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Brush types


mchish2
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I have noticed major differences between some types of brushes, like sable, red sable, golden synthetic, silver snythetic. Does anyone know the benifits and draw backs to each type?

 

Example: I have notice the golden synthetic from Model Master is much easier to detail with than their round red sable of the same size. When I look at them the sable seems fluffy and the synthetic pointed. Is this just all in my head or is there really a big difference?

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Use a kolinsky sable (warning, they are expensive) - learn to take care of it.

 

Favs:

Reaper Master Series paint brushes, but not enough sizes offered. (no 2/0)

Winsor & Newton Series 7 brushes (if you can catch them on sale, they are great)

 

Synthetic bristles will develop tip curl and be useless.

 

Sables need to be cared for. Invest in some good brush soap and clean them out after each use. Never let any brush remain in the cleaning water on it's tip. Roll it against the side of the cleaning water jar and then swish around. Pull on a lint free towel (I like the blue shop towels) if there is paint, repeat. Then roll across the soap and scrub the base of the bristles. If paint comes out, rinse and repeat. Leave the last soap in. Pull to a point and let dry horizontally. Then store.

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  • Reaper User

As airhead said, and a bit more:

 

1. Red sable is a cheaper natural hair. Red sables are great for canvas painting but don't hold the sharp point we need in our application of mini-painting. They do tend to get "POOF syndrome", as they aren't crafted as well as the Kolinskys and aren't the right type of hair to hold a precise point.

 

2. Kolinsky Sable (good brands include Reaper Master Series, Winsor&Newton Series 7, DaVinci Maestro) is a very high-quality natural hair, the brush of brushes for miniature-painting. They are softer than a synthetic hair (so they minimize brush strokes), but have excellent springiness and can keep a perfect point for years if you take care of 'em. They do not hook. Me using them 40+ hours per week means I rip through one in about six months. They run from around $10 up to around $18 for the sizes we use.

 

3. Of synthetics, I find that Golden Taklon is potentially the highest quality, but all Golden Taklons are *not* created equal--there are cheaper and more expensive variants on synthetics just as there are in natural hairs. Synthetics have much stiffer hairs than sables and are less flexible, which sometimes leads to problems with leaving brush marks. The chief problem with synthetics is that they tend to POOF (especially the silver-haired Wonder Whites and such--the reason for this is that silver taklon is softer than golden) and they will hook at the tip with any kind of extended use. They're cheap enough that replacing them regularly isn't a big trial, but I'd rather pay my ten bucks and have a perfect brush for six months or more, thanks. :;):

 

--Anne, brush snob ::D:

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I get my W&N Series 7's on sale for under the $10 mark Anne mentioned. Check Jerry's Art O Rama or Dick Blick for some super sales on them.

 

Jerry's sent mine very well packaged, with quick shipping, and all had perfect points.

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Well Everyone else has pretty much said what you need to know. If you need brushes that are nice, but cheap in price because other's might use the brushes or because you are rough on brushes, try Loew-Cornell brand "American Painter" in the beige colored handles. My store sells 10/0 and 18/0 liners and spotters in that brand that work very well for me, and since my Parents also use my brushes, I'm not out anything if they ruin one of them.

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I'll chime in with some beginners experiences with a few brands of Kolinsky brushes and a comment on size. I love DickBlick's site and service. Prices mentioned below are from them. They package stuff well and ship fast.

 

First the size thing:

 

Brushes are sold using a nifty sizing scheme that starts at '0' and goes up and down. There is also a slew of terms for the shape of the tip. Increasingly larger sizes go up from '1' and increasingly smaller go from '0' and down by adding zeros. So below a '0' is '00' aka 2/0, then comes '000' aka 3/0, etc. What that sizing method doesn't tell you is how long are the hairs and the shape of the tip.

 

By and large the shape we use is 'round'. However, round can mean different things.

 

You can easily find 2 Kolinsky round brushes, size 2/0, that will have different lengths to the hairs and even look very different in shape. Some of the longer haired ones have a big 'belly' (part of the brush close to the ferrule) and will consequently hold more paint. A mixed blessing depending on your needs. Others will have a very slim belly and short hairs. These are super detailers, but hold hardly any paint. You HAVE to use Extender or the paint on the brush will be dry before you get to to the mini!

 

It's all in the tip: I can do a better job with a good Kolinsky '0' than I can do with a 5/0 in Red Sable or Golden Taklon.

