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What Are The Best Brushes For Oil Painting?

best brushes for oil painting


A high-quality oil painting brush can make all the difference in the world when it comes to creating a masterpiece. In this blog, we take an in-depth look at all the best brushes for oil painting. We explore the benefits and characteristics of each brush type, the brush hair’s texture, and their ability to handle the thick consistency of oil paint. So get ready to take your oil painting skills to the next level with these top-quality oil paint brushes. Read on.




1. Hog Bristle brushes: artist’s favourite 

2. Stiff synthetic brushes: versatile option

3. Taklon brushes: the vegan alternative 

4. Soft synthetic brushes: a gentle touch 



What are the best brushes for oil painting?



1. Hog Bristle brushes: artist’s favourite


A favourite amongst many artists is the hog bristle paintbrush! Made from stiff, coarse hair, they are incredibly durable, making them one of the best brushes for oil painting. When using heavy paints such as oil, it’s important to have brushes with durability for more colour control. Hog hair paint brushes come in various shapes and sizes for specific painting needs and provide a unique finish to your art. 



2. Stiff Synthetic brushes: versatile option


Stiff synthetic brushes are a great option for oil-based art as they are built for heavy-bodied artist paints and can create a variety of textures.  Stiff Synthetic Brushes are made using synthetic bristles that possess the same stiffness as natural bristle. Unlike natural bristle the brush fibers stay together regardless of the painting surface or the degree of pressure applied, allowing control and precise placement of colour. These Brushes are super stiff yet still extremely responsive. Unlike natural hog bristle, Stiff sythetic brushes dont go limp in water making them ideal for waterbased paints also and generally last a lot longer.



3. Taklon brushes: the vegan alternative 


Looking for a vegan alternative to the hog bristle paint brushes, but still want that colour control and durability? Then Taklon brushes are your ideal option! Similar to synthetic brushes, Taklon is a fibre that mimics the absorbency of natural hair, meaning it can achieve a wide range of bold and detailed strokes. Taklon brushes are versatile and can be used with watercolour paints and acrylic paints


4. Soft Synthetic brushes: a gentle touch 


If you prefer a gentle touch when using your oil paint, soft synthetic brushes are great for blending, creating soft edges, and laying your oil paint delicately. Soft synthetic brushes have a smooth texture making them perfect for creating subtle linework. Using different techniques, you can create fine details and various blending effects. Soft brushes are an easier option for oil painting beginners starting their journey because they have a high level of control and make for an easy blending experience. 



Your one-stop shop for art supplies 


And there you have it, a guide to all the best brushes for oil painting! At Art to Art, we have a wide selection of brushes to choose from, including watercolour brushes, varnish brushes, acrylic paint brushes and so much more! Upgrade your collection today and experience the quality! Don’t forget to check out other art supplies or browse our full selection of paint brush sets, canvas, mediums, and art paper.  




Best paint brushes for oil painting: FAQS



Do you wet the brush before using oil paint?


This depends on the painting technique you are using. Wetting the brush is a great way to thin down your paint so it applies smoother and goes further. It’s important not to use water when working with oil paints because they repel each other - instead, oil artists use solvents or mediums, depending on what layer of the painting they are doing and how slow or fast they need it to dry. If you are going for a drybrush effect you would not wet your brush first, and this will achieve a very textural, sketch-like look.



What size brush is best for oil painting?


The size of the brush you use for oil painting depends on several factors, including the size of your canvas, your painting style, and the brush's shapes. For a large canvas, you might want to cover more space, so using flat brushes in size 10 may be appropriate. For smaller brushwork, a round brush size 2 may work for you. Keep in mind all ranges differ in measurements, so what would be considered a size 2 in one range may look different in another range. Guides to brush dimensions can usually be found on the brand's website, but if you are unsure you can call us and our friendly staff can direct you to the right brush for you!

Can I leave oil paint brushes overnight?


We do not recommend leaving your brushes overnight without cleaning them first. Oil paint dries slowly and if left wet, the paint can harden and dry onto the bristle, making them difficult to use again. The optimal way to look after oil brushes is by removing as much excess oil with a  spare cloth, then gently using a solvent paint brush cleaner to maintain their quality. 



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