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Article: Get a perfect smooth finish

Get a perfect smooth finish

Get a perfect smooth finish

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 and Series 10 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. 

 My new Series 10 Synthetic Filbert Brushes are fantastic additions to my collection. Perfect for blocking-in and creating a soft smooth finish

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

Series 10 Filbert Brushes available in 4 sizes can be purchased here

Blocking in Set is available to purchase 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. I found the smaller size Series 7 Brush perfect for areas where the cloud is smoother with less detail. 

Adding highlights and defining areas of the clouds in my ‘Stormy Lake’ tutorial with the Series 10 Filbert Brush


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.


The smaller size brushes are equally as effective when adding more detail.

I used the Series 7 brush flat or on it's edge to create detailed lines, ripples and reflections.

The curved tip of the Filbert Brush made it the ideal choice for detailing the rocks and adding texture to the rocky mountains in my Winter Retreat tutorial.

To assist me in painting the horizon line, I used a piece of wood to run the smaller Series 7 brush 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 YouTube video Painting Realistic Water below to see the Series 7 brushes in action!

To define elements of the Lion's Mane, I used the smaller size Series 7 brush, as this enabled me to add the required amount of texture.

Watch my tutorial 'The Lion' here

The smaller size brush was equally effective for adding the texture of the snow covered grass in my 'Winter Stag' painting. As the brush tip of the Series 7 size 8 is slightly wider, this enables you to manipulate the brushstroke creating a tapered effect, defining 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 'Winter Stag' is available to watch here.

 Because many of the details in the background of my ‘King of the Forest’ painting have a circular appearance. This effect is easier to attain using a Filbert brush due to its smooth, curved tip.

My tutorial 'King of the Forest' is available to watch here


New brushes and sets are now available in my online store, these brushes are also available separately.

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

Happy Painting!



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