So, recently I decided I needed a couple new brushes. I work small. If you follow me here or on Facebook (fb.me/DeborahSecorArtworks), you know that. Most of my work is ATC size, which is always 2.5" x 3.5", the same size as a playing card or sports trading card. So my brushes are small--but not tiny!
Let me show you my home team, along with the newbies I just added:
At the top right you'll see my three "funny" brushes. They've been badly abused over the years, resulting in some messed-up bristles that work well to make a lot of the little marks that suggest things like tree leaves, bushes, grasses, or whatever needs a messy little stroke.
The middle three are my go-to brushes, a Chinese wolf hair brush that makes the nicest long, fluid lines, my trusty half-inch flat brush that is used to paint easily three-quarters of every painting, and a round brush that creates lovely, lush strokes.
I'm not an "every hair" painter, of course. I like to suggest detail more than actually painting it. I try to work with the largest brush I can for as long as I can, which means my workhorse half-inch brush is key. Consider the scale of a half-inch to 3.5"--it's HUGE, relatively speaking. I can't even figure out what width brush you'd use in a 9' x 12" painting, if it was of the same proportion, but I expect it would be the size of a house painting brush! That large size keeps the strokes fresh and painterly.
Maybe this series of shots will help you see what that looks like:
|Half-inch flat brush strokes.|
|Large round brush strokes added.|
|More flat strokes, with some funny brush strokes.|
|More funny brush strokes, large and small.|