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Painting Materials: What I Use

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About a month ago, I wrote a blog post describing what materials I use in my drawings (since I get asked so much what materials I use). So I thought I may as well go ahead and write a blog post describing what painting materials I use, in the hope that it may be somewhat helpful.

Paint Brushes

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Seeing as this is probably the more detailed category I will be describing, I may as well talk about it first.

Now when it comes to paint brushes, I’m not too pushed when it comes to paying big money for a “high quality” brush. Overall, if you take care of your brushes (i.e. wash them thoroughly after use etc.) they should last you a long time. Over the years I have acquired quite a collection of paint brushes ranging from good quality Daler~Rowney brushes, to cheap brushes you can get at the euro shop. While the Daler~Rowney brushes are obviously better quality, there is little difference in the overall outcome of your painting, in my opinion.

Now I feel I should add, I do not recommend you buy your paint brushes from a euro shop, the quality of these aren’t great and the bristles fall out very easily, which can ruin a painting. But you can buy good cheap brushes very easily if you search around for them.

There are several different shaped brushes, each carrying out their own function, as detailed below.

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  • Round – These brushes are great for detail due to the pointed tip.
  • Flat – I generally use these brushes for spreading paint. Their shape allows paint to be applied evenly across the surface.
  • Bright – These are similar to flat brushed in shape, but have shorter bristles which basically means they are stiffer than flats. I like to use the to get a straight edge in my painting.
  • Filbert – These are basically flat brushed except they have a curved “c shape” top. Like flat brushes, are good for spreading paint, but also similar to round brushes in that they are also good for detail work.
  • Fan – I love using fan brushes in painting but unfortunately I destroyed mine after one of my oil paintings haha. These brushes again are great for spreading paint. They also work great for painting grass (just something I noticed).
  • Angle – Good for spreading paint and detail work.
  • Mop – Mops are generally a large softer brush. I like to use these for spreading paint over large areas without the fear of leaving paint brush lines on my painting.
  • Rigger – Personally, I don’t really like riggers and generally stay away from them. They have long rounded bristles which are great for painting lines, but overall I find them hard to control.

brush

As well as different shape brushes, you can also get brushes with different bristles.

  • Synthetic Bristles – These brushes (pictured above on the far left) are typically made from nylon or polyester. These are probably my favourite brush to use.
  • Soft Hair Bristles – As the name suggests, these brushes (pictured above in the middle) are made from various animal hair. Typically they are made from weasel, ox, and horse hair but sometimes they can also be made from squirrel and goat hair also.
  • Hog Bristles – Again as the name suggests, these brushed (pictured above on the far right) are made from pig hair. These bristles are much more stiff (and therefore stronger) than the previously mentioned bristles. I use these in practically every painting I do, however, they do sometimes leave stroke lines on my painting which I do not like.

Paint

Obviously you cannot do a painting without paint. These are the paints I like to use;

Acrylics

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This is my most used type of paint. Acrylics dry quite quickly, and can also be diluted with water. I highly recommend these to a beginner painter.

Gouache

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I got these for Christmas and really didn’t know much about this type of paint. After a bit of investigating, I discovered that Gouache paint is quite similar to watercolour paint, however gives an opaque finish. I actually used a lot of Gouache paint in my Harry Potter vs Lord Voldemort painting and was pleased with how the paint looked.

Oil

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There is a big taboo around oil paints, and with good reason. When I was gifted my first set of oil paints (only about 2 years ago), I thought  to myself, ‘I will never use these. Oil paints are for artists like Da Vinci and Michelangelo’. But naturally I was intrigued to see whether I could actually make an oil painting or not, and to my delight could (Well I could attempt it anyways!). The great (and bad) thing about oil paints is they dry very slowly, meaning you can walk away and leave your painting for a day or two, and still go back to it with the paint wet. The scary thing about oil paint though, is it can crack very easily if proper care is not taken.

Something you will need to invest in if you are wanting to start oil painting, is a drying oil, such as linseed (pictured below). This will not only help the painting dry faster, it will also thin out the paint, making it easier to apply.

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Other Tools

Some other tools I use in my paintings include;

  • Water Spray Bottle – this is useful particularly in acrylics to stop the paint drying as quickly. (My bottle is covered in purple paint!)

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  • Easel – this comes in very handy for supporting and basically holding paintings in place while you work on them. My easel actually folds into a briefcase-type devise which allows for storage of art supplies also.

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  • Palette – goes without saying really, palette for paints and mixing paints.

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  • Canvas – I like to buy blank canvases, but they can be rather expensive. An alternate option is to buy canvas sheets and make your own frames. I both buy canvases, and make my own.

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That pretty much sums up what I like to use in my paintings.

I hope this has proved somewhat helpful.

If you would like to see what materials I use for drawing, I will link my blogpost here, https://beesbohemianblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/drawing-materials-what-i-use/

– Bee

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2 responses »

  1. Filbert and Rigger…sounds like an animated TV series waiting to happen!

    Reply

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