You may have seen them at your local art supply or online. I’m talking about Taklon brushes, the synthetic-hair alternative to hog bristles. So, are Taklon brushes good for oil painting? As it turns out, Taklon is a great synthetic alternative to hog’s hair or nylon. The synthetic fibres last a long time and they are good for many mediums, such as watercolors, acrylics, and yes… oils. If you want a long-lasting brushes that you can mix and match mediums with, Taklon is well-worth considering.
Today I’ll tell you a little more about these synthetic wonders so that you can see if they pique your interest. Let’s talk Taklon!
What are Taklon brushes used for?
Taklon is a commercial synthetic fibre developed by DuPont Chemical company and it is used for painting and for the application of makeup. The actual name of the fibre is Thermoplastic Polyester, although you’ll sometimes hear it referred to as ‘PBT’. It is now owned by Toray Chemical, a Japanese company, and they produce all kinds of useful brushes that will work quite well with just about any medium.
You can use Taklon with ink, acrylic paints, watercolors, and oil paints, and as it’s a synthetic it’s quite easy for them to trim and shape it to all kinds of useful forms. It also happens to have more resistance to solvents, damage from insects, and standard ‘wear and tear’.
They also happen to be easier to clean, so there’s that, too!
How good are Taklon brushes?
For painting, Taklon brushes are pretty great. If you’ve got a problem with your hog’s hair brushes disintegrating on you fairly quickly, then you will appreciate the durability, and they are also quite good at picking up your paint. Depending on the diameter you select, you’ll get different levels of stiffness, and as it’s been around for awhile you can find a pretty good variety of these brushes to experiment with.
I have a few myself and I like that I can swap them between different mediums quite easily (just be sure to clean them thoroughly). They are a little stiff when you use them with watercolors, those this makes them pretty good for detail work and they seem to be absolutely perfect for oils. While I don’t use them as my only types of brushes, I do like having a few around and they get a lot of use.
In my opinion, you should give them a try and see what you think. They do keep perfect points quite a bit longer than hog’s hair.
What is the difference between white and gold Taklon brushes?
When it comes to Taklon brushes you’ll notice 3 varieties. Those are black, white and gold. I’ve worked with the white and gold varieties, so I can tell you a little bit more about these two. Let’s see how they compare!
Great for acrylics, oils, and watercolors, Gold Taklon brushes have a medium-level stiffness to them and they are pretty good at springing back to shape and holding together for a long time with heavy use. They tend to keep their ‘snap’ for a goodly amount of time and the versatility is quite nice, though in my opinion they are better for watercolors than for oils.
White Taklons are my favorite of the two as they are a wee bit tougher than the Gold variety. They are stiffer, which is a big advantage with your oil painting, as you are able to efficiently scoop up your paint and the stiffness also allows for a good bit of detail work. In my opinion these are the best for oils and acrylics.
While you can use either type for any medium, if you’re mostly going to use oil paints then the White Taklon is going to be your best bet.
Some final words on Taklon brushes
Today we’ve taken a closer look at Taklon, that fine synthetic alternative to hog’s hair that you’ve been hearing about or you’ve seen at the art supply. Taklon brushes are definitely good for oil painting, but if you have to choose between the White and Gold variety than the White is definitely going to be the best. It’s a lot stiffer and this makes it more efficient when working with your oil paints and it has a higher resistance to solvents so it won’t disintegrate in a week like some lesser brushes.
While there’s not a lot of info out there on Taklon brushes (as you may have noticed), you can find a great review on Gold Taklon brushes if you use this 3rd party link. It’s a great comparison and it’s written by an artist, so the information is all practical rather than a sneaky and elaborate ad for the product.
Hope you’ve enjoyed the article today and when you get a chance, check out some Taklon brushes and see what you think. As far as budget brushes go, they’re actually quite nice!