5 Fun Brush Shapes to Try!

At Silver Brush, we take pride in being a step ahead of the curve when it comes to brush design. Nearly every series that we manufacture has at least one unique, fun shape that artists love and gravitate towards. Let’s dive into some fan-favorites and show you all of the exciting marks you can make with Silver Brushes!

Soft Curve

  • Can be found in these series:
  • Curved like a filbert on one side but straight like a flat on the other
  • Allows you to paint sharp edges or gentle curves without switching brushes
  • Great for cityscapes, landscapes, abstract art and more

Grass Comb

  • Can be found in these series:
  • Comb-like brush with long “fingers” that create several lines of paint in varying widths with one stroke
  • Gentle pressure creates grass effects, eye lashes, fur, hair, beards and more

Dagger

  • Can be found in these series:
  • Create long flowing lines when used on its edge or broad strokes when flat
  • Decorative leaves, petals, tree branches, blades of grass and ribbons. Can also be used as a lettering brush

Cats Tongue

  • Can be found in these series:
  • This brush can paint in tight spots because of its fine tapered point but can also create broad strokes due to its wide belly
  • Use it for washes or backgrounds, add detail, work in tight spots, make sharp, clean edges or to create petals and leaves

Triangle

  • Can be found in these series:
  • Create long thin lines or flat broad strokes depending on the amount of pressure used
  • Good for flower stems, leaves, petals and other decorative strokes
  • Watch this YouTube video by artist Kelsey Nowicki to see our triangle brush in use!

Find out where you can buy Silver brushes online or in a store near you by visiting our Store Locator!

*DISCLAIMER: Do not use turpentine to clean oil from a synthetic brush. It can ruin the filament. ONLY USE an odorless solvent. Please read our Tender Loving Care of Artists’ Brushes Brochure for further care instructions. ♦

Silver Jumbo™ Brushes

If large-scale canvas or sky-high murals are your cup of tea, check out our Silver Jumbo™ brushes. This series comes in 3 varieties: 8000 white hog bristle, 8200 soft golden taklon and 8500 stiff white nylon.

As the name implies, these brushes are, well, JUMBO! Sizes include 30, 40 and 50. Silver Jumbo™ brushes have a sleek, natural wood handle attached to a thick ferrule full of filaments that will capture and carry a large amount of color to your painting surface.

Worried about a wiggly ferrule because of the weight of heavy bodied paints? Not with these babies! Four nails are set into the ferrule on each brush so that when it is loaded with that thick acrylic phthalo blue paint you love so much, the head won’t loosen or fall off the handle.

We know that every artist prefers a certain brush shape, and that’s why the Silver Jumbos™ come in a nice variety: round, flat, filbert, angle, chisel fitch and landscape oval. The chisel fitch is exclusive to the hog bristle series. It features finely chiseled bristles so you can make sharp edges and fine lines despite the brushes’ large size. The chisel fitch also has an extra-long handle so you can get those hard-to-reach spots on your canvas.

Standing out all on its own is the landscape oval brush made with brown hog bristle. It is perfect for landscape techniques a la Bob Ross. Dabble in clouds, mottle down some bushes or trees and gently blend out any mistakes you may have made along the way.

Want to see these brushes in action? Just check out artwork by mural artist Emily Million!

Red, Silverwhite® and Blue!

 

Happy Independence Day! Are you planning to paint over the long weekend? Whether you are set-up in a park, at the beach, poolside or in the comfort of home, get festive with these red, (Silver)white and blue handled mixed-media brushes.

Red Golden Natural®
Mediums:  Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor, Gouache
Golden Natural® is a multi-media artists’ dream brush! These handsome, short handled, wine red beauties feature a blend of super absorbent natural hair and springy synthetics. This unique blend makes Golden Natural® easy to control plus they hold onto color and lay it down with silky smooth precision no matter what medium you are using. Perfect for double-loading watercolors, fine details in oil or broad strokes in acrylics.
Notable Point:  Rounds come in small sizes, making them ideal detail brushes

White – Silverwhite®
Mediums: Watercolor, Soft bodied or liquid Acrylic, Gouache
Silverwhite® brushes are a fantastic option for watercolor artists who don’t want to use a natural hair brush. Many artists argue that a synthetic brush will never be as absorbent as a natural hair brush but Silverwhite® boldly challenges that assertion! It’s true that Silverwhite® is 100% synthetic, however, it is specially designed with multi-diameter filaments that absorb and hold onto color until the brush reaches your paper and then it releases with perfect control. Best part? No pooling of color! Just perfect release, stroke after stroke.
Notable Point: This series comes in long handle or short handle!

