Brushes and their Functions

Brushes and their Functions

Hi loves! So let’s talk about brushes and their various uses. There’s different types of brushes to choose from and it’s helpful to know their individual use because it does make a difference in how your work comes out




Round Brushes

  • are the most adaptable kind of brush because you can do so many things with them! This type of brush is great for washes, covering large areas quickly, and lines of all sizes.
  • Round brushes are really good for portraits, they allow you to blend colors into each other seamlessly without much effort. 
  • You can manipulate the brush by twisting the tip which will allow you to paint thin natural lines (depending on how clean the brush is)
  • They’re extremely adaptable with the types of strokes you can get from them and they're perfect for washes and glazing.
  • There’s different sizes so whether you’re painting skin or painting hair details,or even eyelashes, they’re suitable for almost anything.


Flat Brushes

  • Great for spreading color quickly
  • If you like linear textured strokes in your work or geometrical shapes this types of brushes are excellent
  • You can use these for portraits as well but I’d only recommend them if you’re doing a portrait that you intentionally want to look abstract.



Angular Brushes

  • These brushes are best for making precise linear strokes and cleaning up straight edges.
  • Flat brushes will do this as well but the only difference is in the handling of the brush when you paint. It’s a lot easier for the brush to maneuver at different angles and positions if part of it is slightly shorter than the other end.


Filbert Brushes

  • Filberts are great for blending and painting objects with a specific symmetrical shape like flower petals. 
  • This brush is shaped like a flattened oval so you’re able to use it flat side down or upright to make lines.
  • They’re great for covering more space a bit better than round brushes because of the wider size.


Liner Brushes

  • Liner brushes are pointed and narrow with long hairs
  • These are great for lettering, outlining and highlighting
  • You can use these brushes for detailing but because of the length of the hairs, it might be a bit harder to control how the brush flows depending on what you’re painting. For example, detailing individual hair strands would be a perfect use for this brush over eyelashes which are pretty thin and precise


Fan Brushes

  • These brushes are good to work with if you’re painting landscapes that have clouds, trees, brushes, pretty much anything that requires a specific type of texture.


Spotter Brushes

  • Spotter brushes are great for achieving the smallest of details on your painting
  • The hairs at the end of the brush are clamped so you have more control over handling of the brush
  • Because of the short length of the hairs it also feels similar to holding a pen, rather than a brush 
  • I recommend using spotter/detail brushes if you’re trying to paint miniscule details such as eyelashes, the white dot of an eye, eyebrows, etc.


Mop Brushes

  • Mop brushes are one of the best types of brushes you can use for blending
  • They range in various and have a multitude of functions
  • I usually use a mop brush to blend out my oils particulary for skin
  • They work great for blending the edges of clouds if you gently feather the paint out
  • Just make sure to keep them clean so you're not blending oil paint into your new work


Extra Brush Tips

  • Make sure to ALWAYS clean your brushes, specifically for oils something like gamsol will thoroughly remove the paint
  • I highly recommend using safflower oil for oil brushes, it gently cleans the brushes without drying them out completely and helps keep the original shape of the brush
  • Practice holding your brushes with different handle pressures to get comfortable with understanding how that affects what your brush does on canvas


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