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Let's talk about paint brushes


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Are "these good ones"?   No. They're all mediocre brushes at best.   Good brushes are made of Kolinsky Sable, by a very few manufacturers: Winsor & Newton, Raphael, da Vinci, and arguably a co

Nothing to add other than what Cash says, "Life is too short for cheap brushes!"   I also like sizes 1 & 2 for both W&N and Raphael.

There are many things that pull individuals towards one type of brush over another.  Some of this has to do with style, preference on hair length but mostly with the way one paints.   The benefits o

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Just use it Mori!!!

I use my good ones for everything. I use my bigger raphael for base coating (I do multiple thin layers) and then smaller for the rest. I used to use cheaper brushes for some parts then slowly ended up using my good ones for everything.

So far I haven't killed any brushes (other than they got really old and very used after a while) and they get a lot of work. It's also maintence, you need to use good brush cleaner (show in this thread) and that keeps them conditioned, so the point stays sharp.

 

You just need to figure out what works for you. But if you don't use them you will never know :)

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Depending on the type of fancy brush you use and how much it costs to replace, it may or may not be worth it to baby the brush. I'm a fan of Rosemary and Co., and those Series 22 brushes are both fantastic (IMO) and fairly cheap, so I will (carefully!) poke them into crevices and the like. They still last me 4-6 months and at under $10 a pop, it's not the end of the world if I wreck one. The calculus probably changes if you're a fan of Series 7s.

 

Just don't prime or seal with them, that stuff can really murder sable, and it's not a bad idea to use a different brush for metallic pigments as well. When cleaning up use some brush soap to clean them out, and maybe leave a little in the tip of the brush so the brush doesn't go all frizzy on you.

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I know good brushes and cleaner help, but I've been hesitant to use the W&N S7 I got for Christmas because I'm pretty sure I'm holding the brush wrong or something. Don't wanna ruin it like I'm ruining my cheapos D:

 

Just use it Mori.  If you want because you are still unsure, grab me at PAX South and make me watch you use the brush (and clean if afterwards).

 

Ron

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I finally used one of my "good" brushes for painting, detailing,  shading metallics.  daVinci Maestro size 0 and it's  better than the other lesser quality synthetic brushes I would use before I said "elf it" this kolinsky is 7 years old and finally starting to die, so it'll go out laying metallic paint. :devil:   It should last longer than the synthetics if I take proper care of it, of course.

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I finally used one of my "good" brushes for painting, detailing,  shading metallics.  daVinci Maestro size 0 and it's  better than the other lesser quality synthetic brushes I would use before I said "elf it" this kolinsky is 7 years old and finally starting to die, so it'll go out laying metallic paint. :devil:   It should last longer than the synthetics if I take proper care of it, of course.

I have been using my kolinskys for metallics the entire time that I have had them. I make sure that I rinse them well, and use brush soap on them often, and have seen no deterioration of them at all as far as I know.

I got them at the end of August last year...

So It has been about 6 months of daily use....

 

For what it is worth....

 

George

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My Davinci and Winsor & Newton arrived and I am suitably impressed.  I have been trying to be careful with them, but I have used some metallic paints.

 

In any case, I'm convinced that it's worth having a good brush for the primary work, and also, definitely worth keeping the junk brushes around for base coats, primer, sealer, etc... 

 

I definitely still want to try the Rosemary & Co. 

 

It's amazing to me that the size 1 and 2 quality brushes were as good at getting precise paint placement as the 0 from my junk set. I am still not good at eyes, but the one mini with a face that I finished so far with the new brushes has some of the best eyes I've ever done (not saying much!) and I think it's mostly due to the brush having enough of a point and carrying the right amount of paint more easily.  

 

I am still lacking confidence in my use of the brush cleaner, but I am using it and hopefully I'll get to the point where I am sure I'm helping the brush and not afraid I'm inadvertently hurting it. :)  I've never used a cleaner before, only ever rinsed in plain water.  

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My Davinci and Winsor & Newton arrived and I am suitably impressed.  I have been trying to be careful with them, but I have used some metallic paints.

 

In any case, I'm convinced that it's worth having a good brush for the primary work, and also, definitely worth keeping the junk brushes around for base coats, primer, sealer, etc... 

 

I definitely still want to try the Rosemary & Co. 

 

It's amazing to me that the size 1 and 2 quality brushes were as good at getting precise paint placement as the 0 from my junk set. I am still not good at eyes, but the one mini with a face that I finished so far with the new brushes has some of the best eyes I've ever done (not saying much!) and I think it's mostly due to the brush having enough of a point and carrying the right amount of paint more easily.  

 

I am still lacking confidence in my use of the brush cleaner, but I am using it and hopefully I'll get to the point where I am sure I'm helping the brush and not afraid I'm inadvertently hurting it. :)  I've never used a cleaner before, only ever rinsed in plain water.  

