5 Brushes for Beginners

I recommend five brushes for beginners which should give you a lot of scope with your painting.  It is important to have more than one brush and more than one brush type when you are a beginner.  You may not want to buy many brushes but these 5 are the most useful in my view.

  • Large flat brush
  • Medium sized angled flat brush
  • Medium sized round  brush
  • Small round brush
  • Medium sized filbert brush
Types of brush
The five types of brushes all beginners should have

These five brushes will give you flexibility in how you paint and each brush can do a slightly different job.  Another brush that is handy is the fan brush, this brush is fan shaped and ideal for light texture.

Most beginners buy a pack of brushes, this is often less expensive than buying brushes individually.  Look out for a pack of brushes containing these five types of brushes.  Starter brush packs are ideal for beginners but do make sure they contain brushes of different sizes, some contain brushes which are basically the same.

I would recommend synthetic brushes for beginners, they are less expensive than natural fibre brushes and are all-purpose which means you can use them for everything.

Also see my Art Materials page for more advice.

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The Dos and Don’ts of Brush Care

By looking after your brushes they will last a lot longer.  Good brushes are fairly expensive so it makes sense to get into good habits and look after them.  Follow these dos and don’ts to look after your brushes:

Don’t 

Don’t let paint dry on the brush

Particularly acrylic paint, which is so fast drying.  This can happen very quickly, the paint on the outside layer starts drying out, particularly on the ferrule (the segment of the brush that connects the bristles to the handle).  Once paint dries on the ferrule it tends to stop the flexibility of the bristles.

Don’t overload the brush with paint

You should try to avoid this for the same reason as the one above, if you overload the brush with paint it will cover the ferrule.  Paint can be hard to remove once partially dry from the join where the ferrule and bristles meet.  Once dry paint builds up in this join the brush becomes less flexible.

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