Creating art with acrylic paint can be very rewarding. Unlike oil paints that require months to cure, acrylic paintings can be finished in a matter of hours. A completed acrylic painting can be framed the next day.
But creating paintings in acrylic require a specialized type of brush. Yes, the same brushes that are used for watercolor and oil can be used for acrylics, but it is not recommended. Acrylic paints tend to have a more abrasive texture that either oil or water color. Some of the application techniques for acylic paints are much more damaging to brushes that with the other mediums.
Acrylic brushes tend to be made from nylon filements for a longer lasting bristle. These synthetic fibers are more resiliant than natural bristles like hoghair. You definitely do not want to use one of your expensive sable watercolor brushes with acrylic paints.
Brushes used specifically for acrylic paintings come in several different styles. They are;
- Rounds-This type of brush is good for applying acrylic paint in an ink-like consistency and for fine detail work.
- Long Flat-This type of brush is good for the impasto style of painting because they can hold plenty of thich paint. They also work well for producing brush strokes with straight edges.
- Short Flat or Bright-Basically the same as the long flat except with shorter bristles. Great for short brush strokes.
- Filbert-These brushes have flat bristles with a rounded corner profile and are perfect for blending paints.
- Fan Brush-Named for it’s fan-shape. This brush works very well for creating light fluffy cloud formations, grasses, and fur.
- Rigger-This brush is not really an acrylic brush, but works great for really fine detail with thinned paints. This brush gets it’s name from it’s ability to create ship rigging in paintings.
Acrylic brushes come in typical sizes from 1, the smallest, to 20, the largest size. Sizes can vary greatly between manufacturers, so when buying brushes, don’t go as much by the number as by the actual size you’re looking for.
Well, except for brush care and cleaning, which is another article, that’s about it. So until next time, keep your brushes clean, your colors pure, and as always, thanks for stopping by the North Forty.