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Brush frustration


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I'm not sure if my brush is just junk, or if I'm mistreating it in some way.


My brush is a 5/0 Royal Gold RG 250. That's what's written on the side of it at any rate. I think it came in a pack or 4 for maybe 10 dollars. So it's a pretty cheap brush. My problem is that very quickly the tip curls on me, and the bristles tend to fray out and not hold a good point.


I tend to use paints either straight from the bottle or slightly thinned with water. I use the cheapo craft acrylics - Americana or Delta Ceramcoat brand. I believe that my painting technique is pretty good. I don't "poke" with the brush, I draw it back towards my fingers so that I'm painting with the bristles flowing over the mini as opposed to pushing towards the mini.


Is it just that my brush is cheap junk? Is it that I don't thin my paints enough? A combination of the two?


I'd like to invest in a quality brush but I'm concerned that it's my technique and that I'd just destroy a good brush the way I destroy the cheapo brushes.



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Synthetic hair brushes are really prone to curling at the tip, or getting a little more frayed. I keep them for doing basecoating of large areas, terrain painting, drybrushing and mixing paint.


A natural hair brush, even a cheaper one, will not curl at the end. A good kolinsky sable brush will form a point as sharp as a needle. They can suffer from other problems, such as losing hairs or forking if you get paint stuck in the ferrule, but if you take decent care of it, a natural hair brush should serve you at least a couple of years. (Basic decent care tips - rinse it out well, don't stick it into the paint close to the metal ferrule part, use the cheap synthetic brushes for drybrushing or other tasks where you really have to poke and push the brush around.)


So I'd say it's worth the investment to get at least one and see how you like it. Search on this section of the forum for brushes, brush care, kolinksy and you should find a wealth of threads with suggestions for where to buy good brushes, what brands to buy and how to take care of them.


Note that if you've been using the other kind of brush for a while, a natural hair brush does have a different feel and it can take a little getting used to, but you can do a lot more with them.

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Everything Wren said is good advice.


There are a bunch of things I fought in this hobby even after reading good advice as I tried the "easy way" including cheap brushes from Michael's(local craft store). A few months ago I broke down and bought my first Winsor & Newton Series 7 brush and it seriously improved my results and control over paint application. It is an upfront investment(though not a particularly big one)...but half a year later(with proper cleaning) it still has a beautiful point and is in perfect condition. I would also recommend you pick up(for less than $5) "The Masters: Brush Cleaner & Preserver" soap(available at craft/art stores).


Watering down paints(rather than applying directly from the pot(or dropper), using quality sable brushes and having good light in your painting area...these are all necessities for quality results. Myself, and many others, may have fought some of these old axioms...but in the end we came around. There really are no shortcuts when it comes to good results(or as Jen Haley and Anne Foerster say...no "magic pill"). One thing I can say for certain...your results are only going to be as good as the quality of your brush.


We are all learning and trying to improve...right now I am struggling with NMM's for example. Hang in there and keep plugging away...you came to a good place with your question.

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In addition to what Wren said, I do keep a syntjetic on hand for doing metallic painsts.


I used to use synthetics exclusively. I switched to natural-hair and have had better paint control and better overall results.

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