Ahhh...that age old question that is often asked of artists, as if the tool is the only difference between amateur and professional work.
Well, dear reader, it does matter! Having good brushes wont make you a good painter, but the right tools surely help everyone achieve their potential without unnecessary hindrance.
There are alot of bad art supply stores out there that either have limited selection or have selection based on maximizing profit and catering to the hobbyist. (Michaels... you #@%&* suck!) So in service to the students taking our upcoming portrait workshop I put together a sample sheet of the brushes I use and that I want them to have. This is based on what the stores in my area carry, so brands are unimportant.
I have a pile of brushes I bought in years past that never get used, and when painting I always seem to go for the same few brushes that never fail; so to help people not waste their money, here is what I use and suggest you try.
And here is the table beside my illustration drafting table where my supplies sit:
- Medium jar with lid. Available at Michaels (yuk). Nice to close the lid when not dipping.
- Jar of odorless mineral spirits for cleaning brushes while painting.
- Brush organizer. Place brushes here when in use.
- Jars of brushes, organized by type: detail brushes, blenders, soft filberts, bristles etc.
- Jar for dirty/discarded mineral spirits.
- Mediums: one bottle oil, one bottle mineral spirits, used 50-50%. 6a is cobalt dryer for medium.
- White plastic palette with lid to keep paint from drying while I eat supper.