1911 News

The Best Present for Artists

Brushes, Brushes, Brushes

If you are reading this post you are either looking for the ideal gift for an artist or want to give yourself a nice gift. Whatever applies to you – here you are at the right place. 

You can only do everything right with buying good artist brushes for Christmas and actually always anyway. After all, artist brushes are the most important tool of the artist and therefore a gift that will always provide joy.

How to find the right brush for Christmas?

Finding the right brush as a gift for artists is actually quite simple. You just need to know what the preferred medium is (watercolor, acrylic, oil?), which formats are preferred and whether it should be a precious natural hair brush or a vegan brush with cutting edge synthetic hair. If you are not sure – just ask 🙂

The nice thing about this gift is that it gives pleasure for a long time. Artists appreciate quality artist brushes and know how to care for them. That’s why some brushes can easily become loved companions for years, making brushes also quite a sustainable gift for Christmas.

Anyhow, we have decided to make it a little easier for you to find Christmas presents this year. We have selected some of our bestsellers below.

Let us inspire you – Enjoy gift-giving – Have fun painting – Merry Christmas!          

Gifts for Artists

Brush News

Discover ZIINA Cosmetic Brushes

We are very happy to announce that our ZIINA cosmetic brushes are now available online. Together with the make-up artist Franziska Knorr we have developed ZIINA Edition Franziska Knorr. The Edition includes 20 different cosmetic brushes that meet the requirements of professional make-up artists.

Just like our lineo artist brushes, all ZIINA brushes are “Handmade in Germany”. Only the best materials are used, and we place great emphasis on sustainability and longevity. One thing that was very important for us, was that all materials (handle, hair, glue) are free from harmful substances and suitable for sensitive skin.

The perfect gift for yourself, your best friend, and for all those you care about 🙂

Visit or click the button below..

ZIINA Makeup Brushes - Black Powder Brush
Brush News

lineo brushes go green

Our brushes are produced green

During the conception of our new factory building also many new, environmental goals came up to our minds. Not only did we want to produce more efficiently, but also in a more environmentally friendly way. Right from the start of the conceptual work, we, therefore, thought about how this could be done, and how we would be able to make the best use of renewable energy. Half a year after we moved into our new factory, we are pleased to successfully have achieved most of these goals. Energy consumption has decreased significantly and we are now a proud manufacturer of green products.

Green energy production

We have installed a modern photovoltaic system on the roof of our new factory. For this, we have chosen to use the entire roof space of approximately 12,000m². By making use of this huge area, we are able to produce enough electricity to run our brush production self-sufficiently and even can feed in back to the grid on sunny days and weekends. Annually, that’s a whopping 1,110,000 kWh. This is enough to supply 280 four-person households or to drive an e-car 7,400,000 km equalling 185 rounds around the earth. The CO2 savings are enormous. We are emitting almost 540,000 kg less CO2 per year to produce our brushes. This is equivalent to the emissions of 90 average oil-fired heating systems.

Use of waste heat

In addition to generating green electricity, we also use the waste heat from the cooling water of our injection molding machines. Thanks to this waste heat, we can always keep our production halls pleasantly warm for our staff by using underfloor heating. As we will also be using less energy for heating in the future, this will further reduce our energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

Flowers for more biodiversity

The green spaces around our factory actually don’t have much to do with production and green energy. Nevertheless, we can actively contribute to supporting our environment on some 3000 m². Insects are the most diverse group of animals. Including more than a million described species, they are representing around 70% of species. For other animals, such as birds, insects are an important source of food. Unfortunately, however, insects have been threatened in Europe for years, with populations steadily declining due to the ongoing destruction of natural habitats. In addition to habitat loss, insecticides used in agriculture also play an important role. With our flower meadow, we want to make our small but important contribution to biodiversity and give back some of the habitat. Together with our employees, we are looking forward to the splendor of the meadow flowers.

Brush News

110 Years lineo Artist Brushes

How it all began

110 years ago, Albert Bieringer founded a small brush factory in Bechhofen, Germany.  With a handful of employees and a clear vision, he thus laid the foundation for the later international success of our handmade lineo artist brushes. Albert Bieringer has always been committed to the high quality of his brushes. Also, has it been him, who began to implement innovation as one of the company’s core values. It is no surprise that Albert Bieringer saw his company growing during his lifetime.  Consequently, the initial factory building soon became too small for the young company. After the turbulence of the Second World War, work on the new factory building was to begin quickly. In 1950, the time had finally come to move into the new, modern factory building. It offered sufficient space for additional employees and storage.  This happened just at the right time, as the company’s export rate strongly increased. In the course of time, further modifications and extensions were made to the building and the family business should always be able to keep up with the latest technological developments.

