Artist Brush Selection Guide: School Paints

Artist Brush Selection Guide: School Paints
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High quality finely balanced brushes are the most important tools of an artist’s trade. Their design and manufacture demands precision, patience and skill. There is an extensive range of artist paint brushes available and in a vast range of brush hairs.
Artist Brush Selection Guide school paints
Artist Brush Selection Guide  - Click Here to zoom in

The Handle:
Many school-type and mass-produced handles are made of unfinished raw wood. These are the least expensive, become easily soiled and the wood often swells in use.


School Paints
stubby brushes
School brush handle: Known as stubby brushes.  They are a short woodened handled brush with a head that is made of hog hair.  It offers the wide thick handle that is ideal for small hands and can come in either round or flat shaped head.  

Artist-type handles are made of seasoned hardwood, lathe shaped and properly balanced to give you the most comfortable grip. The pores of the wood are sealed and several coats of lacquer are applied to give the handle a polished high gloss finish.

Tapered handles are made of seasoned hardwood dowels and tapered both ends. They are either finely sanded plain wood or finished with several coats of varnish or enamel. Some brushes have moulded plastic handles instead of wood.

The Ferrule:
This is the tapered metal tube that holds the brush hair filaments. Ferrules are made of different materials aluminium, nickel, copper and nickel-plated. Seamless nickel-plated ferrules will usually appear shinier, with darker tone than aluminium.

Aluminium ferrules are seamless and polished.
Copper ferrules are seamless, polished and varnished to prevent tarnishing.
Nickel ferrules are seamless, polished nickel-plated brass.
Nickel-plated ferrules are made of nickel-plated steel and spot-welded (rust proof).

The Brush Head:
Brush heads can be constructed in many shapes and various filaments. There is an almost limitless choice available to artists but in principle hair type is divided into three groups – soft hair, hog bristle and synthetic:

Soft hair brushes are manufactured using sable, squirrel, ox hair, pony, goat and badger.


Hog brushes are manufactured from various qualities of hog bristle, either bleached or unbleached.
Synthetic brushes are made of special multi-diameter extruded nylon filament.

Next blog post we will look more at brushes.  Brush hair, shapes and what works best with the diiferent painting mediums.

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Tony Parker

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