Andrea J Smith Basic Essentials
This starter brush set has been chosen by Andrea who said "I think this is a great selection from the range Rosemary offers as there is a little bit of everything. There's filberts and flats, large and small sizes, along with some softer brushes that you can use to finish off a painting if you are after something with finer detail. You can use them for everything - still life, landscape and portraiture".
Classic Filberts - Used for blocking in the background. After taking on of my classes, you’ll understand they are for the three variations I like to put in the background on the first pass. They are size 6 which suit a midrange size painting (40 x 50 cm). If you tend to work smaller I’d go for the size 5 or even 4. No smaller. And if you like a bigger format they’ll be up for the task.
Ivory Long Flat - These I use for the biggest shadow mass and that requires more precision. Hence the long flats. I now prefer the synthetic blend (the Ivory Series), as you have more control over the brushstroke and it remains crisp and ready to soften later. I would get a minimum of two of these, and great to get three. Reason being that I usually have three main objects in a painting and I keep a local shadow colour for each object. Size 4 covers most bases for the shadows of the objects and their cast shadows.
Next comes the dark half tones and hence smaller brushes. As the shadows are generalised to include any reflected light inside, we don’t need too many size 4. But with half tones we need more so I’d get as many Ivory Flats as you can afford. I use at least four size 3, and four size 2 each painting session.
Masters Choice Long Filberts - Series 278 - I find these good for softening any major plane changes in the form. Lately, I don’t mind having evidence of these brushstrokes in my paintings and would only use one per painting session. But if you like a softer paint surface then I’d recommend you get more. Some of my students find these are their favourite brushes so you may like to purchase two or three to save the hassle of reordering.
There are a couple of brushes that I have recently discovered that I would like to add to the set. One favorite is the Ivory Long Filbert size 0. It is a size zero but it’s not that fine a tip (maybe 4 mm). It’s great for drawing and little flicks to articulate accents under objects or details such as the corner of a mouth in a portrait. I only have one now but I’ll be buying more. They wash well so in a typical 3 hour painting session you can always wash it out and use it for another local colour. Hence I have included one in the “Basic Essentials” set, and two in “The Ideal Set".
The second is Ivory Filbert size 1. These I use when my flats are too heavy handed and create too much of a “mosaic” effect. Sometimes you need a softer brush when you are fine tuning a painting in the later stages. I’d get at least two of these, especially if you intend to do more portrait work. For anyone wishing to lash out and get the “Rolls Royce version”, the sables are incredible. In “The Ideal Set” I have recommended the Pure Sable series 81 size 4. I only have one at present but it gets a thorough workout. It is the most expensive one though - being sable - but I’ll be buying more of these myself.
The last brush you will need is one to sign your painting! This calls for a brush that is round, long and very fine. I’d suggest a choice between a Pure Kolinsky Designer Series 22 size 3 for those that are in an extravagant mood or a Series 402 Designer Pointed Sable Mixture size 1 for those watching their pennies. But be warned, I suspect the Kolinsky with wash and hold it’s shape best, so as with most things, it might be cheaper to invest in quality right from the get-go.
Andrea J Smith is the Proprietor of http://ateliercanova.com - Rome, Italy. View her own website at andreajsmith.com/.
The set consists of 15 brushes (all on Long Handles):
|Ivory Long Flat||2||4|
|Ivory Long Flat||3||3|
|Ivory Long Flat||3||2|
|Ivory Long Filbert||1||0|
|Series 278. Masters Choice Long Filbert||1||5|
|Series 402. Sable Blend Designer||1||1|
|BRUSH TYPE / SERIES||SIZE|
|Ivory Long Flat||4||9.7||20.6|
|Ivory Long Flat||3||7.5||17.6|
|Ivory Long Flat||2||6||15.5|
|Ivory Long Filbert||0||4||16.5|
|Series 278. Masters Choice Long Filbert||5||9.2||22|
|Series 402. Sable Blend Designer||1||1.4||12.4|