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.

Advertisements

Why Do Thumbnail Sketches?

If you are wondering what thumbnail sketches are they are small sketches which can help you work out a composition.  Why bother with them?  Well when we start drawing and painting we tend to forget that we have choices about what viewpoint, angle and the arrangement of subject matter.

Why Thumbnail Sketches are a Good Idea 

Thumbnail sketches are essential to work out composition choices, they help the artist explore the options and what would work best before embarking on the final piece.  You can explore variations by altering the placing of the focal point, the amount of background or foreground and different viewpoints.  All this can be worked out before committing hours to a final piece which might not have the best composition.

Learn to plan your artwork
Learn to plan your artwork

Composition is important

Although the subject matter is important the positioning and viewpoint is what can make artwork interesting or not, so composition is worth spending some time on. You can play around with different solutions using thumbnail sketches.  I always spend some time arranging a still life and working out different arrangements before I then start some thumbnail sketches.

Some questions to ask when trying out thumbnail sketches could be: Is the focal point (the most dominant object) in the right place?  Is there balance in the composition, some small objects balancing out a larger object?  Is it interesting? Does it lead the observer into the piece? Could the piece be cropped for better results?

Using a viewfinder can help you find a good composition
Using a viewfinder can help you find a good composition

Another way to find out what composition might work best is to use a viewfinder – see my post What is a Viewfinder? for more advice on this topic.