Rating TOP 7 best paint brushes: purpose, which ones to choose, pros and cons


Drawing with paints calms and allows our imagination to become reality. To do this, we use paints that have a different consistency. Therefore, for each of them you need to choose your own tool so that the artistic process brings only positive emotions. But it is difficult for a beginner to understand the variety of brushes that he sees on store shelves. They are hard, soft, flat, round, wide and they have different numbers.

I suggest that you familiarize yourself with the review not only with the rating of popular brands and learn about their strengths and weaknesses, but also talk about the world of artistic brushes. You will learn about their varieties and purpose. Therefore, after reading the review, you can make the right choice and enjoy creativity to the fullest.

What are the differences between art brushes and what paints are they for?

If you plunge into the world of artistic brushes, then a novice artist can drown in information and get confused with the choice. The fact is that this tool has several parameters by which it is selected. I will try to briefly, but at the same time informatively tell you about the features of paint brushes.

Let’s start with the simplest. All of them are distinguished by the number, which is indicated on the body of each brush. And here it is worth paying attention to the shape of the tip: round or flat. For round brushes, the numbers start from 0 (rarely 00) and go up to 20. The number indicates the diameter in millimeters, and the step is 1 mm. For flat brushes, the number means the width and there are options 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18.

In fact, there are much more shapes than just round and flat, and each has its own purpose:

  • Round for gouache and watercolor. Suitable for working out details and creating textures, so they are universal.
  • Flat for broad and even strokes. They hold paint well, so they are often used for oil. Suitable for painting large areas.
  • Type brushes are inherently round brushes, but have a very long pile. Designed for drawing a contour or just thin lines. They are often used in graphics.
  • The cat’s eye or tongue is also flat, wide at the base and thin at the end. Something like a drop. It combines the properties of a round and flat brush. She can change the thickness of the lines and the appearance of strokes, creating smooth color transitions.
  • Fan. The shape resembles a fan and refers to flat brushes for paints. They soften the color stretch and lubricate the contours.

These are the basic pile shapes that you can start practicing and experimenting with. But in stores for artists you will still find other forms. And I will talk about the types of pile and its purpose a little lower in this review.

paint brush rating

BRAUBERG squirrel

Round brush with a thin tip from a well-known brand. Made from protein and designed for water-soluble paints. Despite the fact that the clip is metal with a double clamp, this product climbs strongly. When working, it is difficult to control the release of water and pigment. Because of this, it is difficult to draw and draw thin lines. Many users complain that the pen falls out of the metal base. Therefore, you should not take them even for children’s creativity.

Pile squirrel
Rooms 1-5
Purpose watercolor, gouache, tempera
Peculiarities conical
  • natural hair;
  • wooden lacquered handle;
  • affordable price.
  • strongly climb and push;
  • fall out of the metal sleeve.

It’s something impossible to draw with such brushes. In the cells of acrylic paints, all the pile, on the art of the child, too, there is only hair from the brush. It is impossible to work with them, as the handle of their metal base falls out. In general, I do not advise taking even for children, as this is one big headache.

Some believe that for children’s creativity, you can take low-quality goods. I do not recommend doing this, since the child needs to be taught right away to the good. If the drawing tool climbs, it means that it spoils the drawing and cannot bring joy. And he also teaches your child to be careless.

GAMMA protein

Tapered art tools for water-based paints, i.e. predominantly for watercolors. But they can also be used for acrylic. Squirrel fur is elastic and always creates a shape with a sharp nose, so it is convenient to draw fine details. But there are complaints about this product of relatively poor quality. The villi climb and twist, and this indicates that the fur was not taken from the tip of the tail, as required by technology. Apparently, the production often comes across a marriage. But still, they will be a little better than the previous ones, and if you are lucky enough to buy a really high-quality product, then such a tool will be quite convenient for a child.

Pile squirrel
Rooms 1-8
Purpose watercolor
Peculiarities conical
  • comfortable in work;
  • you can draw small details or make large strokes;
  • can be purchased as a set or individually.

Quite comfortable brushes for a child. The surface is varnished and therefore does not get dirty, like ordinary wood, that is, they can be easily washed. I would not say that they climb straight, but still the villi fall out. But overall a good start.

GAMMA synthetics

The pile is made of synthetic polyester fiber produced in Japan. It allows you to control the smear, pick up dense paints and distribute them correctly. All thanks to good elasticity. The set contains round brushes No. 1, 3, 5 and flat ones with numbers 5 and 8. They are beaten tightly into a bundle and the villi do not bulge. The handle is lacquered and easy to clean. During operation, they do not crumble.

Pile synthetics
Rooms 1-8
Purpose ink, gouache, tempera, oil
Peculiarities flat
  • value for money;
  • suitable for children’s creativity;
  • do not climb during work;
  • All required numbers included.
  • no significant deficiencies were identified.

The set does not look cheap and the lacquer coating is of sufficient quality, that is, it does not crack or crumble over time. The brushes themselves are elastic, soft and do not climb. Comfortable to hold in hand. Small details are easy to draw. Used with a child for watercolor painting. And I used it for acrylic. All tests went well.

Neva palette with a reservoir

Roughly speaking, this is a brush with paint and water in one “bottle”. Designed for water-soluble paints, that is, originally for watercolors. The factory produces variations: round No. 1-5 and flat No. 1, 2, 5, 7. The synthetic beam is quite elastic and slippery. Suitable for sketching, plein air, sketching, lettering and for blurring watercolors. Consists of two parts: acid and water tank. Thanks to the soft walls, it is easy to control the blur that depends on the pressure of your fingers. It is difficult to make thin lines, but it gives excellent blur effects.

