Good Oil Paint Brushes

Whether you’re a beginner painter or an experienced artist who just needs a refresher, let’s brush up on the most important tool in your painting arsenal: your oil paint brushes.

Resplendent Grapes via Dorothy Lorenze, using medium and small round sable brushes.

A little trial and error may be required when working with a new oil painting brush, but this blog post should point you in the right direction. I’ll explain distinct types and shapes of oil paint brushes.

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Buying oil paint brushes

While it’s not all about price, it’s a good idea to get the best quality you can afford. Professional materials do not a “professional” make, but supplies that perform well will reduce your level of frustration. Quien fue antonio lucio vivaldi.

Some excellent oil paint brush brands include:

Paint brushes with polyester bristles are durable and won’t absorb moisture. They are an excellent choice for applying water-based paints but can also be used for oil-based paint and stain, varnish, lacquer and shellac. Natural bristle paint brushes Natural bristle brushes are made with animal hair. OIL PAINTING BRUSHES come in many shapes and sizes. Here is a collection of my favourite brushes for painting, and even a couple of strategies on how to make.

Two qualities to look for in every oil painting brush are “spring” and “shape” resiliency. A brush should have enough spring to respond well to your hand when you make a stroke. It should give a little — but not too much — so you get the stroke weight you desire. A higher quality brush holds its shape, meaning the hairs don’t spread too much when loaded or stay spread after use.

Parts of a oil paint brush

Starting with the basics, there are three parts of a paintbrush: bristles, ferrule and handle.


These are the “hairs” that carry the paint. Bristles can be stiff hog’s hair or softer sable (or other soft natural hair) or synthetic. In a quality brush, the ends will taper to a fine edge, allowing more control.


The ferrule is the metal band that secures the bristles and connects them to the handle. Avoid filling your brush with paint up to the ferrule. If paint dries at the ferrule juncture, it’s harder to clean and will spread the bristles, making the brush lose its point.

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Handles are long or short, wood or plastic. Long-handled brushes are classic and allow you to take a farther view to keep your composition in perspective. When you hold your brush toward the end of a long handle, it touches the canvas in a more sensitive way, creating a more lyrical painting. Think of your brush as an extension of your arm and fingertips rather than a writing utensil.

Types of paint brushes

The two distinctly different types of brushes for oil painting are bristle and sable.

Bristle brushes

While all brushes have bristles, it’s the stiffer hog’s hair brushes that are referred to as bristle brushes. The stiff hog’s hair grabs more paint so bristle brushes are great if you work thickly or like to accentuate brushstrokes.

Sable brushes

Sable brushes are soft and can be made from actual weasel hair (yep, sables are a kind of weasel), squirrel, rabbit or synthetic fibers. These soft brushes are perfect for finer details and smoother blending. Do not fear the synthetic brush — many newer ones are excellent.

We usually think of bristle brushes for oil and sable for watercolor. But sable-type brushes are wonderful for oil painting. Just remember, if you work in both media, do not go back and forth between oil and watercolor with the same brush. Chaos will ensue!

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This is literally a fan-shaped arrangement of bristles. It’s a sweet-looking little brush, meant to be used for blending and subtle texture. Truthfully, the spread of hairs is generally so fine that I don’t find it especially useful for oils unless the paint is thin. But a fan brush does look cool in your paint box!


Round brushes are said to be less versatile because the stroke doesn’t vary, but that’s exactly the attribute needed when painting details! That’s why smaller rounds are great for detail. Large round bristles work OK for oils, but save the soft rounds for watercolor. A heavily loaded, round sable brush can be unwieldy for oil painting.


This is like a flat but with rounded sides, so it creates a softer edge and blends better than a flat. My first favorite brushes were Robert Simmons Titanium filberts because they had the coverage, control and blend-ability I was looking for.


Long, flat, rectangular brushes. Longer brush hairs carry more paint, so flats can cover more area per load. Held flat against the canvas, it creates smooth edges and sweeping strokes. Used on edge, relatively thin lines are possible. Sometimes flats are described by measurement, such as ¼” or ½” rather than brush sizes (more on brush sizes below).


These are similar to a flat brush, but the hairs on brights are shorter. This allows a bit more control than the longer flat brush. Smaller bright bristle brushes are my go-to for texture, whether painting trees or fabric.

