Monday, October 6

I Love Flats and Filberts

Paradise Found
Acrylic on Canvas Panel
16 x 20 in/40.6 x 50.8 cm
Copyright Byrne Smith 2014
Think about the letter F next time you're painting.

I have discovered that almost all of the paintings I like to paint (and/or aspire to paint) are painted using Flats and Filberts. If you can't remember those names, then at least remember the letter F to jog your memory.

I'm speaking of two types and shapes of paint brushes, of course.

Flats are just what you'd expect from the name. They are broad, almost square in shape, with a horizontal ferrule giving them their flat shape. They come in all sizes from 02 up to large house-painting brushes five or more inches across that can be used for painting paintings as well as houses

Flats have squared-off corners that allow you to apply paint in broad, flat slabs of color. They are great because they let you leave out all those unnecessary detail strokes while still maintaining absolute control. I love them.

Filberts are similar to flats in shape, although they are generally somewhat narrower. The big difference, of course, is that their corners are not at 90-degree angles but gently rounded off. This allows you to apply broad flat slabs of color like flats, but since they are rounded off, you can more easily blend the paint when two or more colors or values meet (even with acrylics). They come in all sizes, too, although I haven't ever seen any Filbert house-painting brushes. I love them.

You may not know this, but from Wikipedia I learned:"The filbert paintbrush derives from the shape it resembles, that of a hazelnut with its namesake. This word comes from the Old French filbert, coming from noix de (nut of) Philibert. Philibert was a saint, (who died in 684), whereby the ripening of the nut in August coincides with his feast day." Try dropping that into the conversation at your next cocktail party...

So, think about the letter F next time you're painting. I love Flats and Filberts.

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