Every artist knows that the different sizes and shapes of paint brushes all serve a specific purpose. You can’t get the same effect with a flat brush as you can with a round brush.
Fan brushes are the same way. If you want to do soft blending or create trees using the Bob Ross method, you’ll need a good quality fan brush.
So, what is the best fan paint brush? The best fan paint brush has a comfortable handle, works with different types of paints, and has bristles that are laid in a straight line, don’t shed easily, and don’t separate into clumps when wet.
Good fan brushes are hard to find. It seems like many brands make fan brushes that have defects that can hinder your painting abilities.
In this buyer’s guide, not only will we teach you the right qualities to look for, but we’ll provide you the 11 best fan paint brushes you can find online.
What To Use Fan Paint Brushes For
Fan paint brushes are generally used for painting. However, you can also use fan paint brushes for makeup application or pottery glazing.
Using fan paint brushes for actual painting can be done in a variety of ways. Generally, you can use fan paint brushes for watercolor, oil, and acrylic painting.
Fan paint brushes are ideal for blending. They work great to smooth across colors already painted on the canvas or to apply fresh paint in a soft way.
Famous painter Bob Ross also popularized using fan paint brushes to create trees. It’s a simple method that involves lightly coating the bristles in paint and gently dabbing them onto the canvas.
For more details on painting trees with the fan brush method, check out his tutorial video here.
Aside from painting, fan brushes are also useful in makeup application. They’re typically used to apply highlight or rouge along the cheekbones thanks to their light touch.
In crafting, fan brushes are used for pottery glazing. They’re a common tool for glazing because of their wide surface area for application and the gentle way they transfer liquid to a surface.
Buyer’s Guide – Fan Paint Brushes
When you’re looking for a good fan paint brush, there are specific characteristics you want to make sure your brush has. We’ve listed them below with details as to why they’re important.
1. Comfortable Handle
The first thing is ensuring it has a comfortable handle. You’ll be using this paint brush a lot and you want to make sure it feels right in the hand.
If your hand feels awkward or hurts while you’re holding the brush, it will affect the way you apply the paint.
Your hand should feel at ease holding the brush so you can apply the paint as precisely as you need to for your picture.
Some handles splinter easily or have sharp pieces sticking out of the plastic coating. Keep an eye out for good quality handles that won’t fall apart.
2. Variety Of Paint Types
Generally, paint brushes should work with a variety of paint. If you want to switch between oil and acrylic and watercolor paints, you should be able to do so with ease.
It’s not a good idea to use the same paint brush for multiple paints, but if you are buying a 10-pack of fan paint brushes, you can use 3 for oil, 3 for acrylic, 3 for watercolor, and have one bonus.
If the paint brush pack indicates that it only works for a specific type of paint or won’t work with oil paint, for example, it may not be a great set for you.
Fan brushes tend to be more versatile than other style of brushes and should be ready to use with any type of paint.
3. Straight Bristles
If you hold the brush with the bristles facing you, the end bristles should all be laid and secured in a straight line. The line of the tips of the bristles shouldn’t curve or look like a wave.
One of the main reasons people use fan brushes is to get straight lines to use for evergreen trees in the Bob Ross method. If your bristles are curved or wavy, you won’t get the straight lines you need for the limbs.
Seeing a curved pattern at the edges of the bristles can also indicate that the brush was made carelessly. It wasn’t made or quality checked with the attention to detail that ensures a good product.
It’s best to stick with bristles that are laid carefully in a straight line.
4. Bristles Don’t Shed Easily
Another pesky problem with fan brushes is bristle shedding.
This can happen with any brush but is especially common with fan brushes due to their thin layer of bristles.
High-quality fan brushes won’t shed when you paint. The bristles should be secured in the metal component of the brush.
If you see bristles coming out with the paint and left behind all over your canvas, that can be an indicator of a low-quality product.
5. Bristles Don’t Separate
Another big indicator of low-quality fan paint brushes is if the bristles separate into clumps when wet.
To test this, simply dip the bristles of your brush into water, pat them dry with a paper towel, and see if the fan has held its shape.
If the bristles do separate into clumps, try pulling them apart back into a fan shape and see if they stay. If they go back into their clumps, the bristles are poor quality and won’t hold up well when you paint.
You can’t get a smooth blend if the bristles are clumped and separated. You also won’t get the iconic evergreen trees of Bob Ross with separated bristles.
High-quality fan paint brushes should hold their fan shape with bristles that can stand on their own without clumping when wet.
The Best Fan Paint Brushes
Now that you have an idea of the qualities to look for in a set of fan paint brushes, we’ve included the top best fan brushes below.
These brushes either have all or most of the qualities listed, so you can’t go wrong choosing any of these sets.
|Rank||Product||Number of Brushes/Material|
|1.||DUGATO Artist Fan Paint Brush||Set of 7 - hog bristle|
|2.||PINSUKO Paint Brush Set||Set of 3 - nylon|
|3.||Zonon Fan Paint Brush Set||Set of 10 - nylon|
|4.||BOSOBO Paint Brushes Set||Set of 9 - nylon|
|5.||Golden Maple Fan Brush Set||Set of 6 - hog bristle|
|6.||Amagic Fan Brush Set||Set of 6 - nylon|
|7.||ZHOUXINXING High-Grade Brush Set||Set of 6 - wild boar bristle|
|8.||MEEDEN Boar Hair Paint Brushes||Set of 6 - boar bristle|
|9.||ROYAL BRUSH White Taklon Brush Set||Set of 4 - taklon|
|10.||Jieklove Fan Brush Set||Set of 3, 6, or 13 - boar bristle|
|11.||Benicci Paint Brush Set of 16||Set of 16 - nylon|
1. DUGATO Artist Fan Paint Brush Set
This set of 7 fan paint brushes is perfect for anyone looking for affordable, high-quality, and variety in size.
