Welcome to my handy-dandy paintbrush guide!
Whether you follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube, chances are that you have probably seen me painting at some point or another! If you’ve ever peeked at the comment section, I get a lot of questions about what I’m using to achieve a particular technique or style and I always do my best to answer them on the live.
Last week was a great week because 1) I got the VIP Brush (aka my favorite brush!!!) back in stock and 2) the video I made about it went kinda viral! You can see for yourself that the video isn’t really anything special and I certainly didn’t think it would be received the way it did but I am so excited that people enjoyed it.
That video made me realize that I haven’t actually done a formal “painting toolkit guide” for anyone who is just starting out, which is crazy because “which paintbrush should I use” is probably the first question a lot of people will ask when they decide to pick one up. Not only that, but I actually created a paintbrush line with Paint Pixie and I didn’t release a guide to that, either. After the video above got so popular, I realized that it could become a resource for anyone who was inspired by it… So here is my guide to choosing the right paintbrush for your project!
FYI: While most of these photos were taken while I was painting a piece of furniture, I use them in the same way on canvas.
The best brush for…
Backgrounds and Basecoats
This is the video that started it all! The VIP is my FAVORITE brush for laying down backgrounds and basecoats because you get wide, thick, even coverage. Pro-Tip: pour your paint colors next to each other on a plate and then dip the VIP brush into those colors for a fast, easy background.
Check the bottom of the post for my VIP trick to fast, easy blending!
I love my Tipsy paintbrush for teeny, tiny details. You can dip the entire brush into the paint for long, thin strokes or you can just use the tip for superfine highlights and details.
The Mascot’s wide, thin tip and short bristles give you excellent control over those little highlights that make a piece pop.
Flowers are my favorite so, naturally, this is my favorite brush for flowers! The rounded filbert head and thin tapered tip are the perfect shape and weight for creating delicate flower petals.
Grasses and stems
Oh, hey girl! This little cheerleader is our team’s biggest FAN brush! She also happens to have the perfect shape and swooshiness (surely that’s a real word, right?) for doing long stems and tall grasses. As you can see, I like to keep my paint on just the tip when I am doing the grasses because it keeps the lines nice and thin, but you can load her up with paint if you’re creating a larger-scale piece.
Does this brush have everything you need for successful shading? Let’s see… short, dense bristles at a nice, smooth angle? Check, check, and check!
Nooks and Crannies
This brush, from Paint Pixie, is called French Tip! The large, round tip is perfect for getting paint into all those little nooks and crannies when you’re working on furniture.
While she’s not technically a paintbrush, Water Girl is my signature secret weapon! Because I use clay-based paint from DIY paint, a fine mist of spray is the key to getting a smooth, streak-free blend.
Another not-a-paintbrush! This brayer from Iron Orchid Designs is another one of my favorites. I add texture to my paintings with my secret weapon AKA press and stick plastic wrap! This stuff gives amazing texture and character, check it out:
Blending with the VIP Brush
What do you think? Let me know if I missed anything in the comments!
When in doubt…
Get creative! Try scrapers, rollers, forks, even your own fingers until you find something that works!
If you already own some brushes from my collection with Paint Pixie then you might notice that the brushes in these pictures look a little bit different. That’s because I’m cooking up something new with Paint Pixie! Keep your eyes peeled…