Hi everyone! Kaley here with the Hobby Lobby
Creative Studio! Have you ever wanted to try your hand at painting but just didn’t know
where to get started? Never fear! Because today I’m going to give you a rundown on paint
brushes and get you one step closer to creating your very own masterpiece.
First off, let’s go over the anatomy of a paint brush real quick. Here you’ve got your
handle, crimp, ferrule, and bristles or hair. The crimp connects the handle to the ferrule,
which holds the bristles in place and is typically made of metal. The bristles themselves are
broken down into the heel, the belly, and the toe.
Now if you look at a brush’s handle, you’ll usually see a number printed there. See that?
The length, diameter, and width of the bristles determine this number within each brand of
paintbrushes. Notice how I said within each brand? That’s
because there’s no industry standard when it comes to numbering these guys.
A number six brush in one brand, for example, is not necessarily the same size as a number
six brush in another brand. So just keep that in mind, because it can get kind of confusing
otherwise! Something else that’s pretty important is
what type of bristles or hair your brush has. Traditionally, brushes were made with hair
from animals like hogs, badgers, camels, oxen, and sables. But today, synthetic bristles
are leading the pack in popularity and availability. That’s because manufacturers are now better
able to make synthetic bristles that replicate the benefits of natural hair. This gives artists
the performance of animal hair combined with the durability and affordability of synthetic
bristles. For example, natural hair tends to hold onto
paint better for a more slow and even release of pigment. Now good synthetic bristles can
do that too. And because synthetic bristles are typically made from nylon or polyester,
they also stand up to oil and acrylic paints, cleaning solvents, and rough painting surfaces.
For more help choosing just the right brush for your painting project, take a walk down
the paint brush aisle at Hobby Lobby. There you’ll find placards with specific information
on the brushes available. When it comes down to it, though, picking
the sizes and bristle or hair type of your brushes is mostly personal preference, so
do whatever feels best to you! Alright, now let’s get into brush shapes.
The most common types are flat, bright,
liner, and mop.
How about I break each one of these brushes down for you and show you what they can do?
First up is the flat brush, appropriately named for it’s wide set, flat arrangement
of bristles. The one I have here is pretty large, but you can get them in a bunch of
sizes. Flat brushes produce a range of strokes, from thin lines to bold strokes. They also
work for painting large areas and for blending. To make this mountain scape, we used a combination
of flat brush techniques. Brights are pretty similar in style to flat
brushes, but their bristles are shorter. That makes them really good for smaller, controlled
strokes. Brights are also commonly used for blending on a smaller scale, laying on the
paint nice and thick, or subtly switching back and forth from thin to thick strokes.
With just this one brush we were able to create this realistic water here.
The filbert brush has a characteristically oval shape, which makes it a really diverse
brush. For example, filberts can hold a lot of water, so they’re good for washes. Plus
their bristles stay together well when wet, so you can use them for smooth blending and
stroking. I really like this brush for painting leaves, flowers, figures, and other elements,
like this pineapple. Remember that flat brush we used earlier?
Well this brush is a variation on the classic flat and is called an angular brush because
it has, you guessed it, angled bristles. Its clean-cut edges make precise stokes and coloring
in tight spots a cinch. Angular brushes work well for curves, too. Look at how all these
strokes from an angled brush came together to create this flower!
Next up is the easily recognized fan brush. It’s fanned out bristles are perfect for soft
blending and smoothing without harsh lines. And don’t forget about the textures fan brushes
are capable of. They’re a popular choice for making realistic grass and trees—like these
examples here. Round brushes are next on our list. These
are excellent for a bunch of techniques, including thick-to-thin lines, washes, and fills. See
how easy it is to get that variation in line width? This brush I have here is pretty standard,
but you can also find pointed-round and detail-round brushes like these, which will give you a
wider variety of effects. To make this greenery, I just pushed down with my round brush and
let up as I moved out from the center. This thin brush I have here is called a liner.
You can use it for intricate outlining and detailing, and it’s a great brush for lettering,
too. Liner brushes can actually hold a good amount of paint for being so little, which
is how you can create both smooth, continuous strokes and many short, fine detailed strokes.
See how we used those for our bear’s fur? Check out this guy. It’s called a mop brush
and its soft bristles are most often used for adding color over large areas, and for
softening harsh edges, as well. If you’ve added too much water or medium to your project,
you can use the mop brush to remove it. Try dabbing a mop brush to create fun texture,
or twirl it to create perfect circles, like I’ve done with these grapes.
Isn’t it great that there are so many brush options? If you don’t know which ones to choose,
you could always pick up an affordable variety pack with several different kinds and find
the sizes and types you like best. OK, before I go, I want to give you a couple
basic tips for caring for your brushes so that you get the most use out of them.
First off, don’t let paint dry onto your brushes’ bristles or ferrule. Clean them mid-project
if you have to. You’ll also want to avoid letting brushes sit in water because that
will cause them to warp, bend, and fray. After they’re clean, let them dry horizontally. Watercolor and acrylic paints can be cleaned
off brushes with water and, if necessary, hand soap. For oil paints, though, you’ll
need a cleaning solvent since water just won’t cut it. Remember to follow the precautions
on the container and you’re good to go. Who knew there was so much to learn about
paint brushes! I hope this gave you the confidence to start your next—or first!—painting
project. For more tutorials and inspiration, be sure to check out our other videos, and
I’ll see you next time here at the Hobby Lobby Creative Studio!