Brushes

Brushes 

No matter your painting need, Cowling and Wilcox have you covered. We carry high-quality artist brushes for use with every medium. Check out our range today!
  • Best For Oils & Acrylics

    Your tools can make or break a painting, so be sure to use the best ones, by selecting them from our range. Here at Cowling and Wilcox, we pride ourselves in offering the highest quality oil brushes and acrylic brushes at discounted prices. Oil and Acrylic have been the choice of some of the greats, from Bocour and Gilliam to Dali and da Vinci, and we hope our brushes will assist you in your aspirations to match such artists in your own work. 

    We stock a wide range of acrylic and oil paint brushes, both synthetic and natural, including hog brushes, which are preferred by artists for their ability to carry large amounts of paint and support a heavier body. Whatever the style of painting you are creating, we have the brush for it: whether you need a tiny, round, pointed acrylic brush for detail work, to larger, flat oil brushes for background work. Just beginning to experiment with acrylic or oil painting? Our oil and acrylic brush sets are perfect for beginner artists. But don’t worry if you are an experienced pro - our brushes for oil painting come from expert manufacturers to help you create wondrous works of art.

    We also offer a selection of more specialist brushes, such as fan brushes, to help you finish your masterpieces to a high standard. Our range of oil and acrylic paint brushes come from leading and trusted art brands like Da Vinci, Pro Arte, and Daler-Rowney at affordable prices. So, what are you waiting for? Whether you’re after quality artist oil brushes or a starter set of acrylic brushes, start shopping now!

  • Best for Watercolours

    Our range offers both individual watercolour brushes and watercolour brush sets. Browse the selection, including products from established art brands like Pro Arte and Da Vinci.

  • Brush Cleaners &...

    Every artist is probably aware that when brushes and rollers are stiff with paint, they are virtually impossible to use. When using acrylic paints this is particularly true, as the resins can harden the pores of your brush which will ruin your bristles. Keeping your paint brushes in the best possible condition is essential, so we advise to clean them regularly after each use. Our wide selection of brush cleaners and accessories are great for getting your brushes in fresh condition. We also supply a range of natural brush cleaners, so avoid your paint brushes wearing down during the cleaning process. At Cowling and Wilcox, we have a wide collection of various brush cleaners, from leading brands such as Da Vinci and Daler-Rowney. Shop online today.

  • Brushes for Priming,...

    Many artists would highlight that the most important step in creating is preparing your surface. Our range of brushes for Priming, Varnishing & Gilding will help you get your surface ready, whether you prefer to paint with oils, acrylics or more. We stock a variety of brushes perfect for priming, varnishing and gilding, made from different quality materials like synthetic and natural fibres. Shop our range today for the perfect surface on which to create your next painting! 

  • Daler-Rowney Brushes

    Established in 1783, Daler-Rowney is now a household name when it comes to art supplies. With 230 yeas of experience, you can be rest assured that if you purchase their brushes from us, they will be have been manufactured to the highest standard. Indeed, this company has always been at the forefront of art development, having been responsible for bringing the manufacturing of acrylic paint to Europe back in the 1960s. They have a large range of brushes to choose from, with something for every material, medium and project. For instance, they developed their graduate brushes specifically for students and hobbyists. Furthermore, they have carefully perfected their acrylic and oil brush ranges, making sure that each range is specifically crafted and formed to suit the requirements of each type of paint. Many of our brush sets come in cases, making them really easy to carry around with you when painting away from your studio. Daler-Rowney brushes are perfect for everyone, from beginners to professional painters, so whatever your painting experience, you are sure to find the perfect brushes for your next project when shopping the range with Cowling and Wilcox.

  • Great Value Brushes

    Looking for high quality at a low price? Take a look at our collection of great value brushes. Take a look at our wide range of paint brushes, designed to help you create the masterpiece of your dreams. Our range caters for an entire range of artists, whether you consider yourself to be amateur or a professional. Our value art brushes are in sets, meaning that you have all that you need in one pack. Available in a wide range of various sizes and styles, these value brushes belong in every artist's tool collection. Whether you're into watercolour, acrylic, or oil painting, we supply the paint brushes for you. At Cowling and WIlcox, we stock value brushes from leading brands such as Daler-Rowney and Royal & Langnickel. Shop online today.

  • Sable Brushes

    Sable brushes are particularly sought-after amongst artists due to their high-quality finish. Many artists prefer to use sable brushes when working in watercolour, as the soft bristles allow the paint to flow smoothly. Our range of sable brushes offers products from leading art brands like Pro Arte and Da Vinci, as well as our own Cowling & Wilcox products.

  • Specialist Brushes

    Master the art of painting with our specialist range of artist's brushes. Our specialist brushes have been carefully selected to provide artists of any ability with a brush to suit them and their style. Available in a wide range of sizes and styles, we have brushes for any type of application. Whether you are painting with watercolour or acrylic, gouache or oil, we will have the specialist brush for you. Including brushes from leading brands such as Da Vinci and Pro Arte, our specialist brushes are of the highest quality at affordable prices. Shop online today.

