A Guide to Princeton Brushes & Tools

January 12, 2021

Find the Perfect Brush

Princeton Artist Brush Co. is one of the largest brush-makers in North America. Since their start in 1992, artist brushes have been the sole focus of Princeton. Other brush companies make paint, paper, canvas, pastels, and easels. Princeton makes one thing: the best quality, most fairly priced artist brushes available today.

In this article we have compiled resources to give you a comprehensive guide to using Princeton Brushes.

The Velvetouch Long Round

The round brush is a traditional shape that includes spotters, short liners, script liners, the basic round, and Princeton’s new long round. The Velvetouch Long Rounds were developed over several years by the expert brush makers at Princeton and a team of artists for performance, durability, and quality. It is a premium blend of luxury synthetic, tapered to provide precision and fine detail, while the full-body provides a controlled release of color.


The difference between a long round and a traditional round is the shape of the belly, the gradual taper, and the length of the hair.


Yellow Blossoms



Fine artist, Jamie Dougherty displays the incredible colour holding capacity and release of a long round in this sample swatch art from Princeton’s free project, Yellow Blossoms. The long round creates both beautiful washes and fine lines with ease. One incredible long round…for a world of colorful applications.





Explore various Round Brushes and how they can be used


ROUNDThick to thin strokes; for detail or filling in large areas depending on brush size and pressure applied

LINERVery long hairs create consistent thick to thin lines for tree branches, vines and foliage

SPOTTER – Perfect for detail work; very fine precise lines, and miniature painting. Hair length is shorter than in rounds











QUILL – Large belly for extra color-holding capacity, great for applying washes of colour

LONG ROUND – Offers the combined benefit of a round and a liner. Enables larger strokes and fine lines. The extended length holds more colour

ANGLED SPOTTER – Bent handle allows better visibility especially in small hard to reach areas














Explore various Flat Brushes and how they can be used


FLAT SHADER – Medium in length compared to shorter length chisel blenders and strokes which are longer. Use on the flat side for filling in areas of colour or chiseled edge for creating thin lines

FILBERT – Similar to a Flat Shader with a rounded versus a straight across tip, for creating soft edges like a rose petal

ANGULAR SHADER – Blending in tight areas, creates crisp edges and precise control, can also make lines














WASH/GLAZE – Broad strokes, base coating, applying color to larger areas like backgrounds

CHISEL BLENDER – Short controlled strokes, more precise placement of colour than a Shader, recommended for detail work

MOTLER/BRISTLE BRIGHT – Hold large amounts of paint, cover large surface areas, commonly used for murals and washes














STROKE  – Longer hair length than a Wash and Shader. For lettering or covering large areas, holds the most colour, can be held perpendicular to the surface to make lines














Explore Specialty Brush shapes and how they can be used


DEERFOOT – Used in a pouncing or tapping motion to create animal fur and foliage, repetitive patterns

FAN – For blending and softening the edges of other strokes; dry brushing to create hair, trees, shrubbery and grass

ROUND BLENDER – For softening an area and as the name states, blending colour












FILBERT GRAINER – Hairs are thinned and spread apart near the end of the tip for cross hatching, fur, grass and other textural effects

FIX-IT – For removing or picking up colour, as the name implies, fixing

DAGGER STRIPER – For straight lining and cross hatching, thick to thin lines













LUNAR BLENDER – A versatile brush that is stiffer than most other shapes which makes it ideal for moving paint and creating multi-dimensional shapes

MOPS – Best for blending and also moving low viscosity fluid paints. Also used as a soft wash brush to spread colour

PAINTED FILBERT – A filbert shape brush but instead of a rounded end it comes to a crisp point for fine detail and lines














SCUMBLER – A stiff bristle brush that is primarily used for special effects and painting techniques like dry brushing












Explore Catalyst™ Blades, Mini-Blades, Wedges, Contours and how they can be used


CERAMICS – Because of their ergonomic design, Catalyst™ Wedges and Blades are comfortable and easy to grip. This helps when you need to apply just the right amount of pressure to your ceramic project

ENCAUSTICS – Catalyst™ Blades and Wedges are heat resistant to 450°F which makes them the ideal tool for encaustics. Made of flexible silicone and made in a variety of shapes, these tools work well not only for blending encaustic paint on your heated palette, they are ideal for creating unique textures in your finished artwork

BATIK – Catalyst™ tools are great for designing interesting textures with wax resist. A unique tool for wax application, you can make marks confidently either directly on your substrate or hot palette. Because the tools are made of heat resistant silicone, cooled wax peels right off, making cleanup a snap













ACRYLIC PAINTS & MEDIUMS – Working with heavy-body paints and media is where Catalyst™ Blades, Wedges, and Polytip Brushes really shine. There are endless uses for Catalyst™ tools with heavy body paints including mixing media and color of different viscosities, laying down thick layers of paint with a variety of textures, embedding objects, and collage can all be done with efficiency and ease

FLUID ACRYLICS – Catalyst™ tools are easy to grab and experiment with when painting with fluid acrylics. Made of flexible silicone, scraping with a Catalyst™ Blade or Wedge tool instead of a metal palette knife eliminates any concern about marring your substrates. With six different profiles, Catalyst™ tools bring a wide variety of marks to your repertoire

WATER MISCIBLE OILS – With plenty of spring and resilience, Catalyst™ Polytip Bristle Brush holds paint, blends well, and keeps its shape when loaded with paint. Since each filament has two to three flags, a first for artist brushes, Catalyst™ replicates the finest natural bristle and has real integrity in water. Suddenly, you can paint looser and more direct without laboring over or reworking and never worry that the water will cause your brush hair to swell and lose its shape

















MONOPRINTING takes on a new dimension when you use Catalyst™ tools. The variety of shapes and sizes of blades and wedges will add as much texture as you choose. Because the tools clean so quickly and easily, you can make both positive and negative marks with speed and little interruption to your creative flow

CULINARY ART – From sauté pan to plate, the Catalyst™ Blades and Wedges are at home in the kitchen. Made from a new flexible silicone that is resistant to heat up to 450°F, our uniquely shaped tools inspire chefs and sous chefs to cook and present food in new and inventive ways














Article made available to us from our friends at Princeton.