questions on brush sizes plus end of second session on WIP

edited March 2016 in Post Your Paintings

i'm trying to use the biggest brush I can. I find I do need to use a tiny detail brush to put in small thin lines, and small dabs, as opposed to trying to vary my brush height to expose a thinner edge on a larger brush. I guess my question is, as I am trying to learn should I just try and get rid of the detail brush. this is a painting I'm working on I've been using a detail brush.



  • Different strokes for different folks. Different methods and techniques will dictate that a lot more as you progress. I like to block in color with larges brush that will work and as I add more detail the detail brush and magnifying glasses come out. It seems as I get older the magnifying glasses are coming out earlier.
    I have read if you think your brush is large enough you are probably using to small a brush. DMP will have to let others chime in..

    side note..I think a lot of time the bigger brush in the beginning keeps you from worrying so much about detail and concentrating on form and tones.

    looking good so far
  • CMD

    IMHO Use what you need to achieve the desired result. Larger brushes for impressionistic tiles of color that suggest detail at a distance usually on canvas larger than 16x20. If you want to achieve a photo-realistic appearance use small brushes, particularly on smaller supports.

    Get used to both types of brushes, and apply as appropriate. Starting out has nothing to do with it.

    In your fine painting taking shape here you will find smaller brushes easier to render facial details, larger brushes elsewhere.

  • Thanks for the answers. Love this site great resource 

  • Love the diagonal layout of this portrait. You've made a good start. As for brush size, what's been said thus far sounds right.


  • Painting faces seems to have a great deal with how our minds are designed to complete facial patterns. the illusions of light are spectacular. I find I think I've found a value that will cover a swatch and I find my mind has in fact compensated and the value changes in that swatch.
  • I'll admit that I was a bit shall we say intoxicated when I wrote that Kingston. However I think bullshit is a bit dismissive. yes see it paint it, but I was referring to the color illusion illustrated well by typing those key words into google image. color illusion. anyway I will try and be sober when I express thoughts here in future. cheers
  • SummerSummer -
    edited April 2016
    @CMD Another thing to remember about larger brushes vs. smaller brushes:  As I learned from Mark in one of his videos, sometimes  you have to use a smaller brush when you would like to be using a larger one.  Sometimes you are just stuck with a smaller brush.  Why?  When the larger one would deplete the amount of paint that you have mixed because the belly/bristles of the larger one would use up too much paint in the loading process.   :)    I know, I know--just mix more paint, you say.  Ha ha.    The aforementioned is true then when  mixing more paint isn't an option for whatever reason(s) at the time.   :)  
  • thanks @Summer I my thinking on it through this discussion and further thought is, because the faces are not life sized, i'm simply not comfortable enough with paint brushes yet to try and work with a larger brush. My next painting I'm going to try a life size face and no brushes bellow size 2.
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