What Types of Natural Hairs Are Used for Paint Brushes?

There are a wide variety of paint brushes on the market. The type you choose will have a huge impact on how your painting turns out. As such, every factor must be considered.

When choosing a paint brush, many artists examine the type of hairs it has. Below, we cover the different types of natural hairs are used for paint brushes so you can make the most informed decision possible.Brushes in a glass jar


Paint brushes made out of sable marten hair is soft and malleable. They form a fine point to allow painters to create more detailed paintings. These types of brushes are most often used as watercolor brushes.


Squirrels have soft hair with a little bit of a spring to it. Brushes made from squirrel hairs are cheaper than sable, but we recommend only using larger squirrel brushes, not smaller ones. This is because squirrel brushes need more hairs for support.


Hog brushes use the hair from the back of a pig. They’re used mainly for oil or acrylic painting because the hairs’ natural split-ends allow them to hold increasing amounts of paint.


Camel brushes don’t actually come from camels. This is because camel hair is too woolly for brushes. Instead, when you see a brush labeled “camel” hair, it is really made from other types of soft hair.


Ox hair is long, strong, and springy. As a result, they’re often used for flat shaped brushes.


Horse or pony hairs are often coarse, so they are only used for cheaper watercolor brushes.


Finally, there’s goat hair. These lack a spring but they do form a solid point. As such, they’re often used for calligraphy or Chinese Brush painting.

No artist learns on their own. That’s why we at Creative Ventures Gallery offers a wide variety of classes and workshops for you to choose from. Contact us today to learn more!