Artist Brushes for Wet-on-wet Landscape Painting

Artist Brushes for Wet-on-wet Landscape Painting.

lessons no.1 to 8

This information and more is available on Paint Like a Pro. with Len Hend DVD No.1

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Some painting students have asked which artist brushes for painting in oils and which brushes for painting in acrylics.
Brushes for loose, wet-on-wet techniques of painting landscapes in oil or acrylic are the same brush.
Which brushes for oil or acrylic painting? Where to buy? art brushes.

Use the same brushes for oil or acrylic

And should you use expensive brushes?

I realize my lessons are enjoyed all round the world and some painters cannot afford expensive artist brushes. Len Hend's artist brushes
My thoughts on brushes come from my experience as a professional landscape painter.
My full intentions were to earn a reasonable living by supplying paintings to the general public at a fair price. I painted in public places for 30 years.

Most of those thousands of paintings are still hanging in homes all over the world.
I had no intention of entering art competitions or satisfying the art snobs. (Who sometimes thought my palette was a painting)
You will find you can use the same brushes for oil and acrylic but am aware that some nylon bristles or plastic brush handles will dissolve when cleaned in turpentine.
Different people have different habits with their brushes.
I am so messy and lazy when it comes to cleaning brushes that for me to buy expensive brushes would soon find me financially embarrassed.
So if you are an organized person you may wish to invest in expensive brushes, but it is not a priority.
Inexpensive brushes can be just as useful as expensive brushes.
The only expensive brush I like is a flat nylon brush with a distinctive angle of the bristles which I use when painting figures.
With this expensive nylon brush ( about $7 ) the point of the bristles is the important area to keep your eye on when painting an arm or leg with one brush stroke.
It is the skill of applying paint that matters not the price of the brush.

Artist brushes may be sold in newsagents, general stores, hardware stores, bargain discount stores and department stores.
You do need an art supplies store for the full selection of proper artist’s brushes.
I often go to a hardware store and spend about $4 or $6 on a 2 inch wide house painting brush (Much less when I am in Thailand).
This investment makes me want to paint a landscape.
The brushes can be broken up into groups, hog bristle, nylon or soft hair.
Then the size and shape:- round, flat, large, small and then there is the fan brush.

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(For me to quote the sizes printed on the brushes is not of use here as different countries and different brands of brush have different size standards).
Here is my selection of brushes for painting in oil or acrylic.
I imagine you are painting a picture of about 14 x 11 inches or more (350 x 175 mm).
If you are painting smaller paintings you might need to choose smaller brushes.
Much more specific information with images is shown here Full list of Brushes
This is interesting, Check out Google Images Brushes
Go to – Wet on Wet
by Len Hend


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  1. Hi Len, I have been trying to get started on my first painting using acrylics and house paint on plywood. The issue I am having is that my brush strokes are very streaky. It seems as if it would take multiple coats to get an opaque colour. This happens with both the acrylic and house paint. Could it have anything to do with the brushes or is that just how it is when painting on wood.

    Thank you so much for the information you give out.


    1. Coral- it might be the brushes and it might be that the wood is not sealed – I use a lot of paint when doing what you are doing and be aware that a professional house painter does a lot of work preparing a surface before final coat so if you are not preparing the wood then your painting might not last long.
      I would say the problem is thin quality paint and brush too firm or scruffy.

  2. Hi, Len. Regarding acrylic paint drying so fast. You advise, somewhere on the site, not to use retardant for this purpose. Would you tell me why, please. it’s the only thing I can do as an absolute beginner and very slow. Water just weakens the colours and makes a mess of the paper. Thank you so much. Love, love, love your work.

    1. Hi Lexi – I might have said I don’t like it because you need to use so much and it’s expensive – so yes go ahead and use it – the thing that makes the paint dry too fast is a fan or breeze on a hot, dry day. Thanks for enjoying

    2. Hello Lexi,

      You could try using Atelier Interactive Acrylics. They’re an Australian acrylic paint by Chroma, and they’re unlike any other acrylic in that you can keep them ‘open’ (workable) pretty much indefinitely. When your paint gets tacky, you just spray water on it and it softens up again. If it dries completely (e.g. overnight, or during your lunch break), you just spray or wipe Atelier Unlocking Formula on it and it becomes workable again. You can just keep working it indefinitely, even longer than oils and with much more control Unlike oils, when you do want it to dry quickly, it will dry as quickly as any other acrylic, if you just stop spraying water or unlocking formula on it. I’ve been using them myself just lately, and they work pretty much as advertised. I can’t comment on their quality compared to other acrylics, as I’ve hardly used any others. They’re artist’s quality, though, and they do what I want them to do and have a fairly decent range of colours (could be larger, but isn’t too bad).

      Here’s a link to their website:

      There’s also Golden Open, an American acrylic that’s slower drying than normal acrylics, but I’ve never used it and can’t comment on it except that Golden are an expensive brand and well respected. You can’t keep it open indefinitely as you can with the Atelier Interactive Acrylics, though.

      1. Thanks Lachlan – you are right the new acrylic paints that are slower drying can be great and as yet I have had little chance of trying then as I am in Chiang Mai.

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