Oil and Acrylic Brushes
The versatility of both oil and acrylic colour means that artists use the paint in thin glazes and stains as well as very thick impasto splodges of colour. Your brush is instrumental to the appearance of the marks that you make with your paint. Although oil and acrylic brushes are considered to have the same specifications, we must stress that we advise keeping the brushes you use with oils separate from the brushes you use with acrylics.
Hog hair brushes
Hog hair is relatively inexpensive, and is popular among beginners, although higher quality ranges are the preferred choice of many professional painters. Most hog hair is white, relatively stiff, and will leave an imprint of the hairs in thickly applied colour. The Jackson’s Black Hog is a slightly softer, finer hog hair, which is favoured by painters who like to use their brushes for both thin and thick applications of paint. Here is a brief overview of our favourite hog brushes.
The Professional Artist Grade Hog brushes for Oil and Acrylic Painting
Jackson’s Black Hog brushes – available in rounds, flats and filberts. The black hog is a staff favourite, a beautiful brush with silky hog hair, incredibly versatile and long lasting.
Raphael Paris Classics – available in rounds, long flats and brights. The Raphael Paris Classics range is made of a very soft hog hair, originally designed to meet the demands of the French impressionists. These brushes are recommended for looser, more expressive painting. Note that the round, unlike many other round brushes, is not shaped to a point.
Da Vinci Artist Bristle Brushes – available in brights, filberts and rounds, as well as brights with extra long handles. Considered by many of our customers and staff to be the best white hog hair paint brush sold at Jackson’s, the Da Vinci bristle brush is incredibly resilient, with the extra long hair embedded in the silver coloured ferrule in order to prevent hair loss. Da Vinci bristle brushes are a pleasure to work with when painting gestural work in oils.
Jackson’s Shiro Hog Brushes – available in brights, hogs and rounds. These brushes are designed for longevity. Unlike cheaper brushes, they have not been subjected to boiling treatment in order to straighten hairs, nor have they been bleached in order to whiten their appearance. Instead you have the strongest, natural hog hair encased in a robust metal ferrule. The result of the sympathetic treatment of the shiro hair is a softer brush that is sensitive to thin applications of paint, although it can also be used for more impasto work. The Jackson’s Shiro hog brush comes highly recommended by our staff.
Winsor and Newton Artist’s Hog Brushes – available as rounds, filberts, short filberts, long flats, short flats, fans and sets. Another high end artist’s hog brush, the Winsor and Newton artist range matches the quality of our other professional hog brushes. Winsor and Newton are proud to use flagged bristles – this means that the ends of each hair are split, allowing for a more even application of colour and greater colour holding capacity.
Pro Arte Series A Hog brushes – available as fans, filberts, long flats, short flats and rounds. Pro Arte Series A brushes are the finest hog brushes manufactured by Pro Arte. The hog hair is incredibly firm and strong, and is made of Jyukeis hog, considered to be the best in the world. The strength and snap of the hair allow it to keep it’s clean edged shape for a very long time, even with prolonged use, providing the brush is cared for through proper cleaning.
Pro Arte Series E Hog Fan Brush – The Series E brush is made to the same high standard as the Series A brushes. The fan brush is designed for blending techniques and is particularly popular among landscape painters.
Escoda chungking Hog Bristle brushes – available as extra long handled filberts and flats, long handled filberts (unvarnished handle), short flats, long filberts, long flats, rounds, fans, sash round (a big round brush traditionally used for signwriting, but excellent for big gestural marks), and a flat varnish style brush. These are high quality and recommended by staff.
Beginner’s and Student Quality Hog Brushes
Jackson’s Studio Hog Brushes – available as filberts, flats (brights), long flats and rounds. The Jackson’s Studio hog brushes are incredibly popular and impressive for their price. Made of Chungking hog, they keep their shape well and have good spring. Perfect for art school and affordable enough for absolute beginners in oil and acrylic.
Jackson’s Fitch hog Brushes – are our most affordable hog hair brushes, available as flats, large flats, large rounds and rounds. These brushes are ideal for absolute beginners to oil and acrylic painting.
