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New brush question - Blick Masterstroke series


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So in my quest for brushes, I was out at Dick Blick a few weeks ago and asked them what their best sable brushes were and they said their Masterstroke series. So I picked on up and haven't yet gotting around to using it yet, as I'm still working with my new Winsor brushes (I've actually been painting mostly with the 1 and 2 except for when I did some eyes and I used the 0). So anyhoos, I picked up a number 4 round, which is about size of a Winsor 1. Has anybody tried these and do they last? Biggest question as to why I'm asking is because they told me they came with lifetime guarantees, and if it stopped working to take it back for a new one. It only ended up costing me about five dollars and some cents, don't remember exactly. The only thing I didn't like is that the brush handle is a little longer than the Winsor ones.

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Well you can't beat the price on those...along with a guarantee in case you get a bad brush...consider me sold.

 

I'll buy a few in a week and give them a run around here and let you know what I think of them. For that price even if they're terrible I can still justify buying them for basework and whatnot. I read the reviews and most people say they love 'em but a few have said they got bad brushes where they didn't last that long, but Dickblick responded and said they'd replace any like that, so why not.

 

Regarding the long handles, just saw through them to the desired length, then sand down the tip and paint it black with some enamel. It's what I do to my series 7.

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Do they sell these at the web site or just in stores? I checked the web site and the Masterstroke red sable series did not say they had a lifetime guarantee. The Master Kolinsky sable series do have a lifetime guarantee, but cost about the same as other Kolinsky sables.

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Hi Darkstar,

 

I thought about chopping down the handle, but one of the things they mentioned was not to bring in a "broken by abuse" brush to be replaced, so I'm not going to do that, at least yet. Pretty soon I'll get around to using it, but I just got a hold of some bigger Winsor brushes I'm playing with right now.

 

Hi Serenity,

 

I don't know if they sell them on line or not, or mention the lifetime guarantee. I just went to our local Dick Blick here in Omah, and got told they were the best sable brushes they carried and they had a lifetime warranty. I'd hope not to have to take it back, but if I ever do, I'll let you know how it goes!

 

Mark

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FWIW, several years ago when I was testing out sable brushes I picked up some of the Dick Blick "Master" (red sable) and "Masterstroke" (kolinsky) brushes. They were roughly on par with the Vallejo kolinksy brushes I was using at the time. However, they did not last as long, even with proper brush care. They splayed and lost more hairs than Vallejos of comparable use. The point was not nearly as sharp as a high end sable, either, like W&N, Da Vinci or Raphael.

 

They are a cheaper alternative, though, and will work for a while. I'd still recommend stepping up to a better brush when you feel the need to do detail work or fancy techniques.

 

Later,

Laszlo

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Well even after Laszlo's less than glowing review, (good info just the kind I like to know about brushes) I decided to buy one anyway with my last order from them. I need a new "dirty work" brush that I'm not afraid to put to task anyway, bought a size 2 should be good for basecoating large areas and washing groundwork and such, but still have a little precision while doing so. I'll update here once I've got the brush and have given it some work to do.

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I just got those last month. I've used them about six times, and I can't say what they'll be like in a year, but they're as good as any higher end kolinsky sable, at a good price. They keep a good point, there's no straggly bristles, and the long handles don't bother me. They're well put together. I got them in 0, 1, and 2 size, and while I'm used to using 0 size, that's the one I haven't even picked up yet. The 2 keeps such a good point, that's what I use the most.

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Sorry to Necro this thread but I was thinking trying these brushes out.  I'm lucky enough to have a Block Art Supplies near me so I bought one.  I wasn't sur impressed.  As soon as I get it wet it loses its tip and splays out.  I'm thinking I might have a defective one.

 

Did you order yours online?  The selection as the store didn't look well kept and had probably been manhandled by many customers.

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Up until now I've been using Princeton Velvetouch brushes for my day to day stuff.  I have a couple of Rosemary & Co Series 33 I only use for detailed things like eyes.  I was thinking of replacing the Velvetouches with the Masterstroke ones.  I know they aren't  Kolinsky Sable but they should be a step up from the synthentic Velvetouchs I've been using.

 

The reason I asked about them is because I bought one in store.  When I bought it it had the plastic protective tube and looked to have a really nice point and a fat belly which had me all kind of happy to try it out.  But as soon as I got it wet the strands splayed out.  I was able to form a point again but the second I touched the paint it splayed out again.  This doesn't seem typical from what I've been reading so I'm wondering if I just got a bad brush.  This was all a few months ago. I washed it well with some Masters soap and left some suds on to dry and condition it (I made a  nice point on it and let it try that way).  It seems OK now.

 

I stopped at the store yesterday and they didn't  have much of a selection.  Plus they all looked like they have been abused by customers handling them so I was thinking of buying them online.

 

Have you ever run into this kind of crazy with these brushes before?  

 

 

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I would not be surprised if it has been abused in the stores.  

 

A lot of customers are inconsiderate ...  ...  that should never be allowed near delicate things such as brushes.   

They think it's OK to remove the protector and mash it about. It's not OK.  

Getting the protector back onto a dry brush without damaging hairs is not always easy, and it requires a more delicate touch than what I've seen such brutes display. 

Some remove the protector and 'gently' stroke it over their hand or something, as if they can feel the quality...   

You can't. Not without a lot more practice. A brush doesn't really show its quality before it gets wet.   

 

I wouldn't even consider looking at 'good' brushes in a store unless the brushes are kept at or behind the counter. 

 

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