Help me find stiff vegetarian oil painting brushes.
October 20, 2012 11:09 AM   Subscribe

I've recently got hooked on oil painting and in trying to be more vegetarian about it I'm looking for recommendations for synthetic brushes which replicate the stiffness of hog bristle brushes. Any ideas?

I'm currently using some Utrecht 209 series hog bristle brushes recommended by my teacher but if there's a synthetic brand out there that is comparable I'd like to know about it. I got hold of some Princeton synthetics recently and they were not so great in that they became kind of floppy when loaded with paint. Unfortunately I don't have them to hand so I can't be specific about the series.

If you can tell me that hog bristle brushes are sourced humanely from happy pigs living out a relaxed life in exchange for the occasional ticklish going over with a set of clippers then that's cool too!
posted by merocet to Media & Arts (3 answers total)
Best answer: Synthetic brushes are made for a range of applications. Finer brushes will not show marks, rougher brushes will show brush texture. Winsor and Newton's synthetic ranges are very good. Here is the fiber range:

University: very soft
Monarch: medium, similar to badger or hog
Galleria: very stiff, similar to hog

I have a range of them for different applications. Don't get natural/synthetic blends as the fibers wear at different rates. Some soft bristle synthetics do not stand up well to solvents, so be careful not to buy a synthetic intended for water color applications.

You may be able to find less expensive brands in similar styles.

Hog bristle brushes are largely sourced from "suis scrofa", hairy pigs from China and not especially well treated.
posted by effluvia at 12:15 PM on October 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Excellent answer. I'll get some of the Galeria and the Monarch and see how I do.
posted by merocet at 2:00 PM on October 20, 2012

Escoda last forever.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 5:35 PM on October 20, 2012

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