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painting the figure

IN OILS

module 1: supplies

D: brushes

b. Brush shapes

Flat

The important shape for me is a flat brush. I like flats a lot because of the way that I paint. I'm very much about form

and specifically how to show form in a simple way which is by depicting the planes of whatever I'm painting. Planes tend to be thought of as squares or rectangles or some sort of 2D shape with four corners, so flats are built to be able to show that quickly and easily.

I use a flat brush for many different applications, not just straight on but also using the corners for detail work and all sorts of different applications. I'm excited to show you how you can get the most out of a flat brush.

Filbert

My next most used shape is probably the filbert. Very similar to the flat except it's got rounded off edges. Same sort of thing where, depending on what angle you are applying the brush to your surface you can get a variety of different shapes. At the very tip you can get a lot of detail done with it. On its edge you can create large strokes. It's a very versatile shape and also a good go-to in terms of what to purchase.

Round

Rounds are very good for certain applications such as detail work. Small ones are are very good for creating highlights, drawing purposes, and anything that requires more of a calligraphic stroke. I use rounds all the time, and I use different types of rounds so definitely pick up one or two round brushes.

Bright

A bright is basically a shortened version of a flat. Brights are good for certain things. I tend to just go with long flats. I just get more of my money's worth than with a bright but I just want to show you what they are.

Egbert

It's a pretty rare thing to come across an egbert. It's basically a filbert, but long. The unpredictability of the stroke, because it's such a long brush, can be useful in certain circumstances; but it's not a shape that I use very often at all.

Fan

I'm sure you've seen fan brushes before. I don't use them to actually apply paint. They're more for for blurring and softening certain edges. I really don't use them that often. I can do a lot of the same thing with flats actually, so a soft flat will take the place of a fan brush for me a lot of times but maybe you'll find a use for it.

You might find a what's either called a sword or dagger brush out there. I use it so rarely that I don't even have one. That's not something I'll be covering in the course. Just giving you a heads up that there are other brush shapes out there that you may or may not want to experiment with as you get further along in your painting practice, but for my purposes those three that I showed you in the beginning will be what we'll cover.