OK. I think you shouldn't be using the paint brush. Paint brush is a good method for transferring pollen from one blossom to another and useful for open blossoms that need this like melons and squash, apples, strawberries, citruses, etc.
All solanacea -- peppers, tomatoes, eggplants -- have complete blossoms that will pollinate itself. The fused conical structure is called "another cone" and surrounds the stigma which may or may not protrude. When the blossom is jostled (wind, passing animal/bird -- flicking the blossoms with fingers, holding the stem and giving a light shake) and particularly when a bee lands on the blossom and buzzes it, the anther cone will release pollen on the stigma, pollinating it.
Tiny metallic green sweat bees are the "normal" pollinators, but big bumblebees also favor solanacea. Bumblebees will tear the anthercone to reach the base of the blossom -- usually they know what they are doing and will do no harm. I have also seen hummingbirds sipping from extra-tall tomato blossoms at the top of the support and others.
Electric toothbrush -- I prefer the vibrating kind that makes bee-like buzz not the rotating mechanical-sounding ones. $5-$10... look for sale at drugstores like CVS, Walgreens, etc.. Touch the curving flower stem from above/behind the blossom. When backlit with sunlight or supplemental light, you can see the pollen burst in a puff or tumble out of the anther cone in a stream -- that's how much they release pollen when conditions are right. Humidity can result in clumped pollen and poor release.
Bagging blossoms -- peppers are notoriously promiscuous and when the sweatbees are active, they will transfer pollen from one plant to another, cross pollinating and creating hybrids, which ruins the seeds if saved for the SAME variety. "Bagging" means you put sheer bags -- organza wedding favor bags with string closure is often used -- over unopened flower buds to exclude the bees and hand pollinate, bagging again until fruit set, plucking other flowerbuds in the cluster before they open, tagging the "bagged/ensured pure" fruit stem and removing the bag. (You can leave the bag on if big enough --or replace with bigger bag-- to contain the fruit. This protects them from other, fruit damaging pests)
I asked about bagging -- in case you didn't know to do this for saving seeds and because small bags can create hot and humid conditions inside them and can result in straight blossom drop or prevent proper pollination in summer heat.
Also, The artists paintbrush may actually be damaging the protruding stigma -- pepper stigmas are described as "more delicate than tomato's" by breeders and they say damage easily when they are intensionally crossing peppers.
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