Two of the most well used brushes in any painter’s arsenal are the fan brush and mop brush.

Rather than confusing these two types of brushes and potentially putting yourself at a disadvantage as an artist, knowing the difference can help your technique. Here are the main differences between the two together with some tips as to how they might be best used.

Firstly, The Fan Brush:

A fan brush is known for the bristles which are commonly spread out in the shape of a traditional fan. The main use for these types of brushes are for glazing, shading as well as blurring fine images. They can often be some of the best brushes for actually feathering together colours and for painting objects like grasses, trees and even hair. The nice part about painting leaves grass and fibres with these brushes is that it's easy to produce flowing strands in just one brush stroke.

Then The Mop Brush:

Although the mop brush may resemble a fan brush in some photos, the use for this brush is actually quite different. When you really get the chance to examine one of these brushes more closely, they often work much better for painting watercolours but can of course be used for acrylics or oils too.

Overall, these brushes aren’t great for painting detail. Instead it's used mostly with shading, blending and producing very large washes. Given the way that the bristles are arranged, for many artists they simply won't serve the same purpose as a fan brush.

In order to tell the difference between the two brushes, it's important to look at the flatness of the brush as well as the thickness of the bristles. Usually with a mop brush the bristles are more condensed and generally a little bit softer. A fan brush usually contains courser bristles which are less soft to the touch, lined up to give a flatter composition.

So there you have it. Keep some of these differences in mind and remember that using them correctly could help you unlock all that potential! 

If you would like any further information on our products, please call us on +44 (0)1675 462044 or just CLICK HERE to contact us via the website and we will be delighted to help you.