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Probably the most versatile and useful brush is the fan.
@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.
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
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.
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.
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.
rgds to all, Duncan
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)
@Richard_P AKA Cats Tongue, yes I like those too.