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brisingre

What should I buy for Paintbrushes?

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My bones are supposed to get here any day now, and the brushes I bought at the Reaper booth at PAX are starting to fray a little bit.

I've seen a recommendation that I pick up a few Kolinsky Sable brushes for mainline work and a few "White Sable" brushes for blending/drybrushing, but I'm shopping for them on Dick Blick, and there are a dozen brands and half a dozen different shapes and it's all very intimidating. What brushes should I buy? Is there anything else I'm going to need?

For reference, I have almost no experience. I've been teaching myself on a handful of Bones since PAX, but I have no training, and my brush control is pretty bad.

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There are a few different brands that people seem to mention most often (Windsor & Newton, DaVinci, and Rafael iirc). I found that of those most people that I saw mention what they use mentioned the W&N Series 7 #0 and #2, with many using a #1 also. This is not to be confused with the much shorter bristles of the Series 7 Minature brushes.

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this is discussed in detail elsewhere, but here is the basic run down. Winsor and newton Series 7 Kolinsky, are the general recommendation of most, but there are a few other quality brands, such as Da vinci and Raphael that also come highly recommended. You will also want 'The Masters" brush soap and/or pink soap for cleaning the brushes. something you will want to do religiously with these brushes to keep them in tip top shape for a long long time

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While everyone one is pointing you to the Ferrari brushes, don't forget to keep a Chevy or two around. You don't want to go jamming that $15 brush into crevices.

very true. My LTPK brushes are what I use for that (and loaner brushes for friends/my almost 3 year old).

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Except for specialized uses like drybrushing, a pointed round is what you want, as you've seen. A nice thing about a good sable brush like the W&N S7 is you can shape the point a bit so it can be round as intended or flattened out when you need to use the edge more than the point.

 

You want to avoid going over really rough surfaces with it, and it is better not to use it with primer* or inks which can be harder on a brush than acrylic paint. It is a good idea to get in the habit of frequent rinsing so that paint is less likely to build up on the hairs or inside the ferrule. When doing detail work, it is also easier to use paint that has not been sitting on the brush too long.

 

If much paint gets into the ferrule, you'll need to clean it out to get the point back in shape. A liquid brush cleaner like W&N Brush Cleaner & Restorer is good for that. If you rinse frequently, you won't need to use this very often at all.

 

You can use an old synthetic or sable brush for drybrushing, or just a cheap brush otherwise. Something with shorter hairs is often better since you can get the paint closer to where you want it even with the hairs fanned out like they usually are when you drybrush. You can cut the hairs to a shorter length if need be.

 

If you're just getting into mini painting, there are two articles on supplies to consider buying in The Craft:

A Beginning Mini Painter's Shopping List

A Beginning Mini Painter's Shopping List, Part 2

 

ETA: *I admit I've used mine for primer touch ups, but not for general priming.

Edited by Serenity
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A couple of the W&N brushes should last quite a while if you save them for fine work. For doing most gruntwork including basecoats, a cheap synthetic will be just fine. You will go through them a little faster but they are least cheaper. I have about a half dozen sable brushes of various sizes that I am very careful with. No jamming into cracks, no dipping in ink, using only with thinned paint and rinsing frequently.

 

Then there are the synthetics. Last time I checked there were about 30-40 of them in varying sizes and grouped into abuse levels. The really bad ones are for white glue or liquid greenstuff. The fairly bad are used to drybrush and slap paint on scenery. The decent ones do the majority of work, including basecoats, blocking in large areas of shadow and highlight, etc.

 

As a result the current sable brushes have been in service for about 4 years now. At one time I was using larger sable brushes to basecoat thinking it might help but I didn't see any difference in results so I went back to synthetics. Using sable for the details and layering DID make a big difference.

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I use the really bad brushes for stippling textures. The splay of the hairs is actually an asset there.

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I have found the Reaper Master Series Kolinskys to be pretty comparable to the W&N S7 brushes. I routinely use a RMS #1 for just about all the painting I do on a miniature. The S7M and the Da Vinci Restauro are both good brushes, but they have shorter bristles. Some like that, some don't.

 

All the above advice is good. I also found the following article to be helpful when I was trying to figure this out.

 

http://www.paintrix-miniatures.com/articles.php?&art=8&page=1

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