Malpalette

Brushes

Brushes are a traditional painting tool available in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials. They can be classified according to painting technique or paint, as some brushes or hairs are more suitable for certain paints than others. The shape of the brush also determines what type of painting the particular brush is suitable for.

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Brushes Brushes are a traditional painting tool available in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials. They can be classified according to painting technique or paint, as some brushes or... read more »
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Malpalette

Brushes

Brushes are a traditional painting tool available in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials. They can be classified according to painting technique or paint, as some brushes or hairs are more suitable for certain paints than others. The shape of the brush also determines what type of painting the particular brush is suitable for.

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Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Synthetic Brushes - Set of 5 - 50 008 Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Synthetic...
Graduate brush set with 5 different short-handled brushes. Synthetic brushes ideally suited for acrylic paint.
€8.19 *

 

Prices incl. VAT plus shipping costs
Article shipping Category: 1

Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Synthetic Brushes - Set of 5 - 50 001 Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Synthetic...
Graduate brush set with 5 different short-handled brushes. Synthetic brushes ideally suited for acrylic paint.
€8.19 *

 

Prices incl. VAT plus shipping costs
Article shipping Category: 1

Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Natural Brushes - Set of 4 - 41 002 Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Natural Brushes...
Graduate brush set with 4 different long-handled brushes. Natural bristle brushes ideally suited for oil paint.
€6.99 *

 

Prices incl. VAT plus shipping costs
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Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Synthetic Brushes - Set of 3 - 30 009 Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Synthetic...
Graduate brush set with 3 different short-handled brushes. Synthetic brushes ideally suited for acrylic paint and watercolour.
€5.39 *

 

Prices incl. VAT plus shipping costs
Article shipping Category: 1

Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Synthetic Round Brushes - Set of 3 - 30 007 Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Synthetic Round...
Graduate brush set with 3 different short-handled brushes. Synthetic brushes ideally suited for acrylic paint.
€5.39 *

 

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Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Natural & Synthetic Selection - Set of 3 - 30 006 Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Natural &...
Graduate brush set with 3 different short-handled brushes. 1 pig bristle brush and 2 synthetic brushes. Suited for watercolour.
€5.39 *

 

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Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Natural & Synthetic Selection - Set of 3 - 30 005 Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Natural &...
Graduate brush set with 3 different short-handled brushes. 2 mop brushes made from white goat hair and 1 synthetic brush. Ideally suited for watercolours.
€5.39 *

 

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Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Acrylic & Oil Brush Collection long-handled - Set of 10 - 00110 Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Acrylic & Oil...
Graduate brush set with 10 different long-handled brushes. Included are 5 bristle brushes and 5 synthetic brushes. 
€31.49 *

 

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Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Natural & Synthetic Selection - Set of 4 - 40 010 Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Natural &...
Graduate brush set with 4 different short-handled brushes. 2 natural hair and 2 synthetic brushes. Suited for watercolour.
€6.69 *

 

Prices incl. VAT plus shipping costs
Article shipping Category: 1

Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Synthetic Brushes - Set of 4 - 41 001 Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Synthetic...
Graduate brush set with 4 different long-handled brushes. Synthetic brushes ideally suited for acrylic paint.
€6.99 *

 

Prices incl. VAT plus shipping costs
Article shipping Category: 1

Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Synthetic Brushes - Set of 5 - 50 009 Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Synthetic...
Graduate brush set with 5 different short-handled brushes. Synthetic brushes ideally suited for acrylic paint and watercolour.
€8.19 *

 

Prices incl. VAT plus shipping costs
Article shipping Category: 1

Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Synthetic Brushes - Set of 5 - 51 001 Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Synthetic...
Graduate brush set with 5 different long-handled brushes. Synthetic brushes ideally suited for acrylic paint.
€8.69 *

 

Prices incl. VAT plus shipping costs
Article shipping Category: 1

Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Synthetic Brushes - Set of 4 - 40 009 Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Synthetic...
Graduate brush set with 4 different short-handled brushes. Synthetic brushes ideally suited for acrylic paint and watercolour.
€6.69 *

 

Prices incl. VAT plus shipping costs
Article shipping Category: 1

Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Synthetic Brushes - Set of 5 - 50 006 Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Synthetic...
Graduate brush set with 5 different short-handled brushes. Synthetic brushes ideally suited for acrylic paint and watercolour.
€8.19 *

 

Prices incl. VAT plus shipping costs
Article shipping Category: 1

Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Acrylic & Oil Brush Collection short-handled - Set of 10 - 00100 Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Acrylic & Oil...
Graduate brush set with 10 different short-handled brushes. Synthetic brushes ideally suited for acrylic and oil paints.
€31.49 *

 

Prices incl. VAT plus shipping costs
Article shipping Category: 1

Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Synthetic Brushes - Set of 3 - 30 001 Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Synthetic...
Graduate brush set with 3 different short-handled brushes. Synthetic brushes ideally suited for acrylic paint.
€5.39 *