Where we stand today

We just moved into our new brush factory at the beginning of 2021.  For the production of our lineo artist brushes and our lineo cosmetic brushes, we now have 1,200m² of production space. Since our brushes are mainly handmade, it was very important to us to create workplaces with large working areas and plenty of natural daylight. In the course of this, we have also acquired new, large work surfaces made of natural stone, and are now in the process of further technological upgrading and optimization. Together with our employees, we are working on building the bridge between traditional craftsmanship and digitization.

What the future brings

The anniversary year 2021 is all about the future. We know our roots and are living our values. This allows us to look forward and enables us to envision an exciting future for a traditional brand. Throughout our history, tradition and innovation have always proven to be the right values for our brand. They have always been driving growth and have been the key to customer satisfaction.

At first glance, these values seem very different. Both of them combined, however, will become more important in the future than ever before. Our modern world is driven by innovation. Yet it is tradition that decelerates, that grounds us, and reminds us of what is important. After all, the secret of success lies in the balance.

In recent years, we have gained new strategic partners and together with artists and retailers, we are working on exciting new projects. Not only the development of new brush series (such as our new Edition Albrecht Dürer) but also the further development of new synthetic hairs will help us stay ahead of the competition. It is self-evident that we will continue to commit to our high-quality standards. After all, it is the outstanding painting characteristics and the durability of our lineo brushes artists value so much.

lineo. Paint with the best.

Brush Knowledge

Artist Brush Cleaning – With Martin Thomas

The brush is an artist’s most important tool. Since good tools, in general, are some kind of investment, it is important to us that artists can use their brushes for longer. This is why we pay great attention to the materials used and the quality of craftsmanship for lineo artist brushes. As a manufacturer, we are proud of the fact that for over 110 years we have been taking our share of responsibility in the respectful use of our planet’s resources. By purchasing a lineo brush, some of this responsibility is passed on to the artist. Therefore, we are happy to share contemporary artists’ knowledge about brush cleaning and brush care. This time, we have been talking with the artist Martin Thomas. We asked him how he cleans his paint brushes and how he maintains their good painting properties. He showed us some of his tricks and some of them seemed quite unusual, but proved to be just the right thing to do.

Acrylic paint can be quite tough

For acrylic paints, Martin Thomas recommends using brush soap or some mild hand soap. A brush is considered clean when the visible body of the hair and the ferrule are free of paint and when there is no more paint coming out of the rear part of the ferrule. With some brushes, this may take some time, but it pays off in any case. Only a thoroughly cleaned brush will continue to retain its properties.

After washing, it is important to gently tap the brush off at the ferrule. This will fasten the drying and allow the hair to spring back to its original shape without them getting damaged. This will help to protect the brush from fraying.

To let the brush dry, either put it on some cloth or on some kitchen paper. The best would be to hang it, head down. Avoid letting it dry standing with its head up. The water remaining in the hair body could accumulate at the bottom of the ferrule where it eventually can cause permanent damage to the brush. Under no circumstances should a brush be dried with a hairdryer or be placed on a radiator or in direct sunlight. In general,  brushes should be dried slowly and gently so that the valuable hair does not get damaged.

For painting with acrylic colors, Martin Thomas also recommends cleaning the brushes from time to time while you paint. The best would be around every 15 minutes, which is about the time acrylic paint needs to get dry. By keeping your brushes clean while painting, you can prevent the hairs from sticking together and you will most certainly enjoy painting more while getting way better results.

Despite all precautions, sometimes it still happens that paint gets dry on a brush. If nothing helps and all hope seems lost, Martin Thomas told us that using a conventional grease cleaner will do the job. Without affecting the varnish of the handle or the glue inside the ferrule, it will nicely dissolve the dry acrylic paint. Just let the brush soak in it for around 10 minutes and clean it as usual. If necessary, the process can be repeated for very persistent paint. Also, use this trick if acrylic paint got dry on your clothing.

Oil painting brushes are easy to clean

While acrylic color can be quite persistent and hard to clean, oil color brushes are easier to clean. There are no “special” tricks. Turpentine and brush soap is the best you can use for this. After cleaning, rinse the brush and, as mentioned earlier, tap it at the ferrule and let it dry after.

One thing to really avoid

So far we have covered the general “do’s”. But there is also one big “don’t” which is even more important than avoiding hairdryers, direct sun, and radiators. Every brush’s biggest enemy (and most probably its end) is nitro thinner. This strong thinner affects the glue inside the ferrule as well as the handle and all kinds of fine hair. Nitro should therefore be avoided when cleaning brushes.

Brush News

Happy Easter

Dear friends,

at lineo1911 we strongly believe that “Art is Love”! This is particularly evident at Easter. The days are getting longer and nature is awakening to new life. Everything blooms and the birds sing their songs. It is the perfect time to go out to enjoy the warmth of the sun, take a deep breath and gather new energy. Above all, however, it is a wonderful time to be inspired, to make art and to make the world a better, more beautiful place 🙂

We wish you a happy Easter, health, joy and love!


1911 News

Use the Lockdown for More Creativity & Inner Peace

Corona has been a real game changer for most of us and our lives. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have an entirely new lifestyle. The often-mentioned “old normal” will probably never return. In some respects, this may not only be better but perhaps even more beautiful.

The new normal as key to art & painting

Within only a few weeks, many routines and activities of our everyday life found an abrupt end. No more fancy jet-setting, no more super important back-to-back meetings, no more workouts at the gym and no more partying. Suddenly, there was no more reason for that terrible phrase “Sorry, I don’t have time”. There was more than enough of time for most people – especially for the chronically busy ones.

Of course, since there was more time available and the sometimes merciless boredom could easily be mastered through hours of Skype and WhatsApp calls or killed by excessive continuous streaming. As this is not a sustainable solution to this unusual new kind of problem which came as a side effect of the lockdown, new solutions had to be found. In the end, many, although involuntarily but still, had the opportunity to break the endless-seeming loop of their accustomed life. One had the opportunity to spend time with oneself. Time to sit back and to think and question everything in life. Time to find out what’s really important in life. The unique chance to get to know oneself a little better, not others.

During this time, many (re) discovered their passion for art and their own creativity. Some may have stumbled upon brushes, paper and paints while mucking out. Others were able to discover the joy of painting either through their children or grandchildren. Perhaps a social media post or an advertisement might have also been an impetus to explore ones passion for art and painting. Just as with many other things, it’s important to just find a little bit of motivation to get started.

Painting makes sense and is good for the soul

A deeply human need is to find meaning in what we do. In a world that is increasingly determined by digitized interpersonal relationships and constant work on the computer, this meaning might often get lost. And while some love the home office, for others it leads to an amplification of the already negative effect of the digitized world caused by additional loneliness. You feel you are busy all day and in the end, you do – nothing “real”. Painting is a wonderful and welcome change to this frustrating routine. Just like many other hobbies, painting gives us the opportunity to create something real with our own hands. We can actually see real progress and can enjoy it.

When we are working with brush, paper and paint, our doing can also be perceived with all our senses. The feeling of every single brushstroke, the smell of the paint, maybe even the sound of the brush being washed out in the water glass. Above all, it’s the relaxed feeling and the deep inner peace that are good for us when we paint.

That’s what science says about painting

There is scientific proof that painting is not only fun but actually worthwhile for you. When you are concentrating on painting, hand-eye coordination and as well as logical intelligence in connection with creativity are increasingly stressed. This has a strong relaxing effect on your brain. Colors have a very similar stabilizing effect on emotions. Certain areas are activated within the brain, which in turn inhibit the limbic system and make us forget social pressures, worries and fears. It also gives us the opportunity to organize our thoughts, develop and strengthen our creativity and draw new strength and energy.

Since the brain is almost put into a meditative state while painting, this is also a welcome distraction for all those who are exposed to stress at work and want to find inner peace. Why should you meditate for hours or torture yourself with painful yoga asanas if the same effect can be reached that easily.