Don't worry about using the brush cleaner, do what everyone else does, practice first!

Take one of your old brushes,009_1.jpg

swirl it around in clean water,010_1.jpg

swirl it around on the surface of the soap,011_1.jpg

and then swirl the brush around on your off palm until you get a sudsy mass.012_1.jpg013_3.jpg

If there is no hint of paint in it, rinse the brush in the clean water,014_2.jpg

and then drag it across your palm while spinning the brush to bring the bristles to a point.015_2.jpg

The results, as demonstrated by my Paint Minion, Alsnia:

016_2.jpg

 

Now, I have a ton of old brushes:001_10.jpg 002_8.jpg

Those are all brushes I don't use anymore.

These are some that I use for base coating, moving paint to the palette, etc 004_7.jpg

This is a pack of flat brushes that I bought at Michael's for about $6 or so005_6.jpgThey are used for dry brushing as a rule.

These are older brushes that I use when I need a crap brush for something006_6.jpg Most of them are also flats...

And these are my good brushes:

008_1.jpg

If you look at the pic of the brushes on the paper towel, the red brush under the pipe cleaner, next to the green brush, is the one that Alsnia, my 13 year old daughter, cleaned in the demo.

Not a bad point for a crap brush after cleaning....

 

Hope this encourages you to clean your brushes!

 

George and Alsnia

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I know good brushes and cleaner help, but I've been hesitant to use the W&N S7 I got for Christmas because I'm pretty sure I'm holding the brush wrong or something. Don't wanna ruin it like I'm ruining my cheapos D:

 

Just use it Mori.  If you want because you are still unsure, grab me at PAX South and make me watch you use the brush (and clean if afterwards).

 

Ron

 

 

That would be greatly appreciated! I'm making sure to rinse my brush on the side of the cup, not the bottom, and I'm not letting them rest in the water. When I was painting my cheetah girl this past weekend, I tried really hard to remember to switch to my other brush for the base coat and for getting in the cracks. I tried to be super gentle when painting her spots, too. 

 

When my W&N7 brush wasn't super wet, it still started to splay out though. A very neat splay, it was kind of silly, really. I'll take a photo during lunch today. The only way I could fix it was rinsing the brush out, not drying it, and gently smooshing it sideways against my hand or the parchment paper to reform the point. I could put more paint on for a bit before it happened again.

 

 

 

My Davinci and Winsor & Newton arrived and I am suitably impressed.  I have been trying to be careful with them, but I have used some metallic paints.

 

In any case, I'm convinced that it's worth having a good brush for the primary work, and also, definitely worth keeping the junk brushes around for base coats, primer, sealer, etc... 

 

I definitely still want to try the Rosemary & Co. 

 

It's amazing to me that the size 1 and 2 quality brushes were as good at getting precise paint placement as the 0 from my junk set. I am still not good at eyes, but the one mini with a face that I finished so far with the new brushes has some of the best eyes I've ever done (not saying much!) and I think it's mostly due to the brush having enough of a point and carrying the right amount of paint more easily.  

 

I am still lacking confidence in my use of the brush cleaner, but I am using it and hopefully I'll get to the point where I am sure I'm helping the brush and not afraid I'm inadvertently hurting it. :)  I've never used a cleaner before, only ever rinsed in plain water.  

Don't worry about using the brush cleaner, do what everyone else does, practice first!

 

 

<snippy>

 

Hope this encourages you to clean your brushes!

 

George and Alsnia

 

 

Okay, I'm at least cleaning them decently. I've been using running water and only pressing the bristles in the same direction when cleaning with the soap because I'm so paranoid, haha. All of those pictures really help! ::):

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Mori, my W&N brush likes to split into two after even gentle use, it was the first kolinsky brush I bought and I didn't really know what I was doing. I've since bought a few more brushes, Rosemary & Co plus one daVinci. The W&N is the only one with this behavior, ergo I think it's a dud. I now use it for base coating since it's still better at that than a lesser brush. I use my kolinsky brushes for everything except priming and dry-brushing and they still seem to be as good as new.

 

Seriously, Rosemarey & Co. brushes are currently running about $5 each with the exchange rate, and if you order several the shipping costs are negligible. I've got an order for 7 brushes I've been meaning to put in and it's going to cost me $45. I know that different people have different budgets, but that works out to a brush costing the same as two bottles of paint. Money well spent!!

 

EDIT: Hmmm... I think the exchange rate just dipped, the brushes are all $6 now. Still, $15 for a brush is more than you need to pay if you have a budget. ^_^

Edited by LittleBluberry
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Okay, I'm at least cleaning them decently. I've been using running water and only pressing the bristles in the same direction when cleaning with the soap because I'm so paranoid, haha. All of those pictures really help! ::):

 

Glