The anatomy of the paint brush: All you need to know

Here you will find the anatomy of the paint brush. Understanding all of of the components of the artist brush. All you need to know.


It is always worth investing in good quality brushes, it doesn’t always mean buying the most expensive. But nothing is more annoying than painting and bristles end up in your work, it‘s not worth it.



I thought that it would be good idea to give breakdown parts of the brush, so you know what people are talking about in your art group or on youtube.


I know that you know what this is and and it’s purpose. But to give you a bit more information on the handle. They can come in different variations of wood and plastic, or even bone. Sometimes coated (but this may peal in time).

The key point to the handle, is that you need to ask the question, does it suit me? So test it: pick it up and have a feel, air paint some strokes. If you don’t like the weight or shape, then don’t buy it.

You are the one using it so if it doesn’t feel right then it’s not right for you. Lengths differ from each brush and again try it you may prefer longer brushes.

Royal Langnickel are a student grade of brushes but they often put lovely grips on their handles. Although they are a cheaper brand, they feel amazing and I have never had an issue with bristles falling out or the shape changing, I have had my brush for 5 years now and it is one of my favourites.

The bristles of the brush is what you paint with. Synthetic is great because it holds it’s shape and is easy to clean and look after, however if you are doing fine detail work I really don’t think you can beat animal hair for tiny details.

Looking after your bristles is key, if you leave them in water you will change the shape of the tip, you don’t want this to happen because you will have to buy a new brush.

Hard or soft your preference will result in your brush strokes.

Never leave your brushes in water for long periods of time, if you are not using it, clean it with water, and lie it down on a paper towel to dry.

This is the metal part of the brush that holds the bristles to the handle. Note after a while they may rust.

High quality brushes tend to have brass or copper alloy ferrule, they have the best adhesion to the handle and normally a double or triple crimp.

The Ferrule is key because if the ferrule doesn’t fit properly, the bristles will fall out or the ferrule could come off the handle. We really don’t want bristles in our art work.

The heel is the bound bit of the bristles which is hidden by the ferrule. The belly of your brush is the fattest apart of the brush and the tip or toes is the part that you make your mark with.

Bristles are formed into different shapes which create the type of brush it is; rigger, sword, fan, filbert, flat, and round, brights for examples.


If you want to watch how an expert makes a Series 7 brush the watch the video below. You have to train for 12 years before you can get to this level of brush making.



Hope you enjoyed your creative science lesson.

Bye for now


#artbrush #paintbrush #paintbrushonline



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