 

Prices incl. VAT plus shipping costs
Article shipping Category: 1

Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Synthetic Brushes - Set of 3 - 31 001 Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Synthetic...
Graduate brush set with 3 different long-handled brushes. Synthetic brushes ideally suited for acrylic paint.
€5.69 *

 

Prices incl. VAT plus shipping costs
Article shipping Category: 1

Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Natural Brushes - Set of 3 - 31 002 Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Natural Brushes...
Graduate brush set with 3 different long-handled brushes. Natural bristle brushes ideally suited for oil paint.
€5.69 *

 

Prices incl. VAT plus shipping costs
Article shipping Category: 1

Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Synthetic Brushes - Angled Shader Set of 4 - 40 006 Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Synthetic...
Graduate brush set with 4 different short-handled brushes. Synthetic brushes ideally suited for acrylic paint.
€6.69 *

 

Prices incl. VAT plus shipping costs
Article shipping Category: 1

Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Natural Brushes - Set of 5 - 51 002 Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Natural Brushes...
Graduate brush set with 5 different long-handled brushes. Natural bristle brushes ideally suited for oil paint.
€8.69 *

 

Prices incl. VAT plus shipping costs
Article shipping Category: 1

Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Synthetic Brushes - Set of 5 - 50 002 Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Synthetic...
Graduate brush set with 5 different long-handled brushes. Synthetic brushes ideally suited for acrylic paint.
€8.19 *

 

Prices incl. VAT plus shipping costs
Article shipping Category: 1

Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Synthetic Brushes - Set of 5 - 50 003 Daler Rowney Graduate Brushes - Synthetic...
Graduate brush set with 5 different short-handled brushes. Synthetic brushes ideally suited for acrylic paint.
€10.08 *

 

Prices incl. VAT plus shipping costs
Article shipping Category: 1

Daler Rowney Simply Brushes - Natural & Synthetic Selection - Set of 10 - 10 110 Daler Rowney Simply Brushes - Natural &...
Brush set with 10 different short-handled brushes. Choice of natural hair and synthetic fibres. Ideally suited for watercolour.
€6.89 *

 

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Daler Rowney Brushes - System 3 - Acrylic Brush Set 401 - Set of 4 - 00401 Daler Rowney Brushes - System 3 - Acrylic Brush...
System 3 brush set with 4 different short-handled acrylic brushes. The brushes are equipped with resilient synthetic bristles.
€10.98 *

 

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Since each brush has specific painting properties it is helpful to familiarise yourself with different brushes and try out different options. This makes it easier to find out which brushes are best to work with. Accordingly, it makes sense to get a basic stock of high-quality brush sets and to expand the assortment with specific brushes if necessary.

Brush construction and materials

Brushes consist of a handle, which is usually made of wood, and a brush head made of hair, bristles or synthetic fibres. The metal sleeve, also called a ferrule, firmly connects the handle and the head.

Brush handles are commonly made of wood - natural, polished, lacquered - and sometimes plastic. Long handles are usually used for working at a distance, especially on easels, and short-handled brushes are good for detailed and precise work at close range, such as watercolour painting on a table.

The brush head is equipped with either hair or bristles. There is a wide range of materials available - from high-quality and natural hair, to bristles, to resistant synthetic fibres. The material and its fineness determine the quality and possible uses of the brush. As a rule, the thicker the bristles or the hair, the more paint the brush can absorb.

Different brush materials at a glance:

  • Synthetic fibre - durable, hard-wearing, easy to clean, inexpensive and versatile;
    particularly suitable for acrylic paint
  • Natural hair - characterised by a special softness and paint absorbency; quality
    depends on the animal species; very suitable for watercolour and oil paint
  • Bristles - strong, resistant, high elasticity, well suited for pasty colour applications;
    ideal for oil and acrylic paint
  • Mixed hair - a mixture of different natural hairs, or a mixture of natural hairs and
    synthethic fibres; the characteristics and suitable uses result from the respective
    materials

Brush shapes

Different brush shapes are suitable for different techniques.

The classic basic shapes in the field of artists' brushes are the round brush and the flat brush. All other special shapes trace back to these two. There are different brush shapes that have been specially developed for flat, structured, linear or detailed painting techniques.

Round brushes

Round brushes are traditional brushes in a classic rounded shape. They taper towards the tip and are particularly suitable for softly painted elements, details and drop-shaped, rounded forms. They can be used for soft glazing or for pasty application of paint. Round brushes hold more paint than other shapes due to their closely spaced hairs and therefore release paint for a longer time.

