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What Does That Brush Do? Willow Wolfe Callia Brushes Explained
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About CALLIA Artist Brushes

Callia Artist Paint Brushes were created by renowned artist, educator, and brush designer, Willow Wolfe. Callia brushes are a balance of innovation and precise craftsmanship. 

They are ideal for acrylic, oil and watercolour painting with premium synthetic Kolinsky Sable, synthetic bristle, and Golden Taklon.

What does that brush do?

With the wide variety of brush shapes available, we often get asked, "What does that brush do?" – especially with the more unique shapes.

Read on in this article to learn more about the brush shapes available in the Callia range, and how you can utilize them in your own art practice.

Different shapes available in the Callia brush range.
Types of s​​hapes available in the Callia brush range.


Flat shapes are considered basic, all-purpose brush shapes. Callia flat brushes are made with a quality blend of filaments – this ensures paint, water and media distribute evenly through the brushes and are released as desired.

Flat Shader

The Flat Shader is composed of medium-length bristles that taper to a chisel edge, allowing for a wide range of applications. 

Like all good-quality flats, the flat shader has spring and will snap back to shape when bent gently. A flat can apply broad strokes or a fine line, when used on the chisel edge.

Flat Shader technique examples.
Flat Shader technique examples.​​

Chisel Blender

The Chisel Blender has a tight blend of filaments and is a shorter length than the flat shader, offering precision and control for blending.

With a soft touch, chisel blenders can blend soft, seamless transitions between values. The chisel edge can create sharp edges, choppy fur, and feathers. The compact shape allows the artist to fit into tight spaces.

Chisel Blender technique examples.
Chisel Blender technique examples.​​


The Filbert has an oval at the tip and is tapered to a chisel edge. The shape of a filbert makes it useful for basecoating round or curved areas, applying washes and painting flower strokes. 

Filberts have incredible spring and snap, yet can blend very softly and are often used for pat blending techniques and merging values.

Filbert technique examples.
Filbert technique examples.​​

Angle Shader

The angle shader is an angled flat brush that allows the artist to get into tight areas with precision, which is perfect for shading and highlighting. 

When the 'toe' of the brush is pointed toward an area, the application is controlled within that space with a nice even flow distributed throughout the surrounding area.

Angle Shader technique examples.
Angle Shader technique examples.​​

Flat Wash

The Flat Wash brush has a head that is more square than a flat shader and is a larger size. 

The blend of hair and taper of the brush make it good for applying washes or floating and blocking in large areas of colour.

Flat Wash technique examples.
Flat Wash technique examples.​​


The characteristic full body and tapered point of a round offer the ability to create thick to thin lines in a single stroke. Depending on the blend of hair and medium, a round can push a high volume of paint or create transparent washes and fine lines.

Round Brush

The Round is a classic painting brush used for everything from flora and still life to portraits and landscapes — just about any subject matter in any style.

Larger rounds can lay in large areas of colour and stroke specific shapes, whereas smaller rounds are used for detail.

Round Brush technique examples.
Round Brush technique examples.​​

Fine Round

The Callia Fine Round Brushes have an extended taper creating an extra-fine, elongated point for precise applications of colour.

Created with an innovative multi-diameter blend of smooth synthetic filaments, the Fine Round allows for controlled flow and colour-carrying capacity. Due to its ability to hold colour in the belly and release with precision, this shape is a favourite of watercolour artists.

Fine Round Brush technique examples.
Fine Round Brush technique examples.​​

Liner Brushes

Liners have a gradual taper and extremely fine point, great for delicate work such as outlines, lettering and continuous strokes.

Liner Brush technique examples.
Liner Brush technique examples.​​

Short Liner

The Short Liner has an extra-fine point and taper, perfect for delicate work such as outlines, small strokes and tiny details.

Short Liner technique examples.
Short Liner technique examples.​​

Script Liners

The Callia Script Liner has an extra-long taper and fine point, which offers long fluid strokes and continues lines or stroke work.

Script Liner technique examples.
Script Liner technique examples.​​

Spotter Brushes

The Spotter is a round brush with a short taper and fine point. 

The short taper gives less flex than a liner or round, allowing for greater control and accurate detail.

Spotter Brush technique examples.
Spotter Brush technique examples.​​


Callia Mop Brush shapes feature a blend of crimped silky soft synthetic fibres ideal for seamless blending.

Mini Mop

The Mini Mop is recommended for softening and blending in small, tight spaces.

The unique shape of the Mini Mop’s fluffy tip it offers a whisper soft finish.

Mini Mop technique examples.
Mini Mop technique examples.​​

Moa Mop

The Moa Mop has a densely compacted round base with a soft dome top, designed for controlled blending with the added benefit of texture when desired.

The Moa Mop is great for painting clouds and other soft effects.

Moa Mop technique examples.
Moa Mop technique examples.​​

Dodo Mop

The Dodo Mop has a compact dense structure with an oval shape at the tip and is ideal for controlled blending in curved applications.

Dodo Mop technique examples.
Dodo​​ Mop technique examples.

Top Mop

The Top Mop is exceptionally soft and shows minimal brushstrokes which makes it ideal for large washes of colour, varnishing or softening and blending.

Top Mop technique examples.
Top Mop technique examples.​​


Drybrushes are comprised of a flagged synthetic bristle, which holds heavy bodied paint with control. When these brushes are loaded without excess paint, they can apply colour with texture.

Peak Drybrush

The Peak Drybrush tapers to a fine point for the precise application of textured shadows and highlights in hard to reach areas. 

Peak Drybrushes may also be used clean to remove unwanted paint.

Peak Drybrush technique examples.
Peak Drybrush​​ technique examples.

Dome Drybrush

The Dome Drybrush has a robust and short bristle length and is tightly compacted to ensure it holds its dome shape while painting.

These brushes are optimal for stippling foliage or swirling clouds.

Dome Drybrush technique examples.
Dome Drybrush technique examples.​​

Dodo Drybrush

The Dodo Drybrush has a fine taper, chisel edge and oval shaped head which allows the option of stippling, drybrushing or rouging.

Dodo Drybrush technique examples.
Dodo Drybrush technique examples.​​


Specialty brush shapes and sizes that can assist in creating unique effects and precise strokes for a range of applications.

Filbert Comb

The Filbert Comb has a serrated edge and produces a repetitive pattern of thin lines. 

The head of the Filbert Comb is curved, which offers softer edges on each stroke.

Filbert Comb technique examples.
Filbert Comb technique examples.​​

Filbert Fan

The Filbert Fan is shaped with curved edges, ensuring the brush doesn’t leave unwanted marks while it strokes.

The fan allows paint to be applied in multiple directions in a single stroke.

Filbert Fan technique examples.
Filbert Fan technique examples.​​

Dagger Brushes

The Dagger is a sword-shaped brush that allows for extra long, precise linear strokes. 

The Dagger works well for painting long grasses, flower stems, strokes of fur, leaves and flowing lines.

Dagger Brush technique examples.
Dagger Brush technique examples.​​

Ready to get painting?

This article was originally created by the team at Willow Wolfe. Visit WillowWolfe.com to learn more about the brand, the brushes, and for more resources like courses, tutorials, and books! We'll also have more content from Willow soon to come to the Opus Resource Library.

Shop Willow Wolfe Callia Brushes at Opus Art Supplies! 

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