A fan brush is often a very underused resource in an artist’s brush set. There are so many different techniques and brushstrokes you can achieve with these brushes such as – dry brush, wet on wet, glazing, patterns, directional lines, curved lines, tree bark, fur, hair, texture, I could go on and the list above is by no means an exhaustive one. The only way to discover what you can achieve with these brushes is to Experiment.
Different types: hard brushes and soft brushes. Hard brush, if in doubt buy an acrylic one, dry brush techniques work well with these. Soft brushes: use for wet on wet, side of brush, soft brushstrokes with no hard line, fantastic for skies.
To experiment: use any paint up that may be hanging around in a palette. Try using brush dry, then completely damp, use side of brush, edge, whole of brush, see the shapes you can make. For pattern use different directional lines, e.g. horizontal over vertical. For curved line, now this is fun, make big bold patterns swirling the brush as you go. Op art effects are very easy with that brushstroke. The painting below I completed with a Hard Fan Brush and a Soft Fan Brush – no other brushes needed.