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Tools of the Painter

A set of tools used by traditional painters and their uses.
a data set by art_geek
created April 24, 2017
ToolNameTypeMediaDistinctive FeaturesUseExampleExample 2
FlatBrushAllLong, flat, square-ended hair.Creating sharp edges and block shapes, blending.
BrightBrushAcrylic, OilShort, flat, thick hair with a square end.Short, controlled strokes. Used by some to push or pull paint.
RoundBrushAllRound ferrule, rounded tip.Stroke work (the smaller the brush, the more detail you can achieve).
FanBrushOil, AcrylicSplayed, fan-shaped bristles, flat ferrule.Texturing, gradients, and blending.
Filbert/Cat's TongueBrushOil, AcrylicThick, flat brush head with oval-shaped hair.Blending and creating petal shapes.
Angled ShaderBrushWatercolor, AcrylicFlat brush head with an angled hair.Creating sharp edges, filling in tight spaces.
MopBrushWatercolorRound and full, made of soft, absorbent hair. May have oval or pointed tip.Laying in large areas of color or water, wetting (watercolor), and absorbing excess.
LinerBrushWatercolor, Ink, EnamelsRound ferrule, very long hair, narrow brush head.Drawing lines and fine details (patterning, hair, script, etc.)
QuillBrushInk, EnamelsShort-handled brush with round ferrule and long hair. Brush made from an absorbent hair (traditionally squirrel).Block lettering, also useful for covering large areas with color, as it holds large amounts of water and pigment.
DaggerBrushWatercolor, Acrylic, InkFlat ferrule, medium to long hair, tapers gently into a pointed tip.Ribbon like strokes (grass, flowers); can also be used for the same purposes as a shader, round, and liner brush.
WashBrushWatercolorFlat ferrule, straight or angled tip. Hair is wide and short.Laying in large areas of color or water, wetting (watercolor), and absorbing excess.
DetailerBrushWatercolor, Acrylic, OilRound ferrule, pointed tip, and very short hair.Fine detail work.
Pointed RoundBrushAllRound ferrule, pointed tip. Broad lines, working thick to thin, and fine detail.
Deerfoot StipplerBrushWatercolor, Acrylic, OilRound ferrule and short, flared hair with an angled flat end.Stippling, texture, fur.
Comb/RakeBrushAllFlat ferrule. Hair length is varied so that the longest hairs are separated.Texture, hair, grass, wood grain - creates multiple lines
WispBrushWatercolor, Acrylic, InkFlat ferrule. Hair is cut at even intervals about halfway down.Texture, hair, grass, wood grain - creates multiple lines
MottlerBrushWatercolor, Acrylic, OilLarge flat brush with short to long bristles. Murals, washes, varnishing, and priming.
PaletteAidAllA board, often ovoid or rectangular. May be made of plastic or wood, may or may not have dips with which to contain paint.To hold and mix paint on.
Paint/Palette knifeToolAcrylic, OilFlat scraping edge attached to a handle. Comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Usually metal with a wooden handle or plastic.Mix paint, alternative to a brush for laying on paint, scraping off excess.
CanvasSurfaceAcrylic, OilMade of cotton or linen (historically hemp), and may come pre-stretched on a wooden frame or in rolls.To paint on.
Masonite BoardSurfaceAcrylic, Oil, EnamelsHardwood board.To paint on (harder surface than canvas).
Mahl StickAidAllLong, wooden stick with a leather covered ball at the end.To rest your hand on as you paint. Steadies your arm and keeps your hand from smudging.
EaselAidAllSelf-supportive wooden (or metal) frame.Holds an artist's work as they paint.
GessoCompoundAcrylic, OilCompound of white pigment, chalk, and glue (or another binder).Priming a canvas for paint. Thick gesso can be used for 3D texture.
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