It just takes an artist brush, some paint and paper/a canvas. All in all, it’s the creative process as a whole that makes painting so special. When painting, you are allowed to simply switch off your brain and let your mind go on a journey. It is desirable to block out the noise of the world and let yourself be carried away, okay to let your imagination flow and totally fine to just enjoy the moment. It doesn’t matter what you paint or how well and beautifully you paint. Painting is good for you. Painting is fun.

Brush Knowledge

Kolinsky Red Sable vs. Synthetic Hair

Fine Artist Brushes made from Kolinsky Red Sable HairFor experienced watercolour painters, brushes made of genuine Siberian Kolinsky Hair are traditionally the first choice. By nature, this hair has some properties superior to synthetic hair. One of them is for example the excellent paint absorption. However, thanks to the ongoing technological development in the production of synthetic hair, there are already synthetic alternatives with wonderful painting properties on the market.

Quality characteristics of good watercolour brushes

There are some general quality characteristics good watercolour brushes must-have. One of the most important ones is the ability to hold large amounts of paint. Especially for painting long continuous strokes, this is important. It also allows for faster and more precise painting. The more often you have to pause and pick up fresh paint again, the more likely it is that paint will dry up in certain areas of your artwork. As a result, this can lead to unwanted edges might influence nicely flowing colour-gradients in a negative way.

The main secret for a watercolour brushes’ painting characteristics is its hair. Essential to the quality of the brushes hair body is the structure and the fineness of the processed hair. The fineness of the hairs also has a great influence on the brushes paint holding capacity and on the overall hand-feeling. Especially for painting fine details, an excellent elasticity or bounce of the hair body is important. A good watercolour brush always forms a beautiful tip and will always keep its characteristic body. It neither becomes crooked nor frayed. Also, not a single hair may stick out from the hair body. Ideally, an artist’s brush retains these great characteristics for many years. Needless to say, the appropriate brush care is essential.

What are the differences between synthetic and natural hair?

Three bunches of fine synthetic Toray hair for brush making.

Siberian Kolinsky red sable hair has several advantages. These are the reason why the best and most sought-after watercolour brushes available on the market are traditionally made from Siberian Kolinsky hair. This natural hair is mainly chosen for its surface structure and the characteristics coming with it. That’s why in watercolour painting, it is superior to all other natural hair types. The microscopically small interlocking scales enlarge the surface of the hair. This improves the colour retention capacity and gives the hair its nice resistance. Another great side effect of this naturally grown structure is that brushes with Kolinsky hair wear out more slowly and therefore have a longer life span. They can retain their wonderful colour absorption properties and unique bounce for years. Thanks to the bounce, the brushes always stay in shape and form a beautiful tip.

A cheaper alternative to Kolinsky is the Red Sable Hair. According to professional artists, the quality of such brushes is still outstanding and offers the painter a wonderful painting experience. Brush makers at lineo mainly use Siberian Kolinsky and Red Sable Hair for the production of premium watercolour brushes.

However, the advantages of brushes made of synthetic hair should not be underestimated. Continuous research and development in this field are essential for manufacturers of high-quality artist brushes. New developments allow synthetic brushes to continuously become better as their painting properties become more and more similar to their natural counterparts.

A very good example of this is our Series 1001 French Watercolor Brush and our Series 168 Plein Air Brush from lineo Edition Elke Memmler. The lineo Series 152 with its unrivalled Kolinsky imitation should also be highlighted. All brushes are characterized by an amazing paint holding capacity and good elasticity. They form a beautiful tip and are also easy to clean.

Regardless of the Kolinsky imitation, other synthetic brushes often are offering unique painting characteristics too. Artists can take advantage of them by combining or complementing natural hair brushes and synthetic brushes. One good example of this is the lineo Hobby Robusto.

Is it worthwhile investing in a brush with Kolinsky red sable hair?

Traditional production of a brushes head. After shaping, the hairs are being tied together. Despite rapid technological development, Kolinsky Red Sable Hair is still superior to synthetic hair in many ways. Most challenging in imitating naturally grown hair are its surface structure, the resistance and the durability. However, brushes with synthetic hair offer the painter an animal-friendly alternative with excellent painting properties. Also, it is important to note that not all synthetics are of the same quality. Manufacturers of quality brushes invest a lot of time and money in the development of good synthetic hair.

The best artist brushes are always a little more expensive. The reason lies in the use of high-quality materials and more precise processing which definitely makes them worth the investment. Above all in the sense that you will not only see the difference in the quality of their creative execution, but you will also feel the difference when painting. With proper care, good brushes often last for years without noticeably losing quality. And that’s what really makes investing a little more money worth it in the long run. Also for our planet!

