschenes
  • Just to add I have found it useful to keep old brushes that perhaps are knackered and seem fit for the bin. They can be very useful for doing various textures or foliage etc
    kaustavM
  • edited December 2022
    dencal said:
     Probably the most versatile and useful brush is the fan.
    That's a big statement that begs more information: in what ways do you use the fan Denis? Apart from the obvious blending I have learnt to use it Michael James Smith style by using the very edge as a wild dabbing brush for foliage or rock similar texture. That's a brilliant technique. I don't know whether to credit Michael or his father David for that innovation. Hardly touched fan in current painting so forgot to mention it.
    When I was painting wild flames on the big terracotta pot painting, I studied flames all morning. Then loaded the fan brush with red, orange and mostly yellow on different spots on it and used a twisting motion. I practised doing it on anything I could find to get the technique before hitting the pot. Each flame was a single stroke with all the colours on the brush.

    dencalRichard_P
  • Abstraction

    Yep. Dark foliage backgrounds, light canopy values, grasses, rock / stone textures, anywhere I need a randomised scumble such as soil or gravel surface, water reflections, value gradations etc.

    MJS really taught me how to get the most out of the fan brush.

    Denis
    Abstraction
  • I was using soft various shaped brushes for years but this year I am 2, 4 and 6 filberts. I feel like I can cut back some of my need for exact detail this way
    AbstractionkaustavMtassieguy
  • edited December 2022
    I try to adapt to whatever shapes I get to use. I think when one is clear in mind what he/she is wanting to achieve, shape of brushes becomes secondary. The only rule I try to follow from David Leffel and Richard Schmid, is to achieve something with minimum brush strokes possible, which makes one create big bold strokes. It impacts a sense of purity on the color and looks neat. I'm still learning to do it though.
    adridriAbstractiontassieguy
  • edited December 2022
    @osiosbon I'm a big fan of David Leffel. I have an old book someone pieced together from things he said illustrating the way he thinks about the execution of his work. Every time he opens his mouth he makes you think differently about painting. His style is similar to Mark's and I wondered if there was any influence or shared influence or whether they just journeyed to a similar space.
    tassieguy
  • edited December 2022
    @Abstraction I agree mate. David's movement of brush is like playing a violin or something, Its smooth and truly artistic. 

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwTN6KCQxbo&t=4s
    tassieguyAbstraction
  • @osiosbon I'm a big fan of David Leffel. I have an old book someone pieced together from things he said illustrating the way he thinks about the execution of his work. Every time he opens his mouth he makes you think differently about painting. His style is similar to Mark's and I wondered if there was any influence or shared influence or whether they just journeyed to a similar space.

    I agree @Abstraction, who couldn't be a fan of David Leffel. In much the same way that any painter interested in depicting realism cunningly would be unable to not admire Rembrandt's work. It's the chiaroscuro that hits me between the eyes - it always has done - and I think it was that impact that drove me toward painting in oils as a young teenager.

    Regards brushes (and I think the topic is very worthy, along with all the contributions above) I've always been happy with and trusted in natural bristle flats. Most of them are 'square' flats, but I also have a few filberts which I use just as happily. I prefer the filberts in a way, because their shape is more elegant - but to be honest I can paint just as badly with either.

    Below the flats, in size, it needs to be rounds for obvious reasons - and they too are bristle, albeit pointless. Below those, and for delicate, fine-detail work, I have two-or-three fine-pointed and rather precious sables, which have been with me for decades. The thing about the sables (of a style that some painters describe as 'riggers') is they live forever if you look after them because they don't have to work hard.

    What I have noticed, and am tentatively flirting wide-eyed with, is the abundance of quality brushes with artificial fibres. I hadn't realised brushes had evolved so cleverly over the last fifty-years. The last time I had negotiated with unnatural fibred brushes was in the mid-to-late 1960s. They were appalling articles - the bristles, and they were mindlessly bristly, appeared to have been made from bits of nylon fishing line. I think they were manufactured by Reeves, who in the UK were quite big in artist equipment at that time. I still have with me a Reeves sketching easel from that same era, which survived, despite it having only three legs.  ;)

    Best rgds to all, Duncan

    Abstraction
  • Duncan: I agree with you on the Synthetics. Rosemary & Co do excellent brushes at good prices here in the UK. I recommend their Synthetic range ("Ivory" if you like stiffer brushes)
    Abstraction
  • Richard_P said:
    Duncan: I agree with you on the Synthetics. Rosemary & Co do excellent brushes at good prices here in the UK. I recommend their Synthetic range ("Ivory" if you like stiffer brushes)
    Thanks, Richard,  :)

    I appreciate that Rosemary & Co brushes are valued by serious painters around the world. But it is difficult to assess the 'spring' of the many different synthetics available online. Much easier to appreciate if the brush is in your hand. I usually prefer to paint a bit wetter than some tubes deliver natively - but I also like brushes to have a bit of firmness and spring in them. So I'll give the 'Ivory' brushes a try, and thanks again for the tip.

    Best rgds, Duncan
  • No problem. They are also there every year at Patchings Art Festival in July/August time where you can get a feel for their brushes. :)
    MoleMan
  • No one has mentioned pointed filberts yet.. :)


    MichaelD
  • @Richard_P

    AKA Cats Tongue, yes I like those too.

    Do you ?
  • edited December 2022
    @Richard_P I got one in my Schmidt brush set from rosemary. I have tried to use it but could not find the benefit of it over filberts and rounds. I found it neither convenient for details, neither for larger brushwork. I don't know how to use it, but haven't search very far on the net...
  • No, I think I have one too, but not really used it. :)
  • MichaelD said:
    @Richard_P

    AKA Cats Tongue, yes I like those too.
    I've never bought one since I already have a cat, but I might get the brushes because after the first couple of uses it keeps running away.
    adridriMichaelDtassieguyMoleMan
  • edited December 2022
    @Abstraction
    LOL

    My cat Louie`s fur can sometimes unintentionally end up on a painting im doing.

    He likes to join in and be a part of the process.
    MoleManMarinos_88
Sign In or Register to comment.