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The Filbert In Action

Painting Techniques - The Filbert In Action

brush_hairs_largeCatalyst Polytip Bristle is another innovation by Princeton which sets the stage for synthetic hair invention. The word Polytip refers to multiple tips on each hair, which means that each individual hair has been split to replicate the flags on the finest natural bristle. Catalyst Polytip Bristle is stiff, but exteremely responsive and unlike natural hog bristle, which can be rendered useless when water -soaked, Polytip has integrity in water-based mediums.

The filbert’s curved tip allows for both full, rounded stokes as well as the ability to create a sharp chisel edge. The filbert falls under the category of flat shapes due to it’s ability to flatten into a crisp edge creating a sharp profile. The Egbert is a filbert with longer hair and a fuller body, holding more paint than a traditional filbert.

David Lidbetter, a fine artist from Quebec, shares his thoughts on Polytip with a focus on the filbert shape.  We asked David what makes Polytip one of his favourite brushes.

“I work in oil colours and I like using synthetic brushes more than natural hair brushes. Catalyst Polytip gives the best of both worlds! These brushes aren’t your usual synthetic because they handle thick and viscous oil paint easily. This is my “Go-To” line of brushes. I have been using them since they first came out. I use them in the studio and I also use them while doing ‘plein air’ work outdoors especially if I’m using water-soluble oils as they keep their integrity, snap and clean edges even while wet with water, unlike hog bristle brushes. This synthetic brush series is the only one I know that a actually has flagged tips, just like the best hog bristle brushes, and holds paint beautifully, allowing it to flow when required.

Egbert David Egbert David


I primarily use the filbert shapes during the beginning stages of my work. They are great for roughing in large areas of color in order ot establish the feel and mood of the painting. My favourite brush in the series is the size 6 ‘Egbert’, due to the extra long hair and the responsive feel of the brush. I can use it to draw shapes and fill in mass simultaneously. I also like to use it to finish a painting – to add those calligraphic marks and hi-lights.”

View David’s Artist Profile

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