for Acrylic and Oil painting
The right material is the foundation for acrylic and oil painting, because everything will stand and fall with the basic equipment. You won’t know which brushes and materials in general you can handle best until you test them. Therefore, it is better to acquire a proper, rather than a too dissolute initial equipment. While painting you will quickly find out what your collection is still missing.
For which colors are the brushes suitable?
Basically, paints consist primarily of color pigments and binders. In acrylic paints, the color pigments are bound by acrylic resin particles and the consistency can be changed by adding water. In contrast, oil-based paints are not based on water but on oil and therefore they cannot be diluted with water. Linseed oil is usually used here as a binder. Both types of paint have a thick consistency, for which harder brushes are needed to be able to apply the paints well.
What properties should a brush for acrylic and oil painting have?
Basically, the choice of a brush and its properties depends on the effect you want to achieve with it. Bristle brushes are very hard and therefore suitable only for some specific techniques and strokes, for example, you achieve with them the effect of more texture, such as visible stripes and impressions. Synthetic brushes are much softer and therefore more versatile and creative to use. Compared to watercolor brushes, they should be more resistant and less flexible to move the heavy paint.
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Synthetic fiber or natural hair?
Natural hair brushes have proven themselves for centuries and have a good reputation. However, these are also very expensive and especially at a time when animal welfare is becoming increasingly important, the question of alternative brushes arises. In recent years, synthetic fibers have been developed further and further and now they are hardly distinguishable from natural hair brushes. Thus, brushes with synthetic fibers are not only a cheap, but also good and vegan alternative. In some cases, synthetic fibers can also outperform natural hair, because they are easier to clean, for example.
Which and how many brushes are useful as a beginner?
A complete set of brushes is absolutely not necessary for the beginning. If you don’t yet know exactly what you want to paint and you want to get a feel for painting with acrylic or oil paints, a small, mixed selection of brushes with different shapes makes the most sense. A good base is a flat brush, a round brush and a cat tongue brush. This will give you a good mix to experiment with, from landscape to portrait painting, and to get to know the advantages of each brush shape.
What is the difference between the Black Line and Wood Line brushes?
The Wood Line and Black Line brushes differ in terms of their flexibility. The reason why there are softer and firmer brush heads is because of the different consistencies and weights of paints. Oil paint, for example, is a heavy paint, so less flexible brushes are best. The Black Line brushes are slightly stronger in their springiness than the Wood Line brushes, so it is easier to move heavier paint. In principle, all the brushes listed are very suitable for both acrylic and oil painting.
Should the brushes have a long or short handle?
When painting with acrylic and oil paints, many prefer to sit or stand in front of an easel instead of having the artwork lie flat on the table. A long brush handle allows painting with some distance to the artwork and easel. Because both Wood Line and Black Line brushes are designed for painting on an easel, they have long handles.
How important is the quality of the brush?
Especially as a beginner it is difficult to figure out which brush to buy. Even if you want to ‘just try painting‘, it’s still important to pay attention to proper quality, because poorly made brushes can frustrate you in so many different ways. The joy of painting is lost when brushes lose their hairs, are difficult to clean, or become hard too quickly.
Which brush for which technique?
The flat variant is particularly well suited for spreading paint and painting even surfaces and glazing. The shape is also perfect for working out corners. The brush edge can also be used to draw fine lines.
The fine tip of the brush allows the smallest details to be implemented. At the same time, the large number of closely spaced hairs guarantees that the paint is stored particularly well. This allows larger areas and color gradients to be created quickly and easily.
The wide, tapered shape combines the advantages of the flat and round variants. This makes cat-tongue shaped brushes particularly versatile. The shape enables the artist to apply paint evenly and create soft color transitions, as well as to paint lines and fine details. In addition, it is ideal for working out round shapes.
What other utensils are needed for painting? / What basic equipment is useful?
In the composition of your basic equipment, a small set of materials is quite enough at the beginning.
For acrylic painting, you will still need, in addition to the brushes:
- Acrylic paints – black, white and the three basic colors yellow, blue and red (with these you can easily mix countless other color tones)
- Color palette – usually made of plastic or wood for mixing the colors
- Painting surface – common surfaces are, for example, canvases, wood panels, glass, cardboard or paper
- Primer – so that the acrylic paint adheres well to the surface, it is useful to first brush the painting surface with a primer.
For oil painting, you still need, in addition to the brushes:
- Oil paints – black, white and the three basic colors yellow, blue and red (tip: also look for good artist quality paints, cheap paints often cover less well, contain less color pigments and can become porous after drying)
- Color palette – usually made of plastic or wood for mixing the colors
- Painting ground – canvases made of cotton or linen (tip: cotton is absolutely sufficient and much cheaper than canvases made of linen), but also wooden boards – for the beginning painting on a cardboard is also sufficient, in order to try out various techniques
- Linseed oil – for thinning the colors
- Turpentine – to clean the brushes after painting again
- Easel – is advantageous if you prefer to paint upright
What should I bear in mind when painting with oil?
First of all, the basics of oil painting: painting with oil paints is not as simple and clean as, for example, with watercolors. Oil paints are fundamentally different, the colors smear, can not be painted with water, stink and can leave ugly stains. But still, painting with oil paints has its own appeal with completely different possibilities.
Because of the color, it is important to paint in a room that can be well ventilated or paint directly outside. Also, be sure to wear only old clothes when painting and lay out a base.
If you decide to paint on a canvas or wooden panel, you should first prime it before painting. This is necessary not only for self-stretched canvases, but also for pre-primed, purchased canvases. The quality and durability are significantly influenced by the primer, because the surface is closed by the primer and the oil is not removed from the colors during application. If you decide to use the cardboard, you do not need a primer.
Oil paint dries very slowly compared to other paints. By mixing in drying mediums, the drying time can be reduced, but it also has advantages if the paints take a long time to dry. Adding a drying medium depends on the technique you want to use for painting. With the wet-on-wet technique, your entire painting will consist of only one layer and you can make good use of the slow drying process. The colors actually dry so slowly that you can take breaks in between. If you want to paint layer upon layer, each layer must be well dried before you apply a new one. To help the drying process, it makes sense to add a drying medium such as Liquin to the paints. The golden rule when applying layers is: fat on lean. This refers to the amount of oil in your paints. To avoid cracking, always add more oil in the top layers of paint. But don’t worry, no matter how much you thin the paints, the color pigments won’t change. Also note that depending on the thickness of your layer(s), it may take several days for your painting to dry.
What should be considered in acrylic painting?
Overall, there are only a few points that need to be observed in acrylic painting. However, since acrylic paint can no longer be washed out of clothing, it makes sense to wear old clothes and also lay out a base. To mix the colors, a small palette is advantageous, but it can also consist of an old plate or a small wooden or plastic plate.
Because acrylic paint dries very quickly, only as much paint should be squeezed out of the tubes as you need, otherwise the paint will quickly become unusable. To thin the thick paint, you can simply add a little water. Depending on the technique you want to use, no, more or less water is added to the paints.
In the glazing technique, a lot of water will be added to the paint to reduce the opacity of the colors. This technique is often used for backgrounds or to create optical color mixtures by layering.
To create color gradients, the Lavier technique is used. Here, the painting surface is previously painted with water and then the color will be applied. To achieve an even result without visible individual brush strokes, a large, flat brush can be used to paint over the picture without applying pressure.
The more opaque the paint application is to be, the less water should be added to the paint. To paint completely opaque, the paint can also be taken directly from the tube.