The 4 Most Useful Brushes

My learners often ask which brushes are best to buy, this depends on what type of painting you are doing.  There are four types of brushes that I couldn’t do without and I think everyone needs.  Below are the most useful types of brushes in my opinion:

The Flat Brush 

This brush is ideal for backgrounds because it covers a large area without leaving those brush marks that you get with smaller brushes.  It also can save lots of time, because of the coverage you can get with them.  They are also great for painterly backgrounds and effects.  If you work large you will need a wider flat brush if you are work fairly small a medium sized one will be fine.

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The flat brush and the types of brush strokes it can achieve

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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.