Pro Arte Series B Hog brushes – available as filberts, long flats, short flats and rounds. The series B range of brushes from Pro Arte is their student grade range. They are made from the same quality Chungking hoghair as the Series A brushes but costs have been minimised in the brush production.
Winsor and Newton Azanta Black Student Hog Bristle Brushes – available as filberts, rounds, short handled rounds (for work that requires more control such as details or small scale work), long handled flats, long handled short flat brushes, short handled short flat brushes and sets. Recently modified and renamed from Azanta to Azanta black, the Azanta black is a student grad white hog hair brush. The Azanta black is inexpensive and designed for beginner’s use – these brushes are of a lesser quality than the Winton hog brushes, also manufactured by Winsor and Newton.
Winsor and Newton Winton Oil Hog Brushes – available as rounds, long flats, short flats, filberts, fans and sets. These brushes, manufactured to compliment the Winsor and Newton Winton oil range, are a student grade range of brushes. The handles are coated with 5 layers of lacquer. The brushes are affordable and of reasonable quality.
Daler Rowney Georgian Hog Long Handle Brushes – available as fans, filberts, rounds, short flats and long flats, as well as sets. Georgian oils is Daler Rowney’s midrange artist grade oil painting range, and is generally considered to be of superior quality to Winton oils. These brushes are midrange artist quality brushes made with a relatively high quality Chungking hog bristle. A high percentage of the hairs used possess a natural ‘flag’ (essentiall a split end) which is known to maximise the colour holding capacity of the brush as well as allow brush marks to appear more even.
Daler Rowney Graduate Bristle Brushes – available as brights, fans, filberts, flats and rounds. These student quality brushes by Daler Rowney are designed to meet the needs of those studying art and hobbyists alike. Benefitting from natural flagging in the hairs, these brushes are well made at a good price.
Specialist Hog Brushes for priming, varnishing, and specialised applications of colour
Omega brushes were initially designed and manufactured for interior decorators, however they have enjoyed a growing popularity among fine artists thanks to their high quality and versatility. They look a little like conventional household painting brushes but on closer inspection the quality of the hair used and the general manufacture set these brushes apart from other similar household brushes.
Omega Series 40 – A series of thin flat brushes particularly well suited to varnishing. Sizes range from 20mm- 100mm.
Omega Series 43 – 15mm thick brushes that are good for priming and sizing purposes. There is no join in the ferrule meaning it is less likely to expand or distort, minimising the chances of lost hairs. Sizes range from 20mm – 100mm.
Omega Series 55 ‘Svizzera’ brushes – also good for priming and sizing, these brushes are available as 1.5”, 2”, 2.5” and 3”.
Omega Series 57- These brushes have a softer shape – a flat brush with rounded edges, somewhere in between a conventional filbert shape and a flat brush shape. Available in 3 sizes: 1.5”, 2.0” and 2.5”
Escoda Chungking Hog Series 8146 flat brushes – this brush is very popular as a high quality priming brush. It is made to the same high specification as the other artist quality Escoda brushes, and is designed to last with due care.
Jackson’s Economy Priming Brushes and Thin Flat Brushes – these 2 ranges are very similar in their quality. Both ranges consist of wide flat hog hair brushes that are well suited to priming and sizing. Incredibly cheap and possibly all you require if you do not prime or size supports on a regular basis. The economy priming brushes are available in widths of 1”, 2”, 3” or 4”, with the priciest costing a staggering £1.15!
Sable hair brushes for Oil and Acrylic Painting
Sable is more commonly known to be used in the manufacture of watercolour brushes, because it is soft and fine, with good spring, meaning that sable hair brushes possess good liquid holding capacity and control. In oil and acrylic painting sable hair brushes are favoured for very smooth brush work and detail. Because oil and acrylic painters tend to demand larger brushes than watercolour painters, and because sable is relatively expensive, the larger sizes can be very expensive. However having been made by Da Vinci, our oil and acrylic sable brushes are made to the highest quality and are designed to last.
Da Vinci Red sable Oil and Acrylic brushes – available as liners (long rounds that carry more colour, particularly good for painting rigging and lines), rounds, brights and filberts. The softer sable hair oil and acrylic brush, it is also known for its resilience. Achieves thin and even colour spreading.