Lemon Light painting via Dorothy Lorenze using large and medium synthetic filberts

Understanding oil paint brush sizes

Brushes sizes range from super fine to an inch or more. They are numbered low to high, 0000 (or 4/0) being less than 0, and up to 24. Different brands will vary somewhat, so a No. 6 from one might be slightly larger than a No. 6 from another.

In oil painting, large bristle brushes are best for washes and the broad areas of backgrounds. Mid-size bristle brushes with sharp edges can also be used for some detail. Finer details are best accomplished with small, round, sable brushes.

Confused yet? Don’t fret. Start by investing in a few high-quality mid-to-large bristle brushes, and a couple of small-to-midsize sable brushes. See how they feel and which perform best for your style of painting. Six brushes should be enough to start. Spend some time with them. Because art supplies are like workout gear — no matter how much gear you buy, nothing improves until you use it!

Many individuals enjoy doing creative things in their spare time and one popular creative act is that of painting. There are now many different ways in which to paint and there are many different mediums to play with. One of the most important tools that you will need if you choose to carry out painting is that of paint brushes. There are many different types of paint brushes and these will serve different purposes, depending on the type of painting that you choose to do and the type of paint that you choose to use. In this article we will take a look at a selection of different paint brush sets that are available for individuals who want to carry out painting in their spare time. We will review 10 different painting sets and will analyze the positive features, as well as the negative features.

1. 24 Paint Brushes Art Set

This is a well designed set of 24 different paint brushes that can be used through a wide variety of different mediums. Those who wish to paint in different types of paint will be able to use these brushes for watercolor, oil, guache, as well as acrylic and other mediums of paint. The paintbrush sizes come between zero and 10 and offer different shapes such as fan, flat and round to name a few.

2. Outop 12pcs Nylon Hair Paint Brush Set Artist

This set of high quality paint brushes comes with 12 nylon brushes that are of a high density. These brushes are designed to be incredibly sturdy and will stay in good shape after they have been washed from each painting session. They also come in a selection of different shapes and sizes so that you will be able to carry out paintings of all styles.

3. Cubecraft Art Brushes

The cube craft paint brushes have been designed with the painter in mind and come with a proper box that makes them easy to choose from, so as to use quickly and effectively. They are easy to store away and have been designed for many different painting mediums, including guache, oil, watercolor and acrylic. This is great as it means you can try out different mediums and combine mediums if you choose to do so.

4. ARTIST PAINT BRUSHES – Professional Quality

These professionally designed weasel hair paintbrushes have been created for painters of all different skill levels. The brushes come in the same shape and offer a number of different sizes and have been designed oil painting, acrylic painting, watercolor and gouache.

5. Art Advantage Oil and Acrylic Brush Set, 24-Piece

This is a large paint brush set comes with 24 different brushes of various sizes. 12 of these brushes are designed as white nylon brushes and 12 of them have been designed as hog bristle brushes that are sturdy and effective for painting in a number of different styles.

6. 36 Paint Brushes Art Set for Acrylic, Oil & Watercolors

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This large paint brush set offers 36 different brushes of varying sizes and shapes and also comes in a canvas pouch that allows the brushes to be rolled up and kept securely. These brushes are also effective at using different paint mediums such as acrylic, oil color and watercolors. This wide variety of different brush styles means that you can carry out many different styles and effects by using the same kit brushes.

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7. Paint Brushes – 15 Pc Art Brush Set

This kit offers 15 high quality paint brushes that can be stored away and then propped up so that they are easy to access when painting with. They can be used for many different mediums as well as for face painting, acrylics and oil painting mediums.


8. Paintbrush Set- Oil and Acrylic Artist’s Brush Set with Canvas Bag, 28 Pieces

This is a brush set of high quality 28 deluxe brush designs that feature synthetic bristles with long handles so that the painter can carry out different styles with ease. The brushes also come in a canvas bag that can be rolled up and stored away effectively.

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9. Detail Paint Brush Set – 12 Miniature Brushes for Fine Detailing & Art Painting

This set of 12 paint brushes have been designed for a detailed painting on minatures for games workshop models and for smaller pictures that require a lot of detail. They can also be used for different mediums including acrylic, oil and watercolor to name a few.

10. Paint Brush Set – 7 Travel Brushes

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This set comes with seven chunky paint brushes that are of a high quality and have been designed for professional painting and a wide variety of mediums. They also come in a carry case that can be propped up and this allows easy access to each brush.