Blue – Bristlon®
Mediums: Heavy bodied Acrylic or Oil
Bristlon® long handle brushes have been called the “Ferrari of brushes”. We promise they live up to the name! Sleek lines, balanced handling, smooth strokes, superior quality, and commanding marks are all hallmarks of this series. Like Silverwhite®, Bristlon® is fully synthetic but with much stiffer multi-diameter filaments. You can count on Bristlon® to push heavy-bodied paint with authority, hug every curve with precision and maintain chiseled edges without fail.
Notable Point: Specially processed filaments allow you to paint on rough surfaces without fear of compromising the texture of the fibers.
Side note: DO NOT clean a synthetic brush with harsh solvents like turpentine  Be sure to clean with artists’ grade odorless solvent only!

Have you tried any of these brushes? Tag us in your artwork on Instagram or Facebook for a chance to have your work featured! Make sure to use #silverbrushlimited

2600S Monza® Synthetic Mongoose Brushes

Monza® is one of the most unique brush series manufactured by Silver Brush Limited. Originally created to cater to world-class decorative artists like Debbie Cole, these brushes are now well-loved by a wide variety of painters within the artistic community.

What originally drew decorative artists to Monza® is its short-length-out synthetic mongoose filaments. The shorter length of the filament allows for tighter control over your strokes and the amount of paint you lay down. In addition, the synthetic filaments are extremely durable meaning artists can paint on nearly any surface they desire without fear of ruining their brush.

Artwork by Debbie Cole

Monza® is known for its fantastic endurance, which is why oil painters like Maria Chernobrovkina love to use it for plein air paintings in harsh winter landscapes similar to the one pictured below. Lesser brushes would quickly be damaged in oil paints due to the harsher chemicals involved but Monza® holds up to even the most rigorous treatment. Just make sure to clean it with an odorless solvent when removing oil paint from the filaments!

Although acrylic and oil painters have been using Monza® for over 20 years, more recently it has become popular for gouache as well. Tina Druce-Hoffman, an artist known for her gouache paintings, says: “Many fantastic things can be said about the Monza® synthetic mongoose brushes. Aside from the filament’s phenomenal ability to spring back, they hold gouache remarkably well. They are fantastic at retaining their shape over long years of rugged use. Unlike some brands, theses filberts have a gentle dome and shorter filament which tends to offer multiple levels of control to the user. Their brights create sharp edges and thin lines. Whether I am working on florals or out plein air painting, I always find myself reaching for my trusty Silver Monza® filbert size #12 first.” 

Monza® can be used for a variety of techniques including blending, double loading color, layering, wet-in-wet techniques, stroke work and so much more. A gentle scrub can lift color to create clouds or remove missteps. No matter which medium you are using, Monza® maintains its chiseled edge and sharp point when wet.

Artwork from left to right by: Tina Druce-Hoffman (gouache), Maria Chernobrovkina (oil) and Kayla Koeune (oil)

If you want to try out Monza® for yourself, visit our Store Locator to find a retailer near you or check out our list of online resellers and have the brushes delivered instead!

4 Perfect Plein Air Brushes

Silver Brush manufactures a variety of brushes perfect for painting en plein air. The warm weather of June means that lush landscapes are blooming, the water’s edge is calling, and people-watching has never been better, so get outside and paint!

1000 Grand Prix® (for traditional oil paints)

  • Premium Chungking white hog bristle with natural flags to grab and carry color and expertly cupped hairs that maintain their sharp edges when wet
  • Specifically designed with a matte handle so it doesn’t reflect sunlight into your eyes
  • Long handle so you can stand back from your easel while painting a sweeping landscape and maintain your perspective

What sets Grand Prix® apart? The finest quality hog bristles for the discerning oil painter

Artist Aaron Thompson with Grand Prix®

1100 Silverstone® (for traditional oil paints)

  • High-quality Chungking white hog bristle brushes with natural flags to grab and carry color and expertly cupper hairs that maintain their sharp edges when wet
  • Specifically designed with a matte handle so it doesn’t reflect sunlight into your eyes
  • Extra-large filbert sizes
  • Long handle so you can stand back from your easel while painting a sweeping landscape and maintain your perspective