Da Vinci Black Sable oil and acrylic brushes – available as brights, filberts and rounds. The hairs of the black sable brushes are coarser than the red sable yet softer than the finest Chungking hog. Black sables are great for smoothing out brush strokes. They are also less expensive than the red sable brushes, and so many artists choose the black sables over the red, especially for the larger sizes.
Synthetic Oil and Acrylic Brushes
Synthetic hair brushes tend to be shinier, silkier, more springy and more long lasting than natural hair. As with hog hair brushes there is a wide range of choice available at Jackson’s, from inexpensive brushes for beginners, to more expensive, long lasting options for professional artists.
Synthetic Oil and Acrylic Brushes for Professional Artists
Jackson’s Akoya brushes – available as rounds, brights and filberts. The Akoya brush is names after the white Akoya pearl, as its hairs are white and silky. The hair bound in each Akoya brush is one of 2 thicknesses, which helps to maintain the spring of the brush as well as its shape. The hair is more matt than many other synthetic haired brushes available, and this is due to the fact that each hair is covered in tiny microscopic craters, designed to maximise colour holding capacity. This characteristic also makes the structure of the hairs used in an Akoya brush very similar to those used in natural hair brushes.
Da Vinci Impasto brushes – available as flats, mottlers and rounds. These white haired brushes are the stiffest available at Jackson’s. They are designed to apply and move thick paint on to and around your painting support. They are to be used almost as if one would use a palette knife, yet they leave an imprint of the brush mark in the paint much like a conventional hog hair brush would in thick oil or acrylic colour.
Pro Arte Sterling Acrylix Long handle brushes are available as filberts, long flats and rounds. This brush uses silky white, springy hair, as is designed to be used predominantly by acrylic painters, although many oil painters are starting to paint with these because of the control and quality that they offer.
Da Vinci Golden Nova synthetic brushes – available as brights, filberts and rounds. These brushes are made with a softer synthetic hair that is more suitable for using with acrylic colour than oil colour, although it can be used for both. Golden Nova brushes are highly resilient and can be used to apply colour on to rough or coarse painting surfaces without getting damaged.
Daler Rowney Cryla Acrylic Brushes – available as short handled round, long handled round, long handled flat, long handled filbert, long handled bright and mixed sets. These brushes are designed to appear and perform as a sable brush would. The hairs are soft and have good liquid holding capacity, but benefit from the extra spring you find in a synthetic brush. Shorter handled brushes are included in the range for painters who require a greater degree of control over their painting tools. There are 3 sets available, including a set especially designed for heaving painting effects.
Jackson’s Procryl Synthetic Brushes for Oil and Acrylic – available as brights, long flats, filberts and rounds, as well as sets. These are very attractive soft haired brushes, that are similar to the imitation mongoose brushes that we sell by Escoda. The hairs are tinted white at the ends, giving them a beautiful natural look. With a good snap, these brushes are ideal for thin and medium bodied applications of acrylic and oil colour.
Winsor and Newton Galeria Brushes – available as long handled rounds, short handled rounds, long handled filberts, long handled short flats, short handled one strokes and sets. The Galeria brushes are produced and marketed by Winsor and Newton for use with their range of Galeria acrylic paint, which is their student grade acrylic colour. Galeria brushes consist of synthetic filaments of 2 varying thicknesses which allow the brushes to keep their shape even after rigorous use. This designed is also particularly well suited to using with thicker consistency paint. The short handled brushes in the Galeria range use softer hair, which means that these are even better suited to painting approaches that require control, such as detail work using thin consistency paint. Galeria brushes are known to keep their shape for a lot longer in comparison to hog hair brushes.
Daler Rowney System 3 Synthetic Short Handled Brushes – as available as rounds, filberts, short flats, one stroke flats, sky flow washes (which are broad flat brushes) and sets. System 3 brushes are chunky, bright yellow handled brushes that appear to be designed for use by children, for both painting and craft applications. The synthetic hair is silky, soft and springy, and performs well. A good value brush for a wide variety of uses.