 

As to brands:

Winsor & Newton Series 7 Miniature line are just dreamy. The size and shape is perfect for mini painting -- not too big, not too small. Around $9 for the usual sizes.

 

Dick Blick has there own line of Kolinsky brushes. The have a Master series with some nicely pointed rounds for about $5 each. I've only been using them a couple months, but they seem to be holding their tips well. They are longer haired than the W&N.

 

Escoda Kolinsky-Tajmyr Pointed Round are very nice for thier price of $5-ish. The belly is fuller than the W&N. I've only had them a little while, but they seem to be holding up well to my beginners clumsy brushing.

 

I look forward to trying the Da Vinci Maestro. They are about the same price as the W&N at around $9 for the usual sizes.

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Im really enjoying my masters touch multi-media brushes that I got from Hobby Lobby. they are a kolinsky sable, come to an excelent point, and the handles are kinda short and fat!! they have held up perfectly under me and im rough on brushes for some reason. I was buying a new testors synthetic brush every time I started a new mini just about and all I did with those was base coating and large areas of highlights like cloaks.

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  • Reaper User
I look forward to trying the Da Vinci Maestro. They are about the same price as the W&N at around $9 for the usual sizes.

I loooooooove the DaVinci Maestros. Reaper Kolinskys (size 5/0) are my everyday "workhorse" brushes, they have a pretty standard shape for a round, but when I want to do a ton of high-detail work, like on a competition piece, I will often turn to either the thinnest of my Reaper 5/0's or my Maestros, because they have more of a Liner shape to 'em. I recommend the size 1 and the size 0. I can do eyeballs with the size 1! ::D:

 

--Anne

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Hmm, speaking of Kolinsky Sables, no one has mentioned Vallejo Kolinskys yet so I thought I would recommend them.

 

Like Anne I paint for 40+ hours a week, big plus there, and have nothing but good things to say for my Vallejo's. Price is another factor here as well, I paid $24.00 for a set of 7 brushes I believe, from size 2 to 4/0 (two #1's). That's less than $4.00 a brush.

 

After about 6 months they are just now starting to show signs of wear. To be absolutely honest with you, I don't take that great of care of them either. I've never used brush soap, just water to clean them and I only chip off the dried paint that gets stuck in the ferrule on a "need to do" basis. Still, the brushes hold their points and remain just as good as the day I got them. Except one of my #1's which got some super glue in it. Even that brush is awesome for mixing paints with!

 

So yeah, Vallejo brushes rock! I also bought some synthetic Armoury rounds for working on terrain with, nice synth. brushes and cheap as well. Not worried about losing a point as they're round. I don't know how one would be expected to paint a miniature with them though. Great for small terrain that you don't want to thrash with a big ol dusty brush, but want to have a clean paintjob.

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Vallejo's are excellent brushes. I had some, but when I get my W&N's Series 7's in, I donated a couple of them to someone who lost their job and couldn't afford anything. Other people helped donate some paint and such, and now she's painting again. ^_^

 

I still have a couple of Vallejo's but I don't use them as much anymore. My husband has some but uses them sparingly.

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I look forward to trying the Da Vinci Maestro. They are about the same price as the W&N at around $9 for the usual sizes.

I loooooooove the DaVinci Maestros. I will often turn to either the thinnest of my Reaper 5/0's or my Maestros, because they have more of a Liner shape to 'em. I recommend the size 1 and the size 0. I can do eyeballs with the size 1! ::D:

 

--Anne

I have several of the excellent Da Vinci Maestro brushes. If you want the long semi liner type the series 10 - "Sharp Rounds" are in that style. The Series 11 Brushes are more in the traditional shape of English brushes with fuller bellies. A Series 10 #3 is the same diameter as the Series 11 #2.

Dakota carries several Series of Da Vinci Maestro Brushes.

DakotaDa Vinci

There are some comparison images of brushes on my site.

TipsBrushes etc

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The thing that makes me avoid getting the expensive high quality brushes (besides my almost complete lack of coordination) is taking care of them. If I get a 20 dollar brush, I dang well want it to last longer then I do. But I don't know how to properly care for them. I am INCREDIBLY hard on my brushes, and would rather dish out 10 bucks for a package of cheap brushes repeatedly rather then on one brush that I'll end up ruining anyways.

So, where can I find some good brush care tutorials?

(alot of work for a simple question, huh?)

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