How to know what paint brush to use 

If you’re unsure which paint brush to use, the best course of action is to experiment with several shapes. For instance, you may begin by using solely bristle rounds. Then attempt to paint just with flats, followed by filberts.

Bear in mind that it takes time to get acquainted with the varied forms. Perfection is achieved via practice. So how do you choose the ideal tool? Here are sixteen pointers to assist you in determining which paintbrush to use for any painting.

Bear in mind that regardless of the paintbrush you purchase, if you want it to endure, you must properly care for it. For more information on this, see our complete guide on how to clean paintbrushes.

There are two forms of hair

The first method I classify paint brushes is according to the sort of hair they contain. The two major hair kinds are bristle (A) and sable (B) (B). Both are available in a variety of forms and sizes and are composed of either real animal hair or synthetic fiber. Bristles are often used for harsher markings, whereas sables are used for softer strokes.

02. Brushes with bristles

Bristle brushes are formed with hair that is thicker, stronger, and sometimes coarser. They were initially derived from animals such as wild pigs, but synthetic bristle brushes have become quite popular in recent years. Bristles are advantageous because they can retain a substantial amount of paint. I paint mostly with brushes, particularly when covering vast surfaces.

Bristle impressions

To assist you in deciding which paint brush to use, below are some examples of markings created with bristle brushes. Bristle markings are often coarser, and the paint strokes are more visible. These are often referred to as “painterly” strokes. I like the rough appearance because it adds dimension and diversity to my paintings. Additionally, I like bristles for sketching type markings because of their rigidity and endurance.

Sable bristle brushes

Sable brushes are often constructed with finer, softer hair. Sables may be constructed of soft animal hair, such as that of a mongoose or mink, or of soft synthetic fibers. Sables are my preferred medium for merging edges and producing softer, more delicate traces. Additionally, I prefer working with tiny sables for minute details and final touches.

Sable insignia

Here is an illustration of some of the markings created by sable brushes. Sables leave very clean markings and the paint brush strokes are often concealed. As a result, sables are excellent for generating a more “realistic” appearance in a painting. Sables are excellent for creating delicate, airbrush-like lines and blending.

Three distinct types of paintbrushes

The next way I classify paint brushes is according to their form. The three most often seen forms are flat (A), filbert (B), and round (C) (C ). All three forms are available in bristle or sable hair. Additionally, they come in a variety of sizes. Years of practice and expertise helped me determine which form was ideal for me.

Brushes round

The most often used paint brush form is round. Round brushes are formed like huge needles or sharp teardrops. I like working with circles and creating drawing-like markings. I often begin my paintings by drawing with a tiny round paintbrush and then filling bigger sections with larger rounds.

Slender brushes

The second most-often used paint brush form is flat. Brushes with a flat form are rectangular in shape. Square-shaped markings are created using flat brushes. Additionally, they may create chisel-like lines, particularly when using a sable flat. I mostly utilize flats to model shape. They are ideal for delineating planes and forms in a figure or portrait painting.

Filbert combs

The last and most often used brush form is filbert. Filberts are a cross between round and flat. They are rectangular in form, similar to a flat paint brush, but taper to a tip, similar to a round paint brush. Filberts may make a broad range of markings due to their distinctive form. I use filberts for a variety of painting jobs, including edge blending.

Bristle brush prints with a round bristle

Here are some examples of round bristle brush markings. Rounds may leave a variety of indentations. They, like a pencil or marker, may range in thickness from thick to thin. Because the design resembles a pencil, I like using round bristles to create sketching and hatching marks. Almost every painting begins with a spherical bristle.

Sable paint brush marks in the round

Here are several instances of round sable paintbrush markings. Sables have finer, softer hair that holds its form nicely. I utilize round sables for a number of purposes, including edge blending and fine detail work. My favorite brushes for adding minor details are little sable rounds.

Marks made with a flat bristle paint brush

I like using square-shaped lines to paint planes on shapes. When I paint figures or portraits, I use a flat bristle paint brush for most of the job. Additionally, I like the way bristle brushes make the paint strokes incredibly evident. How To Select The Right Paint Brush more about by Clicking Here.

Bristle brush imprints made with filbert bristles

Filberts are capable of producing a broad range of markings, ranging from thick to fine and back again. They are excellent for sketching and painting the head or figure because of their adaptability. I include filbert bristles into my paintings to give variation and texture.

Marks with a filbert sable brush

As with bristle filberts, sable filberts may form a variety of markings. At times, it has the sense of sketching with ink or charcoal. Filbert sables are excellent for creating sharp, drawing markings and edges as well as blending edges.

Extensive brushes

Larger brushes nearly usually have a flat form and are constructed of bristle, which carries more paint. Large brushes such as this ( A ) range in size from 1/2 inch to 1 inch. The big flat with a long handle (B) is a size 12. I use huge brushes not just for painting vast areas, but also for gesso and varnish application. You can read about How to select a paint brush as an artist by visiting