Acrylic Brushes

In this Section:

Acrylic Brushes
- Galeria Brushes

There are a multitude of brushes on the market, and choosing the right one can be daunting. So we’ve selected a number of the ranges we offer which are more suitable for acrylic painting.

There’s only really one benchmark for brushes used with thick or viscous colour : the thicker the colour, the stiffer the brush needs to be.  A heavy paint as acrylic can be, requires a brush with enough resilience to manipulate the colour with complete control.

A colour that has been thinned slightly requires a softer tuft, and colour that has been thinned to a fluid consistency requires a brush with some flow control. In short, a bristle or stiff synthetic brush is perfect when using heavy colour right out of the tube.  As you thin the colour down, or thin it moderately, a medium to soft hair filament should be just right. As you thin the colour to a more fluid consistency, make the move to a soft synthetic or natural hair brush.

Fluid Acrylic - Watercolour Techniques

If you’re working with very fluid acrylic, you may find that you need a softer alternative to the brushes mentioned before.

Sceptre Gold II Sable

Sceptre Gold II brushes are made from a mix of sable and synthetic fibres, giving a performance that’s close to sable at a price that’s close to synthetic.

The flexibility of the brush makes the brushes soft enough to work the colour with but also has a strong snap so they return back to their original shape with ease.

The Range
Available in Round, Long Round, Lettering, One Stroke and Fan with short handles and Round, Short Flat/Bright and Fans with a long handle.

Other Brushes Suitable for Acrylics

Winton Hog Brushes

Winton Hog Brushes have been developed for use with Winton Oil Colour but can also be used with other heavy bodied colour such as Acrylics.

Using the skills and knowledge of over 100 years of brush making, Winton Hog Brush range offers excellent quality at an affordable price.

Winton brushes are made from good quality Chinese hog bristles and are hand-set into seamless corrosion-resistant ferrules. The natural curve of the hog bristle produces a resilient brush which retains its ‘turned in' shape even after heavy use, allowing the artist more control and accuracy, whether painting with oils, alkyds or acrylics.

The solid wood brushes have a green stained finish with five coats of lacquer which provide protection along with a smooth finish for ease of use.

Monarch Brushes

Monarch is a professional synthetic hair brush that mimics the look and feel of natural Mongoose hair (now an endangered species).

Just like Mongoose hair, the polyester filaments  in Monarch provide a stiffer alternative to sable hair but are softer than hog bristle which means this brush is excellent for subtle blending, glazing and fine detail work.  In addition, because Monarch is synthetic   it is more durable than natural hair and has more spring making it better for moving heavy bodied oil colour as  well as being less prone to damage from solvents or  paint.

Monarch is suitable for oil colour, water mixable oil colour or acrylic colour painting.

It has a distinct appearance with hair that is variegated in shades of ivory, gold, brown and each brush has a gold ferrule attached to a long dark brown lacquered handle.

Choosing an Acrylic Brush

There is one main benchmark for brushes that are used with thick or viscous colour; the thicker the colour, the stiffer the brush needs to be. A heavier paint like acrylic requires a brush with enough resilience to manipulate the colour with complete control.

However, a colour that has been thinned will need a softer tuft (e.g. soft hair or filament) and a colour that has been thinned to a fluid consistency then needs a brush with flow control (e.g. synthetic or natural hair brush).

Brush characteristics to consider:

Firmness of bristle - Is the bristle capable of moving heavy-bodied colour over the surface with authority?

  • Tip control - Does the bristle or hair allow for subtlety in blending? Does it give fine control when creating detail?

  • Sturdiness - Will it remain undamaged by prolonged use with water or acrylic resins?

Over the past decades, synthetics have proven superior in making brushes for acrylic colours. With proper manufacturing techniques, they offer good flow control, and a well-defined tip or edge for detail and blending work. They are also resistant to damage from acrylic resin and won't soften in water.

However, it is also common for acrylic painters to use Hog brushes or other natural hair brushes such as Sable depending on the style of their painting and the viscosity of the paint on their palette.

Care & Cleaning

Care of Acrylic Brushes

  1. Always clean your brush immediately after use.

  2. If colour has been allowed to dry on the brush, household brush restorer can be used but it is unlikely that the brush will return to its original shape.

  3. If you are storing brushes for any length of time, make sure they are clean and perfectly dry before putting them in an air tight box.

  4. Never leave brushes standing on their bristles.

Cleaning of Acrylic Brushes

  1. Brushes should be wiped clean on a lint-free rag and then rinsed under running water.

  2. Clean brushes gently with cool water and mild soap, gently swirl the soapy brush in the palm of your hand.

  3. Repeat washing and rinsing the brush until the soap and water run clear. You’ll be amazed how much colour comes from the brush head. Take particular care to ensure that the base of the brush head is clean.

  4. Some pigments may stain the brush slightly, but this will not affect the performance or the life of the hair.

  5. Gently reshape the head and remove excess water from the brush head.

  6. Dry the handle and ferrule and stand head up to allow the hair to dry.

     Click here to see our range of W&N Acrylic brushes