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I store my brushes in separate boxes for each painting medium ie a box for oil brushes, another for acrylic and another for gouache, my watercolour brushes have ended up in a brush roll instead of a box for some reason.

Today I am going to talk about the brushes I use for acrylic and oil painting, as both mediums use the same types of brushes with similar effects.  Using an acrylic paint to make the clean up afterward easier, I have tested a range of brushes.  Starting with the three widest in my kit; a foam brush a 1.5″ synthetic sky flow and a 1″ bristle brush.  I have taken photos of the marks made by each brush on acrylic paper.

The marks are interesting in both their differences and similarities.

Next are the short and long flat brushes, synthetic and hogs bristle.  Interestingly the hogs bristle held more paint and it went on thicker with stronger brush marks.

The next three are a hogs bristle filbert and round and a synthetic round.  I have a large number of round brushes in a variety of different sizes, I like the precision I can get in my strokes.

Most teachers seem to ask students to have a few sizes of flats, filberts and rounds as a starting point in their kit, other more specialized brushes can be added when you need them.

Some of the more specialized brushes include a liner, fans, combs and angle brushes as seen on the left.  One the right are two painting knives and sponge and toothbrush, but these are just the beginning, what a fingers, leaves, bubble wrap?  these are only a few of the possibilities out there – use your imagination.

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