Neva palette
Pile nylon
Rooms 1-7
Purpose watercolor and water-soluble paints
Peculiarities with tank
  • many areas of application;
  • quality goods;
  • convenient to take on street sketches;
  • affordable price.
  • needs to be adjusted.

I love to draw and graduated from art school, so my friends gave me this wonderful brush. I was very interested in it, and I decided to try out its capabilities. To be honest, it didn’t work right away, but it was interesting. It is comfortable to hold in your hand, as it looks like a pen. It consumes a little water and is enough for sketches. I would recommend it for artists and children as an entertainment and introduction to the world of colors.

Winsor & Newton COTMAN-222

A well-known English company founded in 1832 in London. Specializes in products for professional artists. Brushes are made of soft synthetic and are designed for watercolor. The beam is round and has a long length, which is convenient for creating lines and working out small details. Perfectly hold water-soluble paint and do not create bald spots. The clip is dense and keeps the bundle in shape and prevents the villi from falling out. The handle is short and therefore comfortable. Suitable for retouching, calligraphy, creating long and continuous straight and curved lines.

Winsor & Newton
Pile synthetics
Rooms 0-6
Purpose watercolor
Peculiarities shape liner
  • high quality products;
  • it is possible to create lines of different thicknesses;
  • comfortable handle.
  • high price per piece.

Recently, I have become interested in calligraphy and bought a Winsor and Newton brush to get acquainted. Of course, you have to get used to it and nothing will work right away. But I can say that the brush is made neatly, the hairs do not crumble and keep their shape. Drawing her lines is a pleasure.

Numbers from 0 to 3 are used for detailed drawing, and starting from 4 to create a background, large strokes, large details. Therefore, when assembling your set, you need to consider what you will draw. Usually #1, 3, 6, 8 are required.

Malevich Andy

Excellent tools for painting and drawing fine details in watercolor, acrylic, gouache and tempera. You can work with oil in the technique of glazing, using thinners. Crimping is double, which allows you to securely hold the pile, so it does not climb or fluff. The shape is preserved even when using dense paints. The handle is wooden and 14 cm long with a lacquered finish. Water-based paint brushes are designed for beginners and advanced artists.

Pile synthetics
Rooms 0-4
Purpose beveled
Peculiarities round
  • comfortable handle length;
  • high quality;
  • affordable price.

Excellent brushes for gouache and acrylic paints. I bought it for a schoolchild for drawing in art and home art classes. My daughter is neat and, probably, that’s why they keep their shape for a long time. The sharp tip is kept for a long time, they do not shed in the work and the paint is well absorbed. They are ideal for drawing small details.

Winsor & Newton Galeria series

In the Galeria series you can find round and oval brushes for acrylic and oil. They are made from synthetic fibers. They have good density, elasticity and excellent shape retention. The uniqueness of this set is that the numbering starts from 000, that is, very thin, literally from one or two villi. The rim crimp is double and very tight. The handle is made of wood, varnished. A handy tool for long-term work. Refers to professional. Possesses high quality of execution.

Winsor & Newton
Pile synthetics
Rooms 000-16
Purpose acrylic
Peculiarities round
  • high quality tool for artists;
  • ergonomic design;
  • keeps its shape perfectly;
  • durable material.

When working with acrylic, they keep their shape perfectly and the stroke is neat. It is very pleasant and comfortable to work with these brushes. I’ve been using them for a long time and they don’t wear out at all.

Winsor & Newton brushes from the Galeria series are sold in sets and individually. Zero numbers are often not used, since they are completely replaced by number 1. It is the most running and wears out to zero the fastest. Therefore, when choosing a piece, buy only the most necessary tools.

How to choose the right paint brushes?

Before choosing a brush, you need to decide what paints you will work with. If at the beginning of the review I talked about the main types of brushes, now I will explain to you the purpose of the type of pile:

Pile type Characteristics purpose
Squirrel The pile is soft and elastic, and the strokes are clear and bright. The lines are clear and the hairs hold their shape well. Perfectly absorbs moisture and holds paint. Watercolor, tempera.
Kolonok The pile adheres well to water, is elastic and does not leave gaps when drawing. Watercolor, gouache, tempera, acrylic, oil.
Pony Hair of medium hardness and thicker than squirrel. Takes less water and wears off for a long time. For kids.

Gouache, watercolor, tempera.

Goat Soft and elastic hair. withstand high temperatures. Due to its properties it is used in hot batik.

Calligraphy, watercolor, ink.

Bristle (pigs) Very resilient and wear resistant. Used for contours, creating contrasts.

Oil, acrylic and gouache in dry technique.

Synthetic (nylon) The hair is hard, but it gives moisture with difficulty. Oil and acrylic.
Synthetics (polyester fibers) They have different degrees of elasticity. They have a capillary effect. Watercolor, gouache, oil.

So, we figured out the types of pile and now you know which one suits certain paints. I must say right away that synthetics are cheaper than naturals, so for beginners it is better to pay attention to nylon.

Otherwise, when buying a paint brush, you need to choose them as follows:

  • check if the metal base (cage) is loose, as its task is to shape the pile and hold it in place;
  • slightly pull the bristles to check their reliability and if they fall out, then leave this brush in the store;
  • if you choose a natural woman, then run through the pile and check it for shine, density and shape retention;
  • the length of the handle depends on individual preferences, but for children and beginners it is advised to choose short copies;
  • the cap indicates that the brand is concerned about its reputation, and it will also help you keep the pile in its original form when storing the brush.
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