  • Suitable For All Media
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You can’t put a price on a quality brush, but fortunately, with Cowling and Wilcox’s excellent value range of artist brushes, price isn’t a worry. We have a brush for every need and purpose, whether you are creating a watercolour triptych or the world’s smallest oil-on-canvas. No matter your choice of surface, whether it's stretched linen canvas or watercolour paper, our brushes will help you create the perfect masterpiece.

Natural hair brushes are great for watercolour painting – the softer the better. They hold large amounts of paint or water which is necessary for this medium. Red sable is considered to be the best choice for artist brushes, as sable hair comes to a fine needle-like point with excellent spring and resilience. Synthetic hair is now so good that many watercolourists prefer them to natural hair - particularly if price and durability is an issue.

For oils and acrylics, we recommend bristle artist brushes as they have the ability to carry large amounts of paint and work fantastically with a heavier body. Bristle artist brushes are more likely to be used in the beginning stages of a painting to distribute the paint and establish brush strokes. They’re incredibly durable and sturdy.

Across all of our brush types, we offer a variety of excellent value brush sets. Brush sets are a perfect option for those who are new to painting and would like to quickly and affordably expand your brush collection. Our stock includes options like acrylic brush sets, oil brush sets, watercolour brush sets and more. Our brush sets include a variety of materials, including natural and synthetic fibres and include many different sizes and uses. 

Whatever your material of choice, we have a range of shapes and sizes of brush to choose from, with both synthetic and natural hair options available. Whether you are a professional or beginner, we have the brush for you – so start browsing now

How do you use paint brushes?

There are a variety of different techniques used with and without paint brushes and with different mediums. Techniques will depend on what effect you are trying to achieve and also the properties of the paint you are working with. You can paint with dry brushes, wet brushes and even with rubbing alcohol to achieve interesting effects. For more details, visit our blogs for Amazing Acrylic Painting Techniques and Watercolour Techniques To Try.

How do you clean paint brushes?

The quality of your brush can make or break your paintings. Maintaining your brushes by cleaning them and applying preserver will lengthen their life and make painting with them a lot easier. For best results, you should clean your brushes immediately after use to prevent paint hardening and damaging softer bristles. Don’t be tempted to leave your brushes in water for long periods, as this can be as damaging as leaving covered in paint.

When using paints that harden quickly, like acrylic and some oil paints, water often won’t be enough. We recommend using a brush cleaner, such as Da Vinci’s Brush Soap or Daler Rowney’s Brush Cleaner, to ensure your bristles remain soft and malleable for your next painting. Following this, you can apply a brush preserver to ensure that your brushes stay soft whilst you aren’t using them. 

What is better: synthetic or natural brushes?

Synthetic and Natural brushes both have their advantages and which one you choose can have a variety of influences. 

Just like the name suggests, natural brushes are made from animal hairs such as hog, sable and bader. These natural hairs are very soft and are great at picking up and distributing large amounts of paint. Their softness reduces streaks and their paint-pick up can speed up painting times. However, these bristles do have a tendency to shed and split, meaning that accurate and precise lines can be difficult to achieve.

The more modern development of synthetic brushes has fixed some of the problems associated with natural brushes: Synthetic bristles don’t shed and are great at maintaining their shape for detailed work. They create a smooth finish and are, for the most part, cheaper than their natural counterparts. Maintaining these brushes is vital as with quick-hardening paints the bristles can be difficult to clean. Synthetic fibres are a more popular choice, but when using more natural paints, such as oils or clay-based paint, natural brushes might give a softer finish.

What are the best brands for brushes?

There are many factors that can influence your decision on a brush - shape, size, durability. But with Cowling & Wilcox’s selection of quality brands, you’ll be sure to find the right brush for your needs. Below are just some of the great brands we have in stock:

  • Daler-Rowney: Daler-Rowney are one of the world’s leading art manufacturers. No matter your artistic ability or your budget, Daler-Rowney offers a great brush selection.

  • Pro Arte: As the UK’s leading brushmaker, Pro Arte are one of the most recognisable brushes in the world. They offer brushes for watercolour and oil paints in a variety of materials, ensuring you can choose the right option for your style and medium.

  • Da Vinci: Renowned for being some of the best brushes in the world, Da Vinci are the masters of the watercolour brush. Made in Germany using the best materials and fine craftsmanship, you’ll notice the difference in these quality brushes.

  • Jakar: Jakar brushes are great for those who want quality brushes without the price. They are popular amongst students and people just starting to paint.

  • Winsor & Newton: For over a century, Winsor & Newton have been making the finest quality brushes. They have ranges of synthetic as well as natural brushes in a variety of shapes and sizes for any purpose.