The most popular types of paintbrushes are a fan, flat (and shorter brights), filberts (and longer Egberts), liner, mop, round, and mottler. Each type of brush has different sizes to help you cover larger areas or get those fine details. The higher the number, the wider the tuft or hair. Brush sizes are not standard—every brush maker has its own sizing standard.
Select a stiff hair brush, such as blog bristle or mongoose hair, for paste paint or a soft-haired brush for washes and fluid paint. Round brushes are best for thin lines. Flat and brights are wide and even coverage. Thin filaments like squirrel hair brushes have greater paint-holding capacity. Sable andKolinsky paint brushes have more spring for painterly brushstrokes.
The hair of sable brushes is actually from the tails of martens, such as the common or European weasel. The hairs are thin, elastic, and tapered, with a very long and pointed tip. These features make it excellent for many painting techniques—tempera, oils, acrylics, and watercolors. Due to the scales of these hairs, they have a large paint holding capacity, which is why sable hair is often considered the best for most painting techniques.
Richard Symonds (1617–1660) was an English royalist, antiquary, and amateur artist who is now remembered for his eyewitness diary of events of the First English Civil War. His Italian notebooks are an important resource for painting techniques of the 17th century.
Paint basically consists of two components: pigment and vehicle. Pigment particles do not dissolve in the paint vehicle, but are suspended in the liquid. Making paint simply means mixing a solid and liquid component together into a smooth paste. Making paint is easier than you may think. With basic supplies, such as pigment, linseed oil, a spatula and a clean, flat surface, you can start making small batches of oil paint.
Paint pigments are much more complex today than in past history. They are mixed with other materials or coated to give visual shift or other active color effects. In order to gain an appreciation of color theory and the problems of color matching, it is essential to consider the physics of sight in some detail. Before continuing, though, some background knowledge is required.