Brush News

lineo is Europes most advanced brush factory

Baustelle von Europas Modernster Fabrik für Künstlerpinsel. Fertigungshallen, Lagerhallen und BüroAfter more than 100 years of tradition and growth, it is time for a change. Space in production and office has become quite tight. Soon, lineo will move to Europes most advanced brush factory. After construction started in 2019, the lineo brush makers are preparing for relocation now.

Artist Brushes “Made in Germany”

As the main construction work has been completed, there is also rapid progress inside the new brush factory. In Fall 2020, Mesko & lineo will shift their production to their new facility. Europes most advanced brush factory covers an area of 10,000 m² equivalents to almost 108,000 ft².

Automation and digitalization will support the companies staff in near future. 

The aim is to create a better and more productive work environment. This is most important for all areas of handcrafting of artist brushes. A lot of concentration and accuracy is expected from the brush makers there. A modern workplace with fair working conditions is also a guarantee for the production of fair and sustainable products.

It has been a clear decision to continue production and growth in Germany. Further jobs are to be created in the future. With lineo brushes, artists benefit not only from guaranteed & consistently high quality but also from the stability of a company with a long tradition. This means that jobs at Mesko/lineo are secured in the long term and we can continue to rely on the high quality of the brushes we love.

lineo, fine brushes since 1911

Brush Knowledge

Development of Synthetic Hair for Brushes


In recent years, the prices for some natural hairs have risen sharply. For the user, this is especially noticeable with larger sized brushes. This is mainly caused by the higher amount of material that is required for producing heads for larger brushes. Increasingly, however, synthetic brush hairs are a financially attractive alternative for price-conscious artists and painters. With that being said, there are not necessarily sacrifices in terms of quality.

The use of synthetic hair over time

Since many decades, synthetic hairs are already being used for the production of brushes. At lineo (Mesko Pinsel GmbH), brush-makers we have identified the potential of such artificial hairs at an early stage. In the beginning, however, many of these materials were still not good enough for wider use with brushes for professionals. This was mainly because of technical limitations which did not allow the production of high-quality synthetic materials at a reasonable price.Three bunches of fine synthetic Toray hair for brush making.

When the company finally started investing in research and development of synthetic hairs, technology eventually started enhancing as well. The company was among the first to use synthetic hairs for the production of paint brushes suitable for the use of professionals. Since prices for natural hairs started hiking, this has been a big advantage and until today, is one of the main drivers for corporate growth. Brush makers would be able to compensate increasing prices by developing and optimizing mixtures used for paintbrushes rather than by reducing the amount of hair being used per brush. Initially, retail and professionals were sceptical about these new brushes. Hence, the company started to work together with renowned paint manufacturers to do application testing together. As there were no significant differences in application and finish, initial doubts could have quickly been dispelled.

Targets for the development of synthetic hairs

The success led to further intensive research and development of new materials. The aim is to be able to constantly improve the quality of the different synthetic hairs. In the long term, the target is to be able to produce hair that will offer artists the painting experience of a brush with natural hair. One of the main challenges, however, are colour/water holding capacity and the overall durability. Naturally grown hairs have a special surface structure which still makes them superior to synthetic alternatives. So far, the biggest success in this field is the imitation of natural hog bristles. Mesko brushes with these filaments have come very close to their natural counterpart. The quality of the finished brushes is unmatched on the market. This especially refers to their fully synthetic brushes.

Mesko KONEX brush with natural wooden handle, stainless steel ferrule and synthetic KONEX hair.The new KONEX® material

One of the most important developments in the field of synthetic hair recently has been the new KONEX® material. Special about this synthetic hair is the long, extremely fine and soft tip with an excellent bounce. It is pleasantly elastic and, with good care, also relatively durable compared to other synthetic filaments. For such fine hair, that’s quite astonishing. KONEX® has been developed to obtain perfectly smooth surfaces after painting. No other brush available on the market does this better than the Mesko KONEX®. Due to its unique characteristics and the consistently positive feedback from retail, industry and professionals, they have started to do further testing together with artists. So far, artists like this material a lot and we are optimistic that we will soon be able to present extraordinary new products with KONEX®.