Choosing a Brush

When selecting a brush, you have to decide whether you want a natural hair, bristle, or synthetic hair. A short standard length handle or a long handled brush is a matter of preference for the type of painting you may want to do.

Brush Hair Choices


This is the finest Red Sable available. It is a finely pointed hair which performs with great spring. The hair is ideal for watercolor and acrylics.

Red Sable

This is a soft natural hair . There are many different grades of Red Sable depending on the region of the world from which the animal comes. Sable hair is best used in oils and watercolors.


This hair is very absorbent and will carry a lot of medium. The very fine pointed hairs leave a smooth, streak-free stroke. Squirrel hair brushes are very soft and are used by China and Sign Painters alike. They can be used in all media.


This hair is quite strong which is easily dyed different shades of color, but lacks the fine tips of Red Sable, Squirrel, or synthetics. It is ideal hair for mops and mixing with other hair.


This is usually a very soft white hair used in blending or softening the appearance of your project. This hair is very fragile and has a tendency to break if abused too much.


Years ago a brush maker termed the name “camel hair” since no hair comes from a camel to manufacture. It was called “camel hair” since leftover hair of differrent types were mixed together so as not to waste any hair. This hair is good for school grade brushes.


This is a strong, coarse, natural hair that comes from the ear of a pig. It is used in heavy media such as oils, acrylics and lacquers. They are used on rough surfaces like canvas, porcelain, brick, concrete or unfinished wood. White Bristle is also ideal for use in dry-brushing techniques.


This is generally referred to as Taklon. Most familiar gold in color but can be dyed in various colors. Taklon comes in different grades of quality and diameters just as it does in fishing lines.

Golden Taklon (nylon) is perfect for use with acrylics, but it can be used in any medium.

White Nylon is a softer, finer filament than Golden Taklon. This is used best in watercolors and fabric painting.

Stiff Synthetic

This filament is not as soft as the above-mentioned Taklon or Nylon. The stiffness of the filament is used for scrubbing, fabric painting on denim, and on other rough surfaces.