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Digital Subscriptions > Leisure Painter > Sep-19 > Beginner’s oils

Beginner’s oils

Part 2 Christine Pybus takes you through the choosing and using of brushes and colours that could make or break a painting


Understand your tools

Tips for practising your colour mixing

Having discussed boards, canvases, easels, palettes and what to wear last month, next comes the bewildering array of brushes from which to choose: hog hair, synthetic, blends of both, filbert, flat, long flat and Round, to mention but a few.

Most hog hair, synthetic or blend brushes will serve you well, but unlike some watercolour brushes they won’t last for years. Investing in expensive brushes, whilst nice, is unnecessary at this stage. The main types that you’ll need are a flat (also known as a ‘bright’) or a long flat, which are good all-round brushes that leave lovely crisp, exciting brushmarks. I favour a long flat, which is less precise, making freer, looser marks and has something of a mind of its own.

Should you want softer edges, blended together then you’ll want an oval-ended filbert brush. Round brushes are, as in watercolour, pointed and for moreprecise work or adding detail. I personally keep a bedraggled selection of mainly synthetic watercolour-type brushes.

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About Leisure Painter

Welcome to the September issue. You will find packed inside a wealth of practical advice, illustrated techniques, creative ideas and step-by-step demonstrations in watercolour, acrylics, oils and pastels. There's information for beginners, and prompts and inspiration for those with more experience. There's everything from how to paint from photographs and ten top tips for keeping your colour mixes clean and vibrant to painting cat's eyes in detail, filling a nature journal and painting landscapes, buildings, reflections, animals, birds and more. Enjoy your month of painting.