How to choose a quality brush?
Any brush consists of three main parts: a hair bundle, a metal clip and a wooden handle.
Metal clip. Seamless metal clips of high-quality brushes made of seamless copper or brass can be coated with chrome or nickel. The holder of the brush should be tightly filled with hairs and firmly cover the handle around the circumference. To make the brush stronger, the hair bundle is glued to the handle, but the adhesive should not reach the upper end of the clip. This makes it necessary to use longer hairs so that the brush can be rotated by the desired degree during operation.
A pen. Pens of good quality can only be made of hardwood, such as beech, oak, birch. The handle and metal cage are pressed together for greater strength.
Hair bundle. The hair bundle, the actual working part of the brush, is natural or synthetic hair of a certain shape and size. Universal brushes do not exist, each brush has its own purpose. Natural hair brushes are good for working with liquid paints, since the main criteria here are control over the fluidity of the paint, the ability of the brush to form a thin tip and the elasticity of the hair bundle. The soft texture of natural hair and its natural shape perfectly meets these requirements.
A column is the best hair for a brush, golden brown in color, with a sharp tip like a needle. It holds paint well, its soft structure, conical shape and recoil make it ideal for all liquid paints and rendering details. In addition, the bundle of the core brush consists of hairs of different lengths, which, when the filled brush touches the surface, create a capillary flow – continuous, with excellent consistency.
Weasel is an alternative to a hair column. The hairs are red-brown in color, with a good sharp tip, good filling, but not as long as the column.
The squirrel’s hair is very thin, blue, black or brown. The tip of the squirrel hair brush resembles the point of a rapier; according to the control over the fluidity, it is not inferior to the column, but is not so elastic in nature.
Light bovine hair. Bovine hair brushes are also good for liquid paints due to their softness and elasticity, although they do not have such a sharp conical shape as columns or protein. Brushes for pasty paints are evaluated according to only one parameter: the thicker the paint, the harder the hair should be. The most suitable are bristle brushes. Lightly diluted paints need a softer pile.
Badger hair has a conical shape and a dense upper part, closer to the end of the hair, but near the root section it is relatively thin, so the brush is very fluffy. It is considered ideal when working with moderately diluted oil paints. The best badger brushes have a white tip and a dark stripe in the middle.
Pork bristles are elastic and strong, the best brushes for oil and acrylic are made from it. The most important characteristic of a bristle is also its split tip – it contributes to a good fullness of the brush and even application of paint to the surface of the base.
Synthetic, i.e. industrial-made hair and bristles are not similar to each other and behave differently. Nylon brushes are unsuitable for watercolor work, but are great for moderately diluted acrylic, as they have the necessary strength and elasticity. Synthetic hair based on polyesters has a different degree of elasticity. It can be assembled into bundles of various diameters to create a capillary action between the filaments of fiber, thereby achieving good control over the fluidity. It behaves well with oil and acrylic.
Also produced are brushes with a mixed composition of natural and synthetic hair. Brushes containing red sable hair can be used for oil paints, acrylics and watercolors. Others, on the contrary, were made specifically for liquid acrylic and are too soft for oil paints.