Best Acrylic Brushes For Beginners: More Brushing Up
Looking for the best acrylic brushes for beginners? Do you want to paint like a boss but find yourself overwhelmed by all the info out there about brushes, but it’s hard to tell if they will work with acrylics. When I started taking lessons a long time ago, I was strictly working in oils and there was a whole other set of criteria for choosing brushes.
Over time I decided I wanted to try out acrylics because they were easier to clean, but I didn’t want my oil-only brushes to conflict with the ones I would be rinsing out with water. So that’s when I began to search for different brushes and experiment to see which performed better.
If you’re pressed for time, you can jump ahead to one of the three brands below which I have rated as the top performers!
|#1 Creative Hobbies||#2 Transon||#3 Monte Marte|
What Size and Bristle Types?
Paintbrushes all have a size assigned to them if you look at the handle, you will see a number on the side…usually a whole number or fractional. The numbers run on a scale that starts at 0 (smallest or narrowest bristle width) and goes all the way up to 24 (largest).
Sometimes they can be even smaller than 0! Early on in the game, you don’t need to focus on getting a brush in every one of these sizes; just focus on getting a few in the major bristle shapes described below.
When looking back, I probably worked in acrylics more than any other medium. Just like those kinds of brushes for watercolors, you do need to acquire similar bristle shape types:
Since it’s better to provide a close-up example, here are some of my own brushes and their respective types. (Apologies in advance as they are a little older and have had a good bit of use!)
I do have a larger wide bristle brush somewhere, but at the present time I’ve probably hidden it from myself 😁 (but did want to include it too)
Most, with the exception of that fan brush and a few others that I own, have synthetic bristles. I highly encourage you as well to seek out synthetic bristle brushes. They have the advantage of being inexpensive, more so than animal hair constructed; and handle the nuances of acrylic paint easily.
Anatomy of an art brush is shown below. The handle, is usually made from wood, or sometimes acrylic. The ferrule is the metal casing part that holds the bristles together. The crimp secures the ferrule to the handle.
Well-made bristles from nylon or Taklon have the right amount of “snap” for acrylics..Now let’s take a look at some recommendations for you, so you can get into your work without delay!
Plastic Handle Essential Brushes For Acrylic Painting
I’ve had a number of sets that were made with pretty colored translucent colored handles made out of plastic or hard acrylic. The bristles were synthetic. I really liked them as the hard plastic handles could handle being immersed in water without damage.
With wooden handles, I had to watch that. Even with the best care, sometimes the paint on the handle casing would become brittle or flake off over time. I haven’t seen colors like red and orange lately, but I did find this set with clear handles. This set by Creative Hobbies has the hard plastic handles just like I remembered.
Made with golden Taklon bristles, the handles are made from clear hard acrylic which don’t permit water absorption in the way that wood handles do. In other words, they won’t swell and the ferrules remain intact. In this set you’ll receive a total of 12, five are flat and seven are round for detail work. The thicker handles are easier to grip too.
Basic Brushes For Acrylic Painting with Carrying Case
This complete set by Transon includes a case that folds up and back to keep brushes at easy reach when working. The zippered side closes easily afterward. All the major types are included in this 16 piece set, including wide, flat, round, and fan. Made with synthetic filament bristles and aluminum ferrules that resist corrosion.
Best Professional Acrylic Paint Brushes
If the case is a dealbreaker for you I also like this set here by Monte Marte. It’s also got a design that zips up on the side, and when open, you can bend the top half to create a standing easy to reach easel like setup. It’s also got the major essential brushes for acrylic painting including fans, rounds, wide, and Filbert.
The round brushes all have protective caps. I remember a set I owned once also came with those clear caps on the more skinny round detail brushes. These caps assist in keeping the bristles’shape.
They are also constructed from Taklon (synthetic) bristles with nickel-plated aluminum ferrules, the handles are not hard plastic so be sure to not keep them immersed in water for too long.
Hope this guide will be a big help and good luck to you!