Before you start painting your next masterpiece, you first need to make sure you have the right tools on hand. Specifically, you need to make sure you have the right paintbrushes. When choosing paintbrushes, a big factor you’ll have to consider is whether that paintbrush has natural or synthetic hairs. Here we discuss the differences between the two and which is best for your style of painting.
Natural brushes, as their name suggests, are made from natural resources such as animal hair. They’re typically made of hog, sable, or badger hair, with the most popular being bristle brushes. We’ve been using natural brushes for generations, and for good reason. These types of brushes can pick up, hold, and distribute paints easily, speeding up the entire process. They’re also soft and flexible, plus there is a lesser chance of streaking than with synthetic brushes. Natural brushes are often used for oil-based painting, but some are also used for watercolor.
Synthetic brushes are the new kids on the block. They’re man-made, typically made out of materials such as nylon, polyester, or a mixture of the two. These types of brushes are durable, maintain their shape, and apply a smooth finish. While many purists like to use natural brushes over synthetic brushes, there is really nothing wrong with a synthetic brush. They’re just as good at distributing paint as natural brushes. These types of brushes are ideal for acrylic painting, as the acrylic doesn’t damage synthetics like it does with natural brushes.