Oil brushes are typically long handled which can also be used for acrylic painting. Oil brushes come in different shapes: angle, round, flat, mop, liner, filbert, rigger and dagger. Each shaped oil brushes have different uses depending on whether the painting requires finer detail or spreading paint quickly and evenly for covering larger areas. Oil painting brushes usually made from sable or bristle hair which is either made from natural or synthetic hairs. Sable oil brushes normally have soft bristles and higher quality brushes are made from the tail of an actual sable.
Sable oil brushes are difficult to source and the quality of these brushes cannot always match to artificial bristles. Sable oil brushes are finely shaped which helps the artist create the finer lines in oil paintings. Hog bristle oil brushes are often called China bristle or Chungking bristle creates a stiffer and stronger brush than sable oil brushes. Oil paint takes longer to dry than some other liquid paints therefore require special oil painting brushes that ensure the oil paint stays in place and doesn’t ruin the oil painting. Oil paint contains pigment particles which are suspended in a drying oil such as linseed oil or poppy oil. To increase the glossiness of the oil painting separate oil painting brushes may be used to apply white spirit and varnish. Before oil paint was sold in tubes, artists had to grind pigments by hand then carefully mixing the binding oil to create the desired level of colour. Since oil paints are now widely available in bulk and tubes, artists can concentrate on finding the perfect oil brushes for their style and oil paintings.
The accessibility and convenience of oil paint tubes and oil brushes mean the artist can get more creative with a wider palette of colours and the correct consistency of oil and pigment means artists can apply the oil paint more thickly. As well as using oil brushes, an artist can choose to apply oil paint palette knives and rags.
Article By: Jessica Thomson