Isabey Isacryl brushes – available as rounds, filberts and brights. Isacryl brushes are award winning and a favourite among staff and customers alike. Interlocked synthetic fibres are bound within a metal ferrule attached to a long walnut coloured handle. This brush is a real treat to use as well as being long lasting, and is suitable for use with both oils and acrylic colour.
Winsor and Newton Artisan Brushes – available as rounds, short handled rounds, long handled short flats, short handled short flats, long handled long flats, filberts, fans and sets. Winsor and Newton’s Artisan brushes are designed specifically for use with their water mixable oil colour, however the range can also be used for painting in straight oils and acrylics. The hairs are designed to possess the same coarseness as natural hog hair, yet also maintain spring and shape when the brush is in contact with water. Artisan brushes are particularly well suited to applying colour that has come straight out of a tube to canvas.
Escoda Tadami Mongoose – available as brights, filberts and rounds. Escoda Tadami Mongoose brushes possess more spring than sable yet are softer than hog, which means that they are incredibly versatile for painters who like to apply colour both thinly and thickly. The brushes are vibrant with an instant response to brushstrokes. They are good for use with both oil and acrylic paint.
Winsor and Newton Monarch Synthetic Mongoose Brushes – available as filberts, short filberts, rounds, long flats, brights, wide flat glazing brushes, and fans. The synthetic mongoose imitation from Winsor and Newton is very similar if not identical to the Escoda Tadami Mongoose, with a distinct appearance formed by the variegated hairs that are shades of ivory, gold and brown. The brushes are bound in a gold coloured ferrule with a brown lacquered handle.
Da Vinci Top Acryl Brushes – available as filberts, flats and rounds. Along with the Jackson’s Shinku, Red acrylic, Escoda Teijin and Pro Arte Acrylix brushes, The Da Vinci Top Acryl form part of the selection of red acrylic painting brushes available at Jackson’s Art Supplies. Top Acryl Brushes have long anthracite transparent lacquered esagonal handles. Durable and well suited to medium-bodied oil and acrylic colour.
Jackson’s Shinku Synthetic Brushes – available as brights, filberts and rounds. The Jackson’s Shinku brushes have a particularly vibrant snap or spring. They are excellently bound and hardly ever lose hairs. The silky filaments are well suited to smooth applications of acrylic colour.
Escoda Teijin Red Synthetic Long Handle Brushes – available as brights, filberts and rounds. The elasticity, spring and durability make the Teijin one of Escoda’s bestselling ranges.As with other red acrylic brushes, well suited to medium bodied acrylic painting.
Pro Arte Acrylix – available as rounds, riggers, flats and filberts. An excellent spring gives this brush range maximum control and precision for detail work. The rounds keep their point for an impressively long time, even with heavy use.
Jackson’s White Mottler Brushes – an incredibly soft and silky brush available 50mm, 75mm or 100mm wide. Perfect for applying varnish with, or for painting with thin/medium-bodied acrylic colour.
Liquitex Freestyle Brushes – available as brights filberts, flats rounds and sets. Hair is bound in a rust free ferrule, and the long and contoured handles are designed for optimum comfort when being held right at the end or up by the ferrule for detail work. A highly durable, synthetic nylon hair brush particularly well suited to acrylic painting.
Liquitex Mural Brushes – available as mural angle brush, flats, giant (similar to household paint brush), long handled varnish brush ( a short flat brush, very wide with a long handle), a mural brush ring (a number of different shaped and sized brushes attached to a giant key ring for maximum practicality/efficiency), short handled stub (flat brush), short handled varnish brush, and a mural splatter (a big coarse haired brush with deliberately splayed out hairs). The Liquitex Mural brushes are also part of the Freestyle brush range and are designed for very large, and very experimental acrylic and oil painting. They have non-slip matte handles for maximum control and are just the tool you need if you are going to paint with thick paint and need a brush that is rugged and hard wearing.
Winsor and Newton University Brushes – available as long handled rounds, short handled rounds, long handled fans, long handled short flats, short handled short flats, and sets. The Winsor and Newton University brushes are made with white synthetic hair, and are student grade brushes designed to be so versatile that they can be used with watercolour, oil and acrylic paint. The hairs are made from polyester, and are best for applying fluid colour. The range is inexpensive and versatile.