What sets Silverstone® apart? BIG filbert brush sizes make this a favorite for oil painters who create murals and other large-scale paintings

Photo by artist Luis Colan

3100ST Black Velvet® Voyage (for watercolor, gouache, inks and dyes)

  • Brush detaches at the center and the head tucks into the handle so it can fit securely in your palette without fear of damage to the hairs
  • Small hole at the end of the handle allows the brush to breathe if tucked inside the cap while still wet
  • Light-weight and comfortable in your hand for hours of painting

What sets Black Velvet® Voyage™ apart? The finest quality, naturally soft squirrel hair with a unique blend of synthetic filaments make this brush SUPER thirsty, SUPER pointy when wet and SUPER loved by watercolorists all over the world

Artist Asya Chardymskaya painting by a stream with Black Velvet® Voyage™

2400S Ultra Mini® (for watercolor, acrylic or water-based oil paints)

  • The perfect companion for artists who enjoy painting miniatures on the go
  • Small and lightweight, they fit perfectly in nearly any travel bag
  • Can be used in any medium
  • Extra small sizes and a wide variety of shapes to achieve any stroke

What sets Ultra Mini® apart? Uniquely designed Comfort Grip® handles allow the artist to paint for hours with ease of use and contentment

Miniature painting by Tina Britney using an Ultra Mini® brush

Remembering Everett Raymond Kinstler

Everett Raymond Kinstler was one of the greatest American portrait artists of our lifetime. Sadly, on Sunday May 26, 2019, Raymond passed away, leaving a legacy that many artists can only dream to achieve.

Although Raymond was best known for his portraiture, he actually started his career as a comic book and magazine illustrator after dropping out of high school. He is credited with influencing pop art style illustration and working on westerns like The Shadow and super hero stories like Doc Savage. Eventually, Raymond sought to expand his artistic knowledge and took some figurative and portrait classes that ultimately changed the trajectory of his career.

Among the many celebrities and public figures Raymond painted are actress Kathrine Hepburn, former President Clinton, Supreme Court Justine Ruth Bader Ginsberg, astronaut Scott Carpenter, pro golfer Bryon Nelson, actor John Wayne and so many more. Two of his works hang in the White House as official portraits for Presidents Regan and Ford while 84 of his other works hang in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.

Raymond was not simply a paramount contributor to the art world, he was also a teacher, mentor and friend. Silver Brush Limited owner and founder, Dee Silver, had been a close friend of Raymond for decades. Ever since Raymond helped found the Portrait Society of America 20 years ago, they always greeted each other at the annual portrait show to share laughs, memories and experiences in the art industry. May Ray’s spirit, talent and teaching methods continue into eternity.

From left to right: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, President Ronald Regan, actress Kathrine Hepburn

 

In the early 1990s, Silver Brush began manufacturing sets of brushes specifically curated by Mr. Kinstler. These brushes from the SBL line were hand-chosen by him because he believed they were the best tools for portrait or landscape artists to use on their oil paintings. For more information, please contact us

Atelier™ Quills and How To Use Them

Silver Brushes’ Atelier™ Quill series features 3 different types of quill. Each quill has their own unique strengths that can lend different techniques to your painting. In addition, every brush is carefully crafted with balanced wooden handles and decorative copper wire at the ferrule for added style. No matter what your medium, one of these quills is the perfect brush to make your mark.


5025S Atelier™ Squirrel Blend Quill
Uses: laying down a wash, wet-in-wet techniques, fine lines, broad strokes, leaves and petals
Medium: Best in Watercolor or softer-bodied Acrylics but can also be used in Oil

  • Blend of soft squirrel hair and multi-diameter synthetic filaments
    • Squirrel hair allows for maximum color absorption while the synthetic fibers give the quill body and a slight snap
  • Ability to maintain sharp point when wet
  • Comes in sizes as small as 00, great for details when gentle pressure is applied
  • Excellent mop brush
  • Favored by watercolor artists because of its’ ability to absorb and hold color
Painting by Dee Capulan

5225S Atelier™ Golden Taklon Quill
Uses: Backgrounds, broad strokes, details, landscapes
Medium: Acrylic and Watercolor

  • Superb quality golden taklon filaments that move color with ease
  • Comes in extra-large sizes, making it the perfect tool for covering wide areas
  • Despite large sizes, this quill keeps its fine point
  • Holds less liquid than squirrel or goat hair, offering greater control over how much paint you put down
  • Very durable
  • Favored by acrylic artists
Painting by Nourane Owais

