Brushes generally break down into 2 different kinds; soft brushes (such as nylon and sable) and harder bristles (such as hog). A common rule of thumb is for water-colours, you would select a softer brush and for oil paints, you would use a harder brush. For acrylics you can make use of both. There are a lot of exceptions to this rule - if you are looking to create a particular effect on your greetings cards, then you can use the more suitable paint brush that you find does that perfectly for you.
A further important part of a paint brush is it's shape. Rounder brushes carry a lot more paint and can be used to create detail and wide areas of color. Thin brushes are excellent for laying down flat, level areas or washes. There are also rare shapes for instance the longer 'rigger' paint brush, which is used for subtle detail and branches, the 'fan' brush, which is excellent for amalgamating colours and generating cloudy designs onto the painted surface.
Brushes can be purchased in a variety of qualities, similar to those found in paint ranges. A 'top-of-the-range' artist's brush will have a long life expectancy and hold more paint than the one manufactured for less cost. It is continually essential to check whether the brushes you are using will be affected by the painting medium and as a result affect the quality of your work. Remember to bear in mind that acrylic paint can quickly ruin a brush so any wet paint should be immediately cleaned off the bristles when you have finshed using the paint brush. I.e. always clean your paint brushes when finished creating your greetings cards. Oil paints and turpentines can easily ruin the wrong type of paint brush.
It is always crucial to have a wide variety of brushes both in size and shape. A small brush set is generally an excellent way of attaining a good starting point for a larger brush collection.
Choosing a Surface for your Greetings cards:
Purchasing the most suitable board to paint on can be the making of a good painting. You will find that the best results arise when you select the board that matches with the paints you're using. For water-colour paints, use paper or board, which can be affixed to a blank card surface. This can be purchased in a range of weights and surface finishes. For more detailed art work you will want to contemplate using a hot-press (HP) or smooth paper, for general use a 'Not' (or cold press) board is better. Another option is rougher paper or board, which is great for adding additional texture to your cards. These boards are available in a range of weights from 71 pounds to 300lbs - the larger the weight, the thicker the paper. On lighter papers such as 72lbs and 90 pounds, it is essential to stretch your surface before you start painting - the more heavy papers can be worked straight away or stretched. Any guide to watercolour will present you with instructions on arranging your papers in this way. Water colour papers can be purchased in pad form or as singular sheets. It is recommended to go for the individual papers if adhering to thicker boards for the perfect card. Water colour boards are available, and it is in fact a form of paper, which is affixed to a heavy-duty acid-free cardboard. It is ideal for artists who do not want to stretch their paper. Soft pastel shades are the latest innovation to the long list of available surfaces which are perfect for the perfect water colour paintings.