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Brushes for beginners


Torolf
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Cheap $5 brush sets from your local craft store.

 

Why? Well this allows you test out different brush sizes to see what you like as everyone's preference is different. Once you've done that you can purchase a better brush and then the original set can become your drybrush set (which will ruin a brush).

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Buy the best quality tools you can afford. From dickblick.com you can find three of the favorites; winsor-newton (series7), DaVinci and Raphael. I like the DaVincis myself. Cost will run from $8 - $15 depending on brand and if you catch a sale or not. A kolinsky brush that you take even reasonably good care of will last a long time. The current line of GW brushes are also quite good and reasonably priced and might be easier to get if you have an FLGS nearby that stocks them.

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A #1 Kolinsky Sable round brush from one of the premium manufacturers (generally Winsor & Newton, Da Vinci, or Rafael).

 

Tiny brushes make it much harder to paint. Cheap brushes make it much harder to paint. A premium Kolinsky sable brush will last for years with proper care, making it cheaper over the long run than a cheap brush.

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People really have different tastes and also brush sizes aren't 100% consistent across manufactures. I personally like Winsor & Newton Series 7 Size 0 for most things and size 00 for eyes and small highlights and such. The Size 0 has the thickness of many other Size 1s but not the length (which I don't like in a natural hair brush because of the flexibility).

 

I was just at Gencon and one teacher swore by a giant Size 2 from Raphael, I think, this was about 4 times the size of my brush, while another teacher swore by a size one that wasn't much bigger than mine and both are amazing painters (and on the Reaper Paint Crew).

 

That's why I suggested you buy some cheap brushes to test out various sizes. While you need a brush that can hold paint (none of this silly Size 000 stuff) you need to find out what size works for you. I went through about 5 expensive brushes before I found what I liked because people kept on saying "If you want to paint good use X size brush" and I kept having to switch because I never found one I liked for the longest times. Then I bought some cheap Winsor & Newtons and liked the size 0 so I bought their Sables.

 

The synthetic brushes will behave very similar to natural ones for their first few months so I really do recommend getting some cheap ones. Then, once you find the size you like, look for one in similar brush size (1,2,0 ect) but compare the more expensive one's actual brush to the one you've been using to make sure it's similar.

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Okay, that makes sense to me. My reading has suggested that a different sized brush is good for dry-brushing, which seems to be a good technique for beginners. Do you use your regular brush, detail brush or a different one for drybrushing?

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Use a different brush for dry brushing: dry brushing kills brushes. A cheap natural hair brush makes a decent enough dry brush.

 

My favorite working brush is a size 1 Da Vinci Maestro Series 11. The size doesn't matter as much as the point.

 

Ron

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I was at Michales earlier today for something and found these which are the perfect starter set I think. $6 gets you a roughly size 0ish,1,2 and then two flat brushes. They have very decent tips for the price and all of them can be used for dry brushing, mixing paints, and other things once someone moves on to a much nicer paint brush.

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I've fully ruined my cheap hobby store brushes and feel ready to move onto something better. I'm shopping around at dickblick.com and have a question about the Winsor & Newton Series 7. I see there are two varieties, the Pointed Round and the Miniature Brush.

 

Does the shorter length of the miniature brushes make them less usefull as an "all around brush?"

 

It seems like a no-brainer that the "miniature" brush would be better for miniature painting, but I've been hoodwinked by marketing campaigns before. Hobby painters seem to be present in each line's reviews/comments. So what do people generally prefer, Pointed Round, or Miniature? Does it matter?

 

Thanks for the input!

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Don't get the miniature series 7. Just get the regular pointed round. The miniature part has nothing to do with the size of the tip and is about the size of the belly and length of the bristle. Regular size is bigger so it holds more paint which you want.

 

The points on these are also so good with a little practice for improving brush control you shouldn't need anything smaller than a 0. I usually use a 0, 1, 2.

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Yeah, the regular W&N ones are good and with care last forever. My "grunt work" Kolinskys, though, are Reaper 5/0's. These are closer to good 0's and have slightly inferior hair quality. This is actually a plus, because they'll plump a little bit with use but still work ok. When they reach that form, they're perfect for basecoating average size minis.

 

Beyond that I just use W&N 00 and 000 for detail work. Though really 00 is plenty on its own, I only have the 000 because when I bought them I wasn't sure exactly what I needed.

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Beyond that I just use W&N 00 and 000 for detail work. Though really 00 is plenty on its own, I only have the 000 because when I bought them I wasn't sure exactly what I needed.

 

I got the 3/0 (or 000) and 2/0 when I first started thinking...hey smaller brush...better for detail. Not so much. especially some of those 20/0 and 10/0 synthetics. That miracle one bristle brush for the pupil is bunk.

 

The problem with smaller brushes is that they can hold less paint, and less paint means the paint tends to dry on the brush faster, which leads to grainy looking paint jobs. With a proper point (which the series 7 have) you should be able to paint your detail just as well with a 0 as a 3/0. Most of the difference comes to brush control and a steady hand. Proper care and feeding of your brush will allow it to hold it's point for a really long time. Years even.

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