5325S Atelier™ Goat Hair Quill
Uses: dry blending, softening, touch-ups in tight spots, lifting color, washes, details, fine lines, leaves and petals
Medium: Watercolor, Oil and Acrylic

  • Pure white goat hair makes this a true all-media brush
  • Specially dressed for added durability and absorbency
  • Very soft hairs that won’t leave brush strokes in your paint
  • Full belly that will hold color and release with perfect control
  • Favorite among oil painters who want to blend or soften their work
  • Excellent tool for dry blending!
Painting by Sangmi Lee

Find out where you can buy Silver brushes online or in a store near you by visiting the Store Locator on our website! 

Follow us on social media @silverbrushltd on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube!

Featured Artist – Ethan Diehl


We recently interviewed artist Ethan Diehl after meeting him at the 2019 Portrait Society of America show in Atlanta, Georgia. Ethan has an astounding talent for photo-realistic oil paintings. In fact, his paintings are so realistic that he even has a disclaimer at the top of his website that says, “Yes, these are paintings.” See for yourself!

SBL:  When did you start painting and what inspired you to pick up a paintbrush?
Ethan: I started painting almost before I could walk. Granted, it wasn’t in oil (closer to Gerber’s baby food), but it was the starting point.  My mother babysat a bunch of kids, and she converted our basement into an art room.  A half dozen young artists, mastering our watercolor craft.  I didn’t start painting in acrylics until junior high, and oils didn’t come on the scene until college. I don’t know why I picked up a paintbrush. I’ve always liked the visual world. The stars at night.  Storms on the horizon.  Movies.  Paintings. All of it.  Being able to capture images that lived in my head, and in front of me, always seemed special to me.   Like my superhero power.

“Train of Thought”

SBL: Do you have any formal training or instruction?
Ethan: I went to Stanford to study rocket science. Literally.  However, after a year of not enjoying my classes, I started to take studio art classes.  One of them, a drawing class, was taught by Nathan Olivera.  Nate was an incredible person.  We hit it off in his class, I completely changed the direction of my studies, and he became my art mentor.  More than simply learning the technical side of making art, Nate taught me how to pay much closer attention to what was right in front of me in the visual world.

SBL: Before you became a full-time artist, what did you do?
Ethan: The concept of full-time artist makes me chuckle. I knew very early on that it would be nearly impossible to make a living by just selling art.  So, I got a job, which I still have, as a software developer. I’ve been doing that for 21 years. However, this doesn’t mean that I don’t put in a fulltime amount of work each week in the studio.  I do.  I’ve been doing 40+ hour “work” weeks + 40+ hour “art work” weeks for almost 15 years.

“Tenacity”

SBL: What is your favorite subject to paint and why?
Ethan: People are my favorite subject.  Primarily women.  This isn’t exactly an original concept in the art world.  Haha.  I like spending my time focusing on the beauty that only women bring to the world. Within the subject of women, I only paint women I know.  It’s important for me to have a personal connection to my subjects, because it takes SO long for me to complete my paintings.  I really don’t want to spend months on end staring at a strange face in my studio.

SBL: How long have you been using Silver Brushes and why do you like using them?
Ethan: I have been using Silver Brushes, and only Silver Brushes, since 2004.  That was the year that I started my professional art career.  I only use 1 particular brush: the Silver Bristlon® Flat size 0. My paintings are made of tens of thousands of squares of oil paint.  Each square is 1/6 in by 1/6 inch.  The Flat 0 is the perfect width for that size square.  The way that the bristles are constructed works well for me, too.  I like the flex of the bristles as I’m working on the squares.  Once I found this one brush, I was hooked.

“Constellation” painting process

SBL: Can you explain your painting process further?
Ethan: I use a pencil and ruler to turn my canvas into the equivalent of a super-sized piece of graph paper.  Then, I spend months looking back and forth between my computer monitor (which has a pixelated image), and the canvas, and painting tiny squares.  My Silver Brushes are never the same afterwards.  I normally use 1 single brush per painting, and then the brush is “retired”.  This process is not recommended for anyone else.  It works for me, but it’s painful.

SBL: Have any artists influenced or inspired your work?
Ethan: Chuck Close specifically influenced the way that I paint, from a technical aspect. I’m inspired by living artists like Jenny Saville, Mark Tansey and Banksy.

