Choose the right paintbrush for your practice

by Cass Art

So you know you want to paint. You walk into an art shop and are greeted by a plethora of different types of paintbrush; synthetic, sable, hog hair, squirrel mop... What do you do?! So we thought we'd put together a handy guide to help you select the right paintbrushes for you. 

Different Types of Paintbrush

You'll need a different brush depending on the kind of paint you use. If you're a watercolourist, you'll need sable or another natural brush, but acrylic and oil painters will require hog or synthetic.. for example There are three main types to choose from:

•    Natural Hair (Sable or Squirrel)
•    Hog Hair (Bristle)
•    Synthetic Hair

Brushes for artists

NATURAL 
Natural hair paintbrushes are ideal for painting with watercolour or gouache because they are softer and more flexible than other brushes. They come in different types: 

Sable brushes maintain a perfect point, allowing for great control and fine details. Sable hair is also naturally absorbent which means these brushes hold a lot of colour for excellent flow. Sable brushes are very high quality, with the best being hand made from the tip of the tail of the Siberian Kolinsky sable such as Winsor & Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sable Brushes.

Pro Arte’s Renaissance Squirrel Mop Brushes  Series R are made from the finest-quality, incredibly soft hair, tied tightly together with a traditional three-knot "quill" binding.

  • Squirrel hair can hold a huge amount of colour, so it’s perfect for watercolourists who like to work on a large scale, or who favour bold strokes of colour.
  • However, squirrel mop brushes also have extremely fine points, allowing you to create tiny details, and it’s this versatility that makes them so popular with artists working en plein air – one brush can do the work of several, so there’s less fuss, less equipment to lug around and less juggling brushes.
  • As you’d expect from Pro Arte, this is a very high-quality brush at an excellent price.

The Pro Arte Renaissance Squirrel Mop Brush Series R comes in a range of sizes to suit all purposes.


Our Cass Art Sable Paint Brushes, like the rest of our own-brand range, brings you very high quality at an extremely good price.

  • You’ll find that they’re perfect for watercolours as their soft natural bristles can carry large amounts of water for long, consistent strokes of colour.
  • They have good spring and durability and the short handles mean that they’re ideal when you need to create fine detailing and intricate work.


HOG HAIR (OR BRISTLE)
Hog brushes are perfect for painting with oil and acrylic. They are naturally stiff and each bristle is split into two or three at the tip,  so the brush can hold more paint and apply it evenly. Remember, hog brushes come in different shades so if they are white then you need to make sure that this is natural and not bleached as this will have weakened the bristle. 

Hog brushes are extremely resilient so that the brush keeps its working edge and shape for longer.

 Cass Art Hog Brushes Set of 6 is part of the own-brand range we set up to bring you excellent-quality basics at the best possible prices.

  • These brushes are ideal for use with all brands and types of oil and acrylic paint, whatever technique you want to use.
  • They’re long-handled brushes, with excellent durability and strength.
  • The stiff bristles maintain a good spring and don’t shed.
  • Don’t be fooled by the low price: these really are very high-quality brushes.

The Cass Art Hog Paint Brush Set contains: Fan Size 2, Flat Size 2, Flat Size 8, Short Flat Size 6, Round Size 3, Round Size 6.



SYNTHETIC 
If you are on a tighter budget or would prefer an alternative to natural hair, then synthetic brushes are the ones for you. They can be soft or stiff; the soft brushes work well with watercolour, while the stiff brushes work well with oils.

Cass Art Grey Synthetic brushes are ideal for use with all brands and types of oil and acrylic paint, whatever technique you want to use. They’re long-handled brushes, with excellent durability and strength.

Like the rest of our own brand range, we designed our Cass Art Brown Synthetic Brushes to give you really high quality at an excellent price. You can use them with all brands and types of watercolours, acrylics and oils, gels and mediums, and all techniques. They have exceptionally soft bristles with fantastic spring which are very durable and particularly well suited to fine detail work, or when applying light washes.

Our Cass Art White Synthetic Brushes are exceptionally soft synthetic bristles with fantastic spring which are very durable and are particularly well suited to fine detail work, or when you’re applying light washes.




Feeling inspired?

We hope this helps and you know which paintbrushes are the ones for you! Shop all paintbrushes here 

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