The bristles on these DUGATO brushes are highly regarded as being stiff enough to hold the paint, but flexible enough to blend and apply smoothly.
Many customers have also used these brushes for pottery glazing, so if that’s your goal for your brushes, this set would be perfect for you.
With long, comfortable wooden handles, these brushes will help anyone create art with ease.
2. PINSUKO Paint Brushes
Although this set only includes 3 brushes, it’s a great option for those who don’t need a large variety of fan brushes.
The nylon bristles work well with paint and blend beautifully. Some customers have reported issues with how the brushes came via shipping, but this can happen regardless of company and shouldn’t deter you from considering this set.
Those who’ve received the brushes in their intended condition love the way these brushes paint.
3. Zonon Fan Paint Brush Set
The Zonon fan paint brushes are a great choice for anyone looking to stock up. You can get a set of 10-20 brushes, each very affordable for the number of brushes purchased.
Used for both painting and pottery glazing, these brushes work well for whatever art you choose.
They have nylon bristles and strong wooden handles that are sealed and lacquered to feel smooth in the hand and wash easily.
4. BOSOBO Paint Brushes Set
The BOSOBO fan paint brushes are well regarded for their versatile use with both acrylic and watercolor paints, though they are also suitable for oil and gouache paints.
The anti-shedding nylon bristles hold up well when wet and blend smoothly to create seamless gradients in paintings.
They also bend easily back into shape, so if you accidentally press too hard or leave it in your water cup too long, you can simply reshape them to your liking.
5. Golden Maple Fan Brush Set
The hog hair bristles on this Golden Maple set work great.
Hog hair is ideal because it’s stiffer, meaning it won’t clump and separate as easily when wet and will hold their shape to stay in a straight line.
The wooden handles have a nickel-plated copper tube to hold the bristles to the handle, securing them with a rust-resistant metal.
You can get this set in a 6 or 3 pack, though they tend to run the same price so you might as well get 6 for the price of 3 brushes!
6. Amagic Fan Brush Set
Amagic has a bit of an issue with their listing. They describe their brushes as having hog hair, but when the brushes arrive there’s a note in the package that describes them as having nylon bristles.
Although their listing could use an update, we don’t think that should prevent you from looking into these brushes.
Despite the material confusion, these fan brushes still work great. They make blending a breeze and can help you make those “Happy Little Trees” that Bob Ross talks about!
They also come with their own case, so you have a safe place to store your brushes when not in use. This is great if you have young children or animals at home that can get a hold of your brushes and potentially wreak havoc.
7. ZHOUXINXING High-Grade Brush Set
With 6 different sizes, these high-grade brushes from ZHOUXINXING are a great option for any painter. They’re ready for use with watercolor, gouache, acrylic, and oil paints.
For those potters out there, these brushes work great to glaze pottery too. They come highly recommended from many customers who’ve used them to glaze their ceramics.
The bristles are a little on the softer side, but this isn’t always a bad thing. Stiff bristles can be great for the Bob Ross tree method, but soft bristles work great when doing smooth blending.
8. MEEDEN Boar Hair Paint Brushes
This 6 piece MEEDEN set is another great option, especially for oil painters. MEEDEN lists their brushes as being great for drawing a straight line in oil paintings, so these would be great for trying out those Bob Ross trees.
The hog hair bristles are secured to the handle with an aluminum crimped ferrule, helping prevent pesky shedding or breakage.
They also wash well, so you won’t have to spend an hour at the sink trying to get the paint out before putting them away.
9. ROYAL BRUSH White Taklon Brush Set
These ROYAL BRUSH fan paint brushes are unique for their snow-white bristles. Compared to most other brushes which have beige or brown bristles, these brushes stand apart. You’ll be able to see how much color is left in the bristles clearly.
With this set, you’ll get 4 different sized fan brushes as well as a small zipper case to store them when not in use.
Although not great with oil paint, these brushes still work well with watercolor, acrylic, and tempera paint.
Tempera paint is widely used in a school or child-focused setting, so if you plan to paint with little ones, these brushes could be a great choice for you!
10. Jieklove Fan Brush Set
Jieklove offers 3 different sets: the 3 pack of fan brushes, the 6 pack of fan brushes, and the 13 pack of assorted brushes to give you a full collection of brush types.
These brushes are made with high-quality boar’s hair bristles, giving you the stiffness you need for any painting technique you hope to use.
They work great with different types of paint like watercolor, oil, and acrylic, but are also great for face paintings and nail art.
Not only are they great for canvas paintings, but they work well for painting acrylic on rocks too!
With such versatility and high-quality materials, these fan paint brushes are a true contender when shopping for a brush set.
11. Benicci Paint Brush Set of 16
This Benicci pack is an assorted set of 16 different types of brushes, including flat, round, angle, filbert, liner, glaze and fan.
Although it only has one fan brush, we wanted to include it as an option because these brushes are so high-quality. With brushes as good as these, you’ll only need one fan brush.
Opposed to some other wooden handles that have a lacquered finish, these have a matte finish for a smoother hand feel.
These brushes also have high-quality nylon hair for their bristles. Even though nylon traditionally is too soft when compared with boar’s hair, these brushes still work great and stand up well to create the Bob Ross trees.
What makes this set even better is the sturdy carrying case (complete with the ability to stand on its own as a brush holder) that comes with the brushes. When you buy this set, you’ll also get a bonus mixing knife and art sponge.
Overall, customers rave that this is the best set you can get for a good deal. At a significantly lower price point than professional brushes, you pay less without sacrificing quality.