Several of my readers have asked about the brushes I use. My favorites are pictured above. From left to right they are as follows. At the far left is a Fine Liner Brush, used to draw the perspective lines on tile floors and for signing my paintings. A #1 Flat Brush is beside a #1 Filbert, these are used for detail work. The next one, a #8 Bright is an all around brush I seem to use constantly. The #2 Filbert is used mainly to draw my initial sketch on the canvas. The large Bright Brush is used for blocking in larger areas, the two Brights to the right of it are mainly for flowers and foliage. The largest brush is a Bob Ross #2 Background Brush. It is great for skies and, as the name implies, backgrounds. I used to have more really big brushes in my toolbox, but dragging them, filled with paint, on the canvas was causing too much strain on my wrist and elbow so I had to change to smaller ones.

Here are some more Bright Brushes that I really like. These are great because the flat side paints a large stroke, while using the corner of the brush makes a fine one. I also prefer synthetic brushes, Bristle Brushes seem to splay out over time. The corners of the Natural Bristle Brush become rounded and individual hairs stick out, preventing smooth application of paint.

Paint brushes are the tools of an artist’s trade. When we find ones we like we want them to last forever. Turpenoid Natural is a cleaner that extends the life of our brushes. Turpenoid makes an odorless paint thinner in a blue can to use for painting, but the Natural is especially to clean your brushes. You should be able to find Turpenoid Natural at your art supply store. It’s nontoxic and non flammable, with a slight scent of oranges. Your paint brushes will love you. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik


4 Responses to “Brushes”

  1. jo edwards Says:

    I’ve always used the odorless turp, which is not odorless as I can attest to after turning over a container of it in the studio. I’m going to order the Natural today! Thanks for the info. I learn something everyday from you Mikki.

  2. The Meltemi Says:

    From the UK some of the best brushes I have ever purchased and used. See my Blog for more on brushes perhaps?

  3. Karen Martin Sampson Says:

    I used to use the natural Turpenoid but now prefer Gamsol by Gamblin – even less toxic than Turpenoid. None of these are totally toxic free – it is important to still have good ventilation. As to brushes I find it is personal. I prefer a good no. 6 Filbert – I seem to be able to form almost any stroke I want with it. A good liner and a very small fan brush are extremely useful to me also – I do use large brights for big areas. I agree that synthetic brushes are better – can’t stand stiff bristle brushes.

  4. Mary Carmel Says:

    Oh bless you for all the great info on brushes! I had been u sung bristle brushes and yes, they are all frayed on the corners. I am going to print this and take to the art supply store.
    your work is so breathtaking, how could I not take your advice?
    Blessings on you!

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