Goat and Ox Brushes

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Goat and Ox Brushes


Ox hair used in fine art paintbrushes comes from the ears of either oxen or cattle. It has a very strong body with a silken texture, is very resilient, and has good “snap,” but lacks a fine tip. Therefore, it is mostly used in medium-grade wash brushes or other flat-shaped brushes. Ox hair paintbrushes are frequently blended with other natural hair such as sable, to increase the resiliency of a brush — or sometimes dyed a reddish color to resemble sable; this brush fiber is called sabeline.


Goat hair is a soft brush fiber that is frequently used for quill, mop, or wash brushes — or in script, liner, bamboo, sumi, and hake brushes for use with watercolors, oils, acrylics, inks, and encaustics. Goat hair watercolor brushes are also great for calligraphy, hand lettering, and painting on ceramics. Access our Brush Charts for more information on types of paintbrushes, including brush shapes, fiber types, and measurements.