Painting Tutorials

Paint Brushes Do Matter

I’ve been asked by some about what tools of the trade do I use and what how they impact my painting. I’ll run through a few of my more useful tools that I use over several posts.

Paint Brushes

Today I’ll talk about my paint brushes. Obviously a most useful tool when painting miniatures. The bigger questions is how many should I have, what brands should I use and when do I replace them.

I use two brands currently; Games workshop paint brushes and Winsor and Newton Series 7 brushes. The Games Workshop brushes tend to be my work horse brushes. I use them to paint my rank and file troops, for large coverage of areas, dry brushing or anything else that might put strain and excessive wear and tear on my brushes. They’re OK quality but they do tend to require replacement faster then my Winsor Newton brushes when calculated over the same amount of paintwork.

The Games workshop brushes hold a fair amount of paint which is important for blending and coverage work. They’re bristle are synthetic, which tend to hold their sharp points (particulary important for fine detail work) for a while. They will eventually lose this sharp point, and more importantly will lose some of the bristles especially around the edge. Once this begins to happens the brushes are relegated to stirring paint pots or they go to the bin (larger brushes I cut the ends of and use for dry brushing).

Overall I’m happy enough with Games Workshop brushes to do most basic work. When I want to do fine detail work, or when I’m painting my miniatures for display purposes I then turn to my Winsor Newtons Series 7.

The Winsor Newtons Series 7 are expensive brushes. The cost 2x or even 3x times as much a Games Workshop brush. I must stress though that the quality of the brushes are exceptional. I had heard tales in the forums about how much of a difference they can make to your work, but the change in my painting style and the ease of blending is remarkable with these brushes.

These brushes use real hair in the shape of Kolinsky Sable bristles. They have a very fine structure and make it easy to obtain smooth brush strokes.

There are two types of Winsor Newton Series 7 brushes, the regular ones and  miniatures ones. The difference being the ‘miniature’ ones have shorter bristle length and don’t have a full body as the regular ones; excellent for fine detail work but they don’t hold the same amount of paint for blending or regular painting as the normal ones.

You must take care of the Series 7 brushes and ensure they are properly cleaned and conditioned (covered in a future post). Doing this will ensure they have a very long life compared to synthetics and retain their bristles and structure.



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