Artists’ Bristle Brushes

Artists’ Bristle Brushes


RICK:
The bristle hair brush is
by far the most popular choice for oil and acrylic artists. But what is bristle hair,
and what makes it so special? If I can hog your time
for a few minutes, I’ll tell you. I’m Rick Comerford,
and this is Art Supply Videos. (♪♪♪) RICK:
The hair that you find
in an artist bristle brush is called
chungking hog bristle. It comes from a pig. What makes it unique is
that it’s straight and stiff, and at the ends, it’s split. These are called flags. Let’s go to the whiteboard. So chungking hog bristle
is very straight and stiff at the bottom. But at the end, it splits. These splits, we call flags. When you put
a bunch of hog bristle into the ferrule
of an artist’s brush, these flags begin to
interlock with each other at the top of the brush. This interlocking creates
a really nice nest for paint. That nest holds the paint
at the top of the brush, and makes it very easy to transfer onto
your canvas or artwork. Hog bristles are sold
by the kilo in bundles. It’s double boiled
by the supplier to get out anything
that hogs might get into, and then it’s sorted by length. The length of the hair can range
from 40-120 centimetres and has a big
impact on the price. Also, a high quality
brush supplier will look for the percentage
of end hair in the bundle. 80% end hair is a very
high quality bundle of hair. That end hair is those flags
we were talking about over on the whiteboard. The other factor is simply
the quality of the hair itself. You’re looking for clean,
consistent hair that’s straight. Some hair that’s lower quality
you’ll notice black hair that’s a bit wiry
inside the bundle. A good high quality
artist’s brush will have a
minimal amount of this. If the brush has a shape to it, economical brush manufactures will simply trim
that shape with scissors. You don’t want that because then
you’re losing that grade split, that flag at
the end of the hair. Look closely to
make sure you have a high percentage
of flags at the top, that they interlock nicely. That the hair is
straight, and clean, and that there’s a
minimal amount of black wiryhair inside. These are
really important factors when you’re buying an
artist’s bristle brush. Thanks for tuning into
Art Supply Videos, I’m Rick Comerford. (♪♪♪)

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