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Artist Materials – Hog bristle brushes for oil paintings

When I began painting, buying the paints initially was a costly job for me. I had to supply myself with the basic primary colours to set off my collection that I was to build up as I went along, mixing my own colours until I could afford to buy more. Brushes however were not important at all, I would apply the paint with my fingers if I needed to. (And still regularly do…)

Although I sometimes buy more expensive brushes for purpose marks, I tend to buy value packs so I am always stocked up on brushes of all sizes and styles. I do this because brushes don’t last me long at all, especially expensive ones. Being eager to use them (since I paint every day, its the equivalent of getting a new computer mouse at the office for me) they often become raggedy and unusable after around 3 weeks. I might often find myself working slightly more gentle in order to preserve them, but sometimes by subjects are void of a certain boldness I enjoy in a painting.

For these reasons, when I do splash out and buy myself some new tools to work with, I go for the most durable which I find are hog bristle brushes. I love using softer brushes, I love the texture and the way the hairs grab the paint and drag it into other colours instead of over, but these last me a matter of weeks.

I recently bought a selection of hog bristle brushes for different methods of painting. Lets see how long these last….

If there are any artists out there who use certain types of materials or brushes then drop me a comment and let me know what your suggestions!


1 Comment

  1. I’m with you. I use hog bristle brushes mainly with a few synthetic fibre brushes and fingers (my art teachers would nut and say “if you need to use your fingers cover them in a rag. You’ll poison yourself!”). I paint mainly oils too. I was wondering your method for cleaning out brushes. I was taught like this:

    My palette is a glass pane with a white piece of paper under for colour sake. Cleaning up i scrape the paint off with paint knife then use an old phone book’s pages followed by rags to clean the pallette. The brushes I wash with water and unscented dishwashing liquid rubbing it against a rubber glove until clean. Then leave to dry bristle end up.

    I love your work and if i could afford an original I would totally buy one.

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