Synthetic? Hog hair? Long, short, flat, etc.? What brand? And if you have it, the prices would be nice too.
My favorites are Silver Bristlon brights. I get them from Dick Blick. I mostly use sizes 4, 6, 8 and 10. I also like Rosemary Ivory short flats. I think they are about the same price - around $7-$11 depending on the size. All synthetic. I use Ampersand Gessobords to paint on, and the hog hair bristles take off more paint than they put on! These synthetic brushes are just soft enough.
I love whatever the bristles are made of in the Silver Briston series and the Rosemary Ivory brushes. I’ve been wondering if the bristles are the samesynthetic material–not sure what they’re exactly made of. For flower painting, I especially like the Rosemary long flats. They have enough stiffness to get into the many crevices of petals and stems, yet just enough spring for the velvety softness in petals.
I have been using the “eclipse” line from Rosemary’s Brushes for the past 2 years. It’s a synthetic mongoose that is stiffer than sable but softer than synthetic. I use them for both acrylic and oil painting. I love them!
I am currently using BLICK Masterstroke Bristle flats. They are working great for me. The majority of my strokes are made with size 8 and 10 on my small paintings. I try to refrain from using my smaller brushes until painting the final highlights. However, I will admit that the smaller brushes are way too tempting even in the earlier stages and I give in.
I’m using mostly brights and flats these days. Either sable or mongoose. I rarely use bristle. Rosemary brand is a favorite, but I’ll use anything that is decent quality. Synthetic, natural, either will do.
I jumped on the Rosemary bandwagon awhile back and for the most part, find them to be good brushes. But they just don’t do it for me like I thought they would. Being a typical artist, I’ve bounced around the brush catalog, looking for that magical brush that will bring my next masterpiece to life with a minimal amount of effort.
I tried the Robert Simmons Titaniums and liked them to begin with, until I ordered a handful of them and half of them showed up all warped and crooked. I don’t order those anymore.
Then I found some synthetic brushes under the Dick Blick label and I have been gobsmacked ever since. These are some of the finest brushes I’ve come across and feel no need to continue my search. These are the Blick Master Synthetics with the red handles. And a month or so ago the Blick store here in Vegas announced it was closing and moving to a different location. They had a clearance sale going on and these brushes were being discounted by up to about 70%. I guess moving all those brushes a couple of miles west was going to be too expensive for them. I got a couple of large 14s and 16s that would run $35-40 apiece for less than $10 each. I ended up buying a bag full of brushes that day. And they are wonderful. Oh, and they have a lifetime warranty. Can’t beat that with a stick.
We’re supposed to using brushes!? ; ) Kidding! For oil I a variety of brushes, mostly flats, brights and filberts. I prefer soft brushes of a medium quality (price) because I am hard on them and can’t bear to destroy expensive ones. I am not really dedicated to any one brand and will try all kinds. Lately I have been using Grumbacher 700 series I think (nice and soft but firm enough to ‘draw’ paint with) , Royal brand and Prismacolor brushes (which are a bit more firm than the Grumbacher). For me, it depends a lot on how big I am working and how intricate I need to work. I also like the Robert Simmons Titanium series.
Rosemary & Co Series 2025. Chungking Long Flat are my favs for oil painting.
I’ve bought some Ivory brushes but they don’t seem to work too well for me (yet)
For sketching (ink and watercolor), I have a few of Series 22. Pure Kolinsky Designer
I especially like Princeton brand. I tend to only use one or two brushes for the whole painting, a flat usually.
It depends on what the surface is or what stage of the painting I’m at. Recently tho’, I bought a few of the W&N Monarch series brushes (on sale at Aboveground Art Supplies in Toronto). I know what love is now. They seem to be a cross between the sturdiness of a bristle and the softness of a synthetic (taklon or sable). Right now they are my favourites. They clean up easily and, time will tell, but they are said to be very durable. I am hopeful because I can ruin brushes faster than most artists I know!
Oh, dear–I’ve been using a few of the Robert Simmons Titanium brushes and liked them a lot for small paintings on canvas panels. Shame to hear the quality is so inconsistent. Will check out the Blick brushes mentioned in your post. Thanks!
I got some of those Bristlon brushes mentioned back at the top and they are working out very well. They are softer and more flexible than real bristle, but not as soft as sables or sable substitutes. I’m glad they were brought up!
I have used Simmons Signets for many years. They used to have a lifetime guarantee. How do you argue with that? I have many that I have been using for 20 or more years.
I now paint mostly on smooth boards with inexpensive soft brushes. I find it is easier to toss a worn out brush that cost me less than $5 and pick up a new one than an expensive brush. I tried a lot different brushes until I stumbled on Simply Simpsons short handle brushes that I buy at Michaels. These are keeping their shape longer and have the right level of stiffness for me. I use walnut based oils by Graham and find that as long as I am painting frequently, and clean with paint thinner after each session I do not have to do any more to clean my brushes.
I paint with Silver bristlon synthetic bright brushes size 2, 4, and 6. it is because it’s easy to clean and paint with.
I picked up a couple of synthetic Grey Matters by Jack Richerson last month and I LOVE them. I use primarily size 2, 4, and 6 with oils on panels. The bristles have enough stiffness and spring to work well on panels and to also create a fine line when I want one. Grey Matters are also available for use with watercolors and acrylics.
I’ve been using Robert Simmons Signets forever. They have a lifetime guarantee. What’s not to like?
I’ve been painting every day and I haven’t picked up a paintbrush in a month or so. I started painting with catalyst spreaders, (the ones with handles) even mostly with my small paintings. It seems like they’re hybrid’s between a brush and a palette knife.
I love how flexible they are and so easy to clean and keep clean. I hardly ever use thinner to clean anything. I don’t think I’ll ever use a brush or palette knife again.
The only thing I don’t like is that I didn’t discover them sooner.
After trying a number of brands, Rosemary and Co is my all time favorite. The Ivory Synthetics have just the right amount of stiffness and glide. I usually paint on 9x12 or larger canvases, so I prefer the longer handles. Tried the Impasto brush recently and give it an A+ rating.