Brush bristles or hairs come in many varieties with natural hairs usually being the most expensive. Synthetic brushes are less expensive but are also less hard wearing. Which filaments to choose depends entirely on the painter and the paint to be used.
Brushes are numbered in size: the smaller the number, the smaller the brush. 000 is the smallest and 16 is usually the largest. They also come in a wide range of shapes and each is designed to make a different kind of mark but some are more versatile than others. Selecting a brush shape depends on the effects the artist wishes to achieve.
Brushes for Oil vs. Brushes for Watercolor
Oil painting requires brushes which are responsive and durable enough to withstand both repeated scrubbing against the canvas and the effects of solvents. The majority of brushes used in oil painting are made from hog bristle. Some of the best shapes for oil brushes are: flat, round, and filbert.
A good watercolor brush should be capable of holding plenty of color, hold its point well when loaded with water and readily return to its original shape. The best watercolor brushes are sable hair brushes. Some of the best shapes for watercolor brushes are: round, flat, and mop.
Brands available: Da Vinci, Daler Rowney, Princeton, Royal Talens, Winsor and Newton