Get a perfect smooth finish with series 7 Flat Synthetic Brushes

I’m often asked how to use specific brushes and which brushes are more suited for certain areas in my paintings.

I use the Series 7 brushes in many of my paintings, for blocking in, as well as painting larger areas, such as sky and water, and for adding more detail and defining edges. They are an essential tool in my brush collection, enabling me to create a smooth finish and also helping to cover larger areas more effectively. 

The Series 7 brushes available in 3 sizes can purchased here.


When painting clouds like the ‘Cumulonimbus Cloud’ the trick is to get the right level of softness. The top edge of each puff is crisp but the rest of the cloud is soft, the smaller size brush was perfect for areas where the cloud is smoother with less detail. 

I used the large Flat brush when painting the sky area, finishing off with vertical brush strokes. It is important you finish off with vertical brush strokes when painting large areas!  This will prevent the lights from above reflecting on your finished painting and highlighting the brush strokes, which would happen if the last strokes were horizontal. Finish off with the blender brush to smooth out any ridges.

Used for blocking in these brushes create the perfect base to then add more detail. The smaller size brush is equally as effective when adding more detail, use it flat or on it’s edge to create detailed lines, ripples and reflections.

Watch my YouTube video Painting Realistic Water below to see the Series 7 brushes in action!

In my painting of ‘The Lion’ I used the larger size brush to paint the stunning sunset,  I finished off with the Blender brush, to complete the smooth effect, by gently brushing over the surface to draw the paint together.

To define elements of the Lion's Mane and to create the sharp horizon line, I used the smaller size brush, as this enabled me to add the desired amount of texture.

To assist me in painting the horizon line, I used a piece of wood to run the paintbrush along.  Hold the wood slightly away from the panel on one side and rest the other side against the panel, this creates the perfect straight edge to run your paintbrush along, keeping your hand steady hold the brush flat and use the straight tip to blend the paint together, this ensures a smooth seamless line.

Watch my tutorial of 'The Lion' here

For adding texture or defining areas, I use the smaller size brush. For example ‘Winter Stag’ has a textured foreground with snow covered grass.  As the brush tip of the Series 7 size 8 is slightly wider you can manipulate the brushstroke to create a tapered effect, emphasizing the long wintry grass. 

For the shady areas under the tall frosty grass, load and shape the brush to form a sharp flat tip, then dab the paint on to create short tapered blades of grass, over which the fine detailed grass can be painted.

My tutorial of 'Winter Stag' is available to watch here.

Finishing off with the Blender brush, softens the overall effect!

Happy Painting!