SBL: Is your artwork on display anywhere?
Ethan: My art is shown at three galleries:
 Julie Zener Gallery in Mill Valley, CA
 Robert Lange Studios in Charleston, SC
•  Morton Fine Art in Washington, D.C.

SBL: What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
Ethan: Work hard. Be nice. Enjoy the process. Fight envy with all of your strength.

For more information about Ethan and his artwork, please visit these links:
www.ethandiehl.com
Facebook
Instagram

“Effervescent”

Summer Brush Care Tips

As summer approaches, it’s important for artists of all skill levels to properly prepare their brushes for the challenges that hot, humid weather can bring. Here are a few tips and tricks to help ensure the longevity of your artists brushes.

  1. Use a moth deterrent near your brushes
    • We all know the “joys” of little creepy crawlies making their way into your homes, whether there are ants feasting on crumbs under the kitchen table, wasps coming through a cracked window to terrorize the family, or moths fluttering their way toward the warm glow of the light in your studio and making a snack out of your natural hair artists’ brushes. A moth deterrent in or near your brush case can save you a lot of trouble. Try cedar wood chips for a pleasant smell!
  2. Store brushes in a breathable case
    • As humidity rises, moisture will get trapped in a plastic brush case and it can cause mold to grow in the hairs of your brushes. To avoid this, make sure you are using a canvas brush case like our Monaco® or Tuscany® cases. Do not store brushes in a plastic case or bag!
  3. Maintain the humidity level where your brushes are stored
    • Changes in humidity in your house can cause brushes with a wooden handle to expand and contract, potentially making the paint of the handle crack or the ferrule to become loose. Try your best to keep brushes in a cool, temperature-controlled room.
  4. Condition natural hair brushes
    • Did you know you can condition your natural hair brushes just like you would the hair on your head? This process is a quick, easy way to give your brushes some TLC and stop humidity from wreaking havoc on their endurance. Simply wet your brush, squeeze a small amount conditioner onto the head and message it into the hair with your fingers. Thoroughly rinse the conditioner out and lay flat to dry.

View our Tender Loving Care of Artists Brushes Brochure for more information about brush care!

Do you have tips or tricks that help you preserve your artists brushes? Share them with us on social media @silverbrushltd on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Comparing Silver Brush® Bristles

Silver Brush Limited® manufactures three different styles of hog bristle brush, each with unique features that set them apart. Whether you are an oil painter or acrylic artist, an easel enthusiast or a plein air aficionado, chances are that one of these brushes is perfect for you!

Grand Prix® – “Unparalleled Perfection”

  • Grand Prix® is an oil painting brush handmade by the world’s most highly trained brush makers.
  • High-quality Chungking white hog bristles are hand selected, skillfully cupped and artfully placed into an extra-long copper plated ferrule and then triple-epoxy sealed to ensure durability and longevity
  • The bristles have highly prized deep natural flags (split ends) that allow the hairs to grab hold of color and lay it down evenly across your surface
  • Interlocked construction creates a natural tip that goes back to a point or edge after each use
  • Matte green handle is ideal for plein air painters because the sun won’t reflect into your eyes
  • Our only series that offers 3 different length filberts: traditional, long and extra-long. These longer length bristles are a favorite among portrait artists


Silverstone™ – “Superior Quality”

  • Silverstone™ is also handmade with excellent quality Chungking white hog bristles and an extra-long nickel-plated brass ferrule for added durability
  • Natural flags (split ends) help carry color and lay it down evenly and smoothly
  • Interlocked construction creates a natural tip that goes back to a point or edge after each use
  • Extra-large filberts in sizes 14, 16, 18 and 20 are perfect for large canvas
  • Unlike Grand Prix®, this series includes fan brushes which are perfect for landscape and background painting
  • Perfectly balanced handles that easel painters adore with a matte maroon finish that plein air artists prefer

Cambridge™ – “Uniquely Blended Series”

  • Cambridge™ is a blend of natural hog bristle and synthetic filaments, making this an excellent oil OR acrylic brush. Natural hairs hold onto color while synthetics lend extra durability and snap
  • More absorbent than typical acrylic brush
  • Stiffer than most bristle brushes
  • Triple epoxy seal on the ferrule that keeps the hairs in place and creates a moisture barrier that protects the handle
  • Can be cleaned with either an odorless solvent (oils) or water (acrylic)
  • Affordable and durable – great for beginner or intermediate artists


See these brushes and more in action on our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!

Be sure to follow us @silverbrushltd