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  • Writer's pictureNeha Dubey

How to choose right brushes for oil painting

When we look for guidance for choosing right brushes for oil painting, the information on the internet can be overwhelming. But no more worries. I have put basic information to get you started. As you progress in your learning you'll figure out what works best for you.

Where to start

When buying brushes for oils, bristle brushes are good choice. But I use some synthetic brushes too for oils as bristle brush doesn't give you very fine details as its bristles are not smooth. But when making your first trip to art store buy at least these brushes..

  1. Flat brush ( used for backgrounds and blending techniques).

  2. Filbert brush ( used for creating trees and bushes and other techniques).

  3. Small round brush ( for details in your painting)

  4. Small flat or angled brush for creating lines etc.

These are minimum required brushes. You can buy more or extra to use with different colours so you don't have to clean all the time when you change colour shade.

Picture of brushes used for oil paintings
Oil painting brushes

Some stores sell brushes in sets. I don't recommend those as they don't give you results you need and half of them will never be used. Buy student grade brushes for starting then you can upgrade later. If you are buying for kids only you can go for those cheap sets as they are not going to be easy on brushes..Trust me on that!!

Extra stuff

You might also need some palette knives for amazing knife techniques. You can buy those two basic knives you see in the image above Or buy set of 5 knives. It is cheaper and good for using. Don't buy plastic ones, they don't give good control.

Cleaning your brushes

There is no shortcut when it comes to clean your brushes. There are so many option available for brush cleaning mediums. Some are paint thinner, turpentine, mineral spirits etc. Go for odourless products because smell can be too strong. Choose an open area with good ventilation when oil painting.

You'll have to clean brush when changing colour or end of your painting session. Don't leave brushes for too long in cleaner, it might ruin your brushes. Let's not forget clean paper towel or cloth to wipe your brush. when your brush doesn't leave any paint on tissue/towel means it's clean.

For the final summery..Don't over think, relax and start painting. Nothing goes wrong when you love what you do. And no mistake in painting can't be fixed with a little touchup..if you can't, just call them beautiful mistakes :)

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