  • bellied round brush - bulbous brush head with very fine tip, absorbs a lot of paint;
    especially suitable for watercolour painting
  • blunt round brush - without tip, excellent for dabbing
  • liner brush - long hair with tapered brush tip, stores a lot of paint, suitable for long
    strokes, for freehand drawing of long lines, for finely blending lines; especially
    suitable for thin colours such as watercolour
  • script / rigger - long thin brush head with fine tip; absorbs a lot of paint and releases
    it slowly; suitable for fine lines, contours, writings and for hatching
  • stencilling brush - characterised by hairs of equal length bound to build a flat tip,
    and a short handle; mainly used for working with stencils or for fabric printing

Flat brushes

Flat brushes are classic brushes with a rectangular tip. They are especially suitable for flat or glazed applications of paint and for drawing precise lines and edges. Flat brushes spread the paint evenly and their edges can be used to paint detailed, narrow strokes and corners.

  • Filbert - oval rounded tapered tip; suitable for surfaces as well as for curves, contours
    and details, enables colour transitions and washes
  • Fan - broadly fanned out hairs or bristles; ideal for organic effects and structures in
    landscape painting, e.g. grasses and trees
  • Angled brush - bevelled brush tip, for painting surfaces, geometric shapes, corners
    and straight edges
  • Priming brush - robust and elastic with a broad brush head; absorbs a lot of paint, can
    easily apply thick, pasty paints evenly; suitable for applying gesso/primer as well as
    pastose artists' paints
  • Glaze brush - wide and short brush head, soft hairs, short handle; spreads the medium
    evenly without leaving marks, used for varnishing

Palette knives and Painting spatulas

Palette knives and spatulas are classic brush tools used in impasto painting. They are used to thickly apply or scrape paint. Painting knives are suitable for applying broad layers of paint, for impasto work, as well as for three-dimensional details and effects. They can also be used for mixing paint on the palette or for removing paint from the painting surface. Palette knives and spatulas come in different shapes and designs.

You can find palette knives in the category Painting Mediums and Tools .

Brush care and cleaning

Brushes should be cleaned thoroughly after each use, otherwise they will be damaged and become unusable. Dried paint under the brush ferrule, for example, causes the brush hairs to be spread apart and the brush loses its shape.

We recommend that you handle your brushes in a sustainable way already when painting. When not in use, it is a good idea to wipe off the paint and place the brushes in a brush washer or in water so that the paint cannot dry on.

Brushes should be cleaned thoroughly after use, as long as the paint has not yet dried. Depending on the painting technique there are various tools you can use to clean your brushes. Water-soluble paint, such as acrylic paint, can simply be washed out under warm (not hot) running water. Clean your brushes thoroughly with plenty of water and use mild soap if necessary. You can use special brush soap or normal hand soap. Put soap on your hand or the brush and foam it up with circular movements. Then rinse the brush thoroughly with water. Special brush soap usually re-greases the brush and keeps the brush hairs smooth, which increases the life of the brush. For cleaning dried, non-water-soluble paint (such as oil paint or acrylic paint) you need a special cleaner.

You can dab cleaned wet brushes with a cloth, reshape the hairs into place with your fingers and then let them air dry. If a brush that is still wet is closed airtight, mould may form.

Which brush for which painting technique?

There is a selection of suitable brushes for each type of paint and each painting technique. Basically, brushes should lie light in the hand and be easy to control. By varying the pressure you can influence whether the brush paints wider or narrower strokes. If you hold the brush closer to its tip you have more control when painting details - if you hold the brush further back, you have more mobility and flexibility.

Pointed and narrow brushes tend to be used for detailed work, larger, more wider brushes for painting more extensive surfaces. Brushes with coarse bristles leave expressive patterns and textures in the fresh paint, especially when working impasto, while fine and smooth brushes are used for details and painting surfaces without texture. In general - the thinner the paint, the softer and denser the fibres of the brush should be.

Brushes for Watercolour

Soft brushes with natural or synthetic hair are usually used for painting with watercolour. In watercolour painting it is important that the brush has elasticity, can absorb a lot of water at once and releases it again slowly and evenly. In this way, no undesirable streaks, patterns or irregularities occur when applying the paint. Hard bristle brushes are not suitable for watercolour painting.

Brushes for Acrylic

Acrylic paints allow a variety of techniques because they are applied in liquid and pastose form. Accordingly, there is a wide range of brushes that are suitable for acrylic painting. Hard-wearing synthetic fibre brushes are particularly popular and often offer particularly good value for money. For pastose and structured work painting knives or painting spatulas are often used.

Brushes for Oil

Brushes for oil painting should have a good elasticity to be able to work the paint finely and with structure. High-quality natural hair is particularly suitable here. The shape of the brush depends on the chosen painting technique. For more impasto oil painting, bristle brushes are popular because they can absorb a lot of paint and are robust. For finer, more detailed techniques, natural hair or certain synthetic fibres are recommended.

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