brushes for oil painting?

what type of brushes should I buy? and I have many paint colors, some canvas, turpentine, lindseed oil... anything before I get started?

3 Answers

  • Nomi
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hi. There are essentially four different shaped brushes -- bright, round, flat and filbert. Each gives you a somewhat different brushstroke. What shape you use is up to you. As a beginner you might want to try a few different kinds, but, I'm a painter full time and use almost exclusively rounds because I want less of a distinctive mark left by the brush. A flat, for instance, will tend to give you quite a squared off stroke.

    It's hard to tell you what sizes w/out knowing the size of your work or the level of detail you're interested in. And you might not know yourself since you're just starting. I'm doing a lot of small-ish landscapes right now (in oil) and I'm using a few 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, and 6s (the "s" is for plural, not the letter "s") But for larger canvases, I'd be using up to size 10 or 12.

    For oil (or acrylic), you most likely want bristle brushes, either artificial, or natural. The more you pay for a brush, the better it will hold its point, given you take care of it and clean it properly each time you use it. But, you're just starting and even the cheapest brushes add up, so don't worry about getting the best right now.

    In addition I always keep a tiny sable brush. They are very soft and come to a tiny point. They are great for making very thin lines.

    You also probably want to get a couple of palette knives, one thin one to mix paint, and one more triangular shaped one to scrape paint off the canvas when you want to change something.

    Generally, it will be easier to manage the paint if you start out thinner -- with a lot of turpentine mixed into the paint -- and then get thicker as you add layers.

    Ventilate! The turpentine or paint thinner is very fumy and could make you sick if you don't ventilate well.

    Hope this helps a bit.

  • 1 decade ago

    Traditional oil painting brushes have long handles, so that the artist can work at some distance from the canvas. The hair is generally firmer and stiffer. I would suggest to stay away from Sable until you are familiar with painting. They are expensive and until you develope the feel for the brush or your desire to paint alot, you don't need them. Yes, they are nice, but until you know you want to advance in oil painting, there are MANY things you can spend your money on and there are good quality imitation sable brushes that work well.

    You'll find that you don't need a bunch of fancy stuff to get started. Play around with the painting, check out some tutorials and have fun.

    Here's some info on selecting material, shape, size etc...

    And here's some more info on selecting supplies...

    It is not advised to use "thinned" oil paint with turpentine for the purpose of extending the paint or creating a flowing paint. It causes problems with the longevity of the paint on the canvas and degrades the paint quality. Oils are meant to be thick. To use turpentine to make paint less dry is okay, but thinning with turpentine is not recommended by any teachers that I know of, or fine artists. There are mediums that work well for thinning and give other advantages. You'll also be able to find these on the websites listed. It's simply a choice of what outcome you are looking for. If you'd like to keep your paints from drying out quickly (within a week or 2) you can add a drop or two of clove oil to the paint. It will keep your palette moist for up to two months. Also be sure to cover your palette to avoid premature drying out of your oil paints.

    Many artists actually sculpt images or build up the depth of the paint, giving it a 3 dimensional look on their canvas.

    Hope it helps :)

    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    One could go on and on about what type of brushes to buy, how many different types are there and how to use them. I'm not going to bore you or confuse you but simply say, when i decided to learn to paint with oils i went straight to my local library. I checked out books on painting with oils, books that covered the materials and tools needed for oil painting and how they are used, and books on different artist and the techniques they used. I'm going on six years since that first trip to the library and things have worked out quite well. Why settle for opinions that are not always on the mark when your local library offers you a better choice of reliable information. My art can be checked out at under artist name GUERRO1.

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