An easy guide on paintbrushes and how they can affect your artwork

Whether you are a budding artist or want to know more about what tools to get for your child to create artwork, learning more about the large variety of tools available is extremely beneficial. The right choice of a paintbrush is important and can make all the difference whilst painting. Consider the paintbrush being a magic wand just about to create magic.

Paintbrushes are an extension to any budding artist’s arm, a medium to pour their thoughts onto the canvas. Here in this blog, we’ll be talking about a variety of paint brushes and their uses.


The 8 most common types of paintbrushes


As you or your child begin their artistic journey, they will begin to understand the different effects brushes have on the paint and its interaction with the canvas.

• Round Brush: A round brush is circular at the base and thin at the top. It can be used for details like outlining, controlled washes and filling in small areas of a painting. Both thin and thick lines can be created using this brush.

• Pointed-Round Brush: A pointed-round brush is slightly pointed at the top compared to a round brush. It is mainly used for intricate detailing, retouching, spotting and minute filling.

• Detail-Round Brush: A detail-round brush as its name suggests is a small round brush with short hair. It is used for delicate detailing, small, short and thin strokes.

Flat Brush: A flat brush has a square end with medium to long hair. It is typically used for edging, bold lines, filling large areas and making geometrical lines.

• Angular-Flat Brush: An angular-flat brush unlike a flat brush has angled hairs at its end. It is used to fill corners using sharp edges, it can reach the tiniest of areas with its tip.

• Bright Brush: A bright brush is like a flat brush but has slightly curved edges at the tip with short hair. It is used for small, controlled strokes for thick and heavy layers of paint.

• Filbert Brush: A filbert brush is a flat style brush with an oval-shaped tip with medium to long hair. It gives all the benefits of both flat and round hair brushes. It is used for blending techniques and to paint soft round edges.

• Fan Brush: A fan brush is a flat brush which has its hair spread up at the tip precisely like a Chinese hand fan. It is used for feathering, blending and getting different textures onto a canvas.



101 on brush care

Brushes are the main tool for most artists so it is essential to know the cleaning process of brushes. It might sound too complicated but in reality, you just need to keep in mind some simple steps. Generally, there are two types of bristles/hairs used in brushes- synthetic and natural. The major difference between both of these brushes is that natural brush fibers are made from various animal furs and hairs whereas synthetic brush fibers are made from nylon and other plastics


Synthetic brushes can be washed with water and a bit of gentle soap to remove fresh wet paint from the bristles. For natural hair brushes, you should clean any excess paint off the bristles with a clean cotton rag and a few drops of any oil (cooking oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, baby oil) or brush conditioner.




So what are your next steps?

Do not feel overwhelmed by the variety of brushes. Once you start painting you will gravitate towards a certain set of brushes and may choose to only utilise your 4 to 5 favourite brushes. The best action to do now is to pick up a paintbrush and start painting!


You may also be interested in reading Introduction of Otto2 Art HK - From Imagination to Practice

Developed for Otto2 Art and written by WOI.