Best acrylic paint brushes.

Best acrylic paint brushes

Best acrylic paint brushes for both students and artists.

You can’t have a good painting without the right brush. Whether you’re just getting started in the world of the acrylic medium or are an old pro, it’s important to choose your acrylic paint brushes wisely, see how these brushes work and also how to keep them clean. Acrylic paint is a fun medium, but it can be hard to work with if you don’t have the right tools. In this article, I’ve picked out some of my favourite acrylic paint brushes specifically to use with acrylic paint that will make both your painting and your time spent in front of the canvas far more enjoyable! The paint brush is your most important tool in the acrylic painting process. If it falls apart or has loose fibres, you will have a hard time making your brushes work as they should which in turn will hinder your chances of creating an aesthetically pleasing artwork that looks professional and clean. The brush should be one of the first things to consider when deciding on what type of art project to try out with acrylics for beginners and professionals alike, whether you are drawing something from scratch or looking at reference pictures as inspiration.

So, what are the best acrylic paint brushes for everyone?

When choosing new brushes be aware  – one size does not fit all – it’s always your personal preference that you have to use when choosing which brush types are better than another. But there are some general ideas of what makes an artist feel more confident in their work and others who may not be so adventurous with colour or stroke patterns. So if we go back to our original question “what are the best acrylic paint brushes for both students and artists?” it all depends on your needs but I listed my personal favourite, good quality brushes below highlighting criteria to look out for as well as the pros and cons! The big thing to remember though is, don’t go with natural fibres (aka natural hair bristles) for use with acrylic paint
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acrylic painting brush sizes

Choosing The Correct Sized Brushes For Acrylic Painting

When deciding on the right acrylic paint brush to buy, you will notice that they come in a wide variety of sizes and colours to choose from at any art supply store. Some brush sizes have thinner bristles for detailed work while others are thick and durable.

A typical size sheet for paintbrush types from a manufacturer will tend to feature brush size in keeping with this:

#00 / #0 / #1 / #2 / #4 / #5 / #6 / #8 / #10 / #12 / #14 / #16 / #20

however, it’s always best to check out each individual manufacturer’s range as even though two brushes may be listed as both being size #5 for example, the chances are they’ll not be exactly the same.

As a general overview though:

Painting Details will require small brush sizes less than #5

Underpainting and blocking, as well as creating bold strokes in work will require mid-range sizes from #6 -#12

Initial page wash will require a large brush size with thicker bristles, #14 and above

Only by reviewing each individual manufacturers website will you truly know the style and spec allowing you to compare accurately. Most manufacturer’s return policy does allow you to return unused brushes so it’s no real issue ‘getting it wrong’  but always best to check this too before buying.

paint brushes

The Various Types Of Acrylic Paint Brushes

Here are the 4 most common styles of acrylic brush

  • Round Brushes
  • Flat Brushes
  • Filbert Brushes
  • Fan Brushes

 

..and if new to acrylic painting I recommend that you try them in the listed order.

The Round Brush

Great brushes for detail, varying your round brush stroke weight from fine lines to thick and fantastic for patterns.

Flat Brushes

The ideal brush for painting straight shapes. Perfect for painting lines and edges. (The flat brush – sometimes called liner brushes).

Filbert Brushes

The perfect mix between the round brush and the flat. One of the great brushes for acrylic paint and the ideal choice as a shader brush or for blending.

Fan Brushes

Fan brushes are the best paint brushes for blending and feathering acrylic paint on most surfaces. Ideal for painting grass, branches and trees.

The 6 best acrylic paint brushes

1) DACO Clarity Paint Brush Set

16 Artist Brushes, Palette Knife, Paint Sponge, Paint Brush Holder & Organizer, Brushes for Acrylic Painting, Watercolor Paint, Oil Paint, Gouache Paint

  • Colour – Black
  • Material – Nylon, Wood, Copper
  • Brand – DACO
  • Paint type – Oil, Enamel, Watercolour, Gouache, Acrylic
  • Handle type – Wood Handle

About this item

  • ‘Premium Quality Paint Supplies’ – 16 brushes of various shapes and sizes, a palette knife for mixing and a sponge to load your paints on, all stored inside a compact carry case which can also serve as an easel once the zippered bag is folded.
  • Super versatile: This kit comes with different lengths of brushes, including round, angular and flat. Every brush has its size printed on the handle to make them easy to differentiate; Can be used for acrylic paint, watercolor paint, oil painting or gouache
  • These paint brushes are versatile and can be used for a variety of painting projects.
  • Durable and neat: These Clarity art brushes are perfect for anyone from beginner to professional, a great present for your kids, friends or any other crafty person in your life.

This paint brush kit is perfect for anyone, from beginner to professional. It comes with different lengths of brushes, including round, angular and flat that have their size printed on the handle so they are easy to identify and can be used for acrylic paint, watercolor paint or oil painting. The best part about this product is its durability when it comes to storing them after use; these brushes come with a case, making transporting your paints worry-free! These art brushes would make an excellent gift for pro artists and students alike.

2) Aibesser Paint Brushes

21 pcs Brush Set with Pop-up Carrying Case, Acrylic Paint Sets with 2 Palette Knife and 2 Sponges, Painting Brush Set for Oil Watercolor Gouache

  • Colour – Black
  • Size – 15 pcs brushes
  • Brand – Aibesser
  • Paint type – Oil, Watercolour, Acrylic, Gouache
  • Number of pieces – 21

 

About this item

  • 15 pcs brushes. Use a wide variety of brushes for art, with different shapes and sizes to achieve maximum precision.
  • Includes fine, liner, flat, angular; filbert; dagger; round and fan which will meet most of your creative painting needs-from thick strokes to fine detailing.
  • Quality craftsmanship maximizes the control you have over your paintings while minimizing damage to your brushes.
  • Clean these acrylic paint brushes with warm water, washing out the paint and use your fingers to reshape.

This Aibesser acrylic paint brush set is ideal for any beginner looking to dive into painting and experiment with various materials. This set contains a range of brushes from round to fan, flat etc. Irrespective of the type of brush you choose, this is best for acrylic painting on canvas using oil colors including watercolor and gouache.

They all have synthetic bristles which make them tough but very fine too – just what you need while manipulating even the tiniest details while creating your artwork

3) ZenART Acrylic Paint Brushes

14pc Professional Set of Chungking Hog, & Badger/Japanese Synthetic Bristles incl Filbert, Flat, Rigger & more – Travel Pouch, Long Birchwood Handles, No Shedding

About this item

  • These ZenArt brushes are designed for professional artists. The brushes include Filbert 4, 6, 8, 10, & 12, Flat 3, Bright 7, Angle 8, Round 2, Rigger 4, Detail Round 00, Fan 3, Wide Flat 1” brushes, and a palette knife
  • 6 x natural hog-hair oil paint brushes are strong and springy while also holding a lot of paint. They make it easy to work with the brushstrokes. 7 x badger bristle brushes (70% + 30% synthetic) makes blending or making beautiful strokes in oil paint is easy.
  • ZenARTs paint brushes are the perfect choice for varied mediums, built to withstand regular use and lasting performance.

This ZenArt acrylic paint brush set is one of the best selections for painting professionals and working artists. The best features about this product are the variety of brushes covered in natural and synthetic hairs. They are soft, and great for delicate details; while also being resistant to wear and regular use. These fine point brushes include filbert, art knife (palette knife), fan brush, liner brushes & more! Fine-haired brushes like these allow you to create bold strokes when desired without sacrificing quality or precision on finer strokes.

4) Conda 24 Brushes Set

Professional Brush with Case for Acrylic Watercolor Oil Painting

 

About this item

  • PROFESSIONAL QUALITY: These quality synthetic brushes are made of strong material that is designed to last and be easy to clean. They have exceptional ability in cleaning quickly and producing a superior finish.
  • These acrylic paintbrushes have a wooden handle that is lightweight and makes them easy to hold for longer jobs. The lightweight design also allows you to hold onto it the best so your hand can work with control for better results.
  • QUALITY FILAMENTS – Genuine, durable filament blend that effortlessly holds onto paint for a beautiful finish.

Professional Brush with Case for Acrylic Watercolor Oil Painting. It has a lightweight design that makes it easy to hold and made of high quality materials designed to last long, but not be difficult to clean. I find this set affordable in price and perfect for my needs because they are such good quality brushes while being so accessible. The filaments can easily carry any type of liquid including water-based paints or acrylic paints which I greatly appreciate considering how versatile these brushes really are!

5) Arteza Large Acrylic Painting Kit – With Brushes

Includes Acrylic Paint Set, Acrylic Markers, Canvases, DIY Acrylic Pad, Palette Paper, Brushes, Wood Slices, and More, Acrylic Painting Starter Kit for Adults

Complete Acrylic Painting Set Start your custom acrylic painting journey with this 36-piece paint set. This complete kit includes a full spectrum of colours, including metallics for a more textured appearance when using the flat brushes to mix and layer paints for various effects. You also get 12 tinted markers that will give your artwork an added panache when you’re done. Blend & Build Colour Twelve premium acrylic brushes included help you smoothly apply paint, or experiment with the included palette knives. Place clean paints on disposable palette paper; when finished, tear off used paper panel for easy cleanup Sample Different Surfaces This acrylic paint kit includes 4 panels: 2 with white surfaces and 2 with black. Whether you want to frame your artwork or create a different type of “canvas,” this kit has everything you need.

About this item

Acrylic Starter Kit Includes:

  • A large sketch box easel containing:
  • 36 acrylic paint tubes (22ml)
  • 1 white acrylic paint tube (120 ml)
  • 12 acrylic markers
  • a disposable palette pad
  • 2 palette knives (sizes #1 and #7)
  • 12 acrylic brushes
  • and a colour mixing wheel.

Paint on a Variety of Surfaces:

  • Create your masterpieces on:
  • 4 wood slices (2 small + 2 medium)
  • 4 canvas panels (2 white + 2 black)
  • 2 stretched canvases
  • 8”x8”wood panel
  • 9”x12” canvas pad
  • 9”x12” DIY frame pad.
The Arteza Large Acrylic Painting Kit is a complete kit for anyone who wants to explore acrylic painting. The kit includes 36 paint tubes with a variety of colours, 12 markers, two palette knives, 12 brushes and a colour wheel. The best part about this kit is that it allows you to paint on different surfaces like 4 wood slices, 4 canvas panels, 2 stretched canvases and 9×12 inch canvas pad. There are also other best-selling products available like the oil paints, canvases, and wooden edges that attach to frames.

6) Artify 12 pcs Set

Nylon Painting Brushes for Acrylic, Oil, Watercolor and Gouache Painting for Kid and Adult, Beginner and Professional, with Round, Angle, Flat, Filbet, Fan Shape, Black

 
  • Colour Dark Black
  • Size 12 pcs art supplies
  • Brand ARTIFY
  • Paint type Oil, Watercolour, Tempera, Acrylic, Gouache
  • Number of pieces 12

About this item

  • FERRULES DON’T GET LOOSE- These paint brushes have a heavier glue used in the ferrule so it does not come apart.
  • The construction of this paint brush set means that it can be used for any medium. The 3 layers of coating and the heavy glue on the head enable water to drip right off, making it easy to clean.
A great acrylic paint brush set. There are different shapes in this set, each suited to different techniques and finishes. Can be used as oil paint brushes too. These are very well priced professional acrylic paint brushes I have come across. The bristles are soft, but provide a fine amount of control. They were not too scratchy, so they should work well for applying delicate paints like gouache or watercolours as well. The best part about this paint brush set is the variety in shapes and sizes that each brush contains. I can pick a different shape to use depending on my mood and what result I am trying to create.

How to clean your acrylic brushes

Always clean your brushes immediately after use. It’ll only take a minute and you’ll be amazed how much cleaner they’re able to look if treated at the first opportunity rather than being left to sit for days or weeks on end.

Unfortunately, some brushes are more porous than others and will end up harbouring paint at their ends that can’t be removed.

For this reason, I recommend using the double bath method when cleaning them: first, soak in water to get the brushes wet, then use soap before soaking again in clear water.

I love using two jars of water to clean my brushes! The first jar is used for the initial wash which takes off most of the pigment and acrylic polymer emulsion. After that, I use a second jar as a deeper rinse when needed.

In general, it is imperative to make sure that your brush isn’t a mess. Using this technique will ensure the bristles on your brushes don’t stick together and will also help you keep acrylic paint from congealing in the ferrule which would ultimately result in poorer performance in your painting style.

How to store your acrylic brushes

It is important to maintain your brush collection so they live a long and healthy life.

As mentioned, you should clean them after every painting session, but storage is equally as important.

The best practice when it comes to this is to store the brushes in their original container for protection from dust or other debris that can build up on surfaces in an art studio environment.

…Oh and one more thing, try never to drop water into the ferrule of any paintbrush because it will damage both the bristle head as well as cause swelling of metal parts which could lead to breakage over time; especially if you are using expensive synthetic nylon bristles.

And the last tip on storage, don’t forget to store your beautiful brush sets upside down in your brush holders! This will keep the bristles from getting damaged and make it a lot easier for you when it’s time to use them once again.

You don’t want any bent bristles the next time you go to paint.

 

FINAL TOP TIP; expensive natural bristles are not the best option when using acrylic paint.

If you have never done anything with acrylics before, here are a few pointers.

-Don’t use natural fibres, commonly known as animal hair fibres! Always go for a synthetic fibre for three reasons:

01) The hairs on a natural fibre brush will just clog up when using acrylic and make them unusable. The tiniest piece of dried acrylic will cause the bristles to snap or split, ruining your brush. This can be avoided by opting for a brush with nylon bristles.

02) No one wants to paint their work with a tinge of brown or black because of the colours that it’ll turn into when soaked by water. Any synthetic fibre will prevent this issue

03) Cleaning acrylic brushes with water while you use them will reduce their springiness so always choose a synthetic fibre, such as nylon bristles.

 

In conclusion; choosing the best brushes for acrylic painting

I’ve been painting for years, and am always looking to improve my art. It was hard researching the best acrylic paint brush out there because it’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack! But over the years and with some focused, dedicated research – I have managed to come up with this list.

As I say though, one size does not suit all but hopefully, after reading you’ll be just that little better informed and will make good choices from here on.

Happy painting!

 

 

Blick master bristle brushes tend not to be a good choice, nor anything that highlights unnecessary features such as black coated brass, household brushes or machine made brushes. Palette knives can often be an upsell but this is fine from my point of view  – every artist should have a section of palette knives over time.

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Written By Adam Rushton

Adam has made a name for himself in the illustration industry and is a passionate blogger and writer on the subject of art, illustration and graphic design.

His artwork has been featured in countless publications and used for very well-known media projects. As a professional illustrator for over 20 years, Adams media outlets, a wealth of knowledge, and experience enable him to consult and advise artists and illustrators in this country (from York and Manchester to Southampton and London) and all over the world.

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