Acrylic Painting Tools
Acrylic (and oil) painting brushes traditionally have a longer handle to allow the painter to achieve more movement when painting, which can create more expressive marks. Natural and synthetic hair brushes are available in a range of softnesses - stiffer, thicker hair such as hog or da Vinci Impasto is ideal for more gestural, impasto painting, but the softness of sable hair or Jackson's Procryl is more suitable for thin applications of colour such as glazes and washes.
Oil and Acrylic brushes usually come in filbert, long flat, short flat (or brights) and round shapes. Watercolour brushes are available in more specialised shapes and can also be used with acrylic colour, but these have shorter handles and some watercolour brushes have softer hair than a conventional acrylic brush.
Palette knives are really useful for mixing colour on to a palette, as brushes get very loaded with paint easily and it can be difficult to get the paint back on the palette! Much easier to use the smooth metal of a palette knife to move the colour around. Cheaper palette knives tend to be a lot thinner but this can be to an artist’s advantage when using a palette knife as a painting tool, as it allows for a little more spring. The more expensive palette knives such as the excellent Jackson’s palette knives are made of an incredibly sturdy carbon steel blade, and could almost be used as a paint scraper. A paint scraper is a tool with a slighter sharper blade, which is effective in taken dried layers of paint off a painting support or palette.