Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Anatomy of a Paintbrush - Part 1, Shapes

Paintbrushes are used for applying paint or ink. With a little help from Wikipedia, we’d like to briefly paint in some of the details.

Brushes are usually made by clamping the bristles (hairs) to a handle with a ferrule, a metal collar or ring. Short-handled brushes are mainly for watercolor, ink painting and calligraphy, while the long-handled brushes are intended for oil or acrylic paint.

The styles of brush tip seen most commonly are:
  • Round: Long closely arranged bristles for detail.
  • Flat: For spreading paint quickly and evenly over a surface. They will have longer hairs than their Bright counterpart.
  • Bright: Flat brushes with short stiff bristles, good for driving paint into the weave of a canvas in thinner paint applications, as well as thicker painting styles like impasto work.
  • Filbert: These are flat brushes with domed ends. They allow good coverage and the ability to perform some detail work.
  • Fan: For blending broad adjacent areas of paint.
  • Angle: Like the Filbert, these are versatile and can be applied in both general-painting. applications as well as some detail work.
  • Mop: A larger format brush with a rounded edge for broad soft paint application as well as for getting thinner glazes over existing drying layers of paint without damaging lower layers.
  • Rigger: Round brushes with longish hairs, traditionally used for painting the rigging in pictures of sailboats and ships. They are useful for fine lines and are versatile for both oils, acrylics and watercolors.
Some other styles of brush include:
  • Sumi-e: Known by its Japanese name, it is an East Asian type Ink and wash painting brush, similar to certain watercolor brushes. They generally have a thick wooden or bamboo handle and a broad soft hair brush that when wetted should form a fine tip.
  • Hake: An Asian style of brush with a large broad wooden handle and an extremely fine soft hair used in counterpoint to traditional Sumi-e brushes for covering large areas. Often made of goat hair.
  • Spotter: Round brushes with just a few short bristles. These brushes are commonly used for small detail work, such as covering spots on photographic prints.
Speaking of coverage, BINDERS Paint Brushes Department is like a store within a story -- literally bristling with full range of artists’ brushes in all shapes, sizes and prices ranges. From the world’s finest sources, choose from Princeton Brush, Winsor & Newton, Yasutomo, Silver Brush, Art Alternatives, Loew-Cornell, Grumbacher, Isabey, Escoda and many more.

And while you here, don’t forget brush cleaner.

Coming next: Part 2, Brush Sizes

Visit the BINDERS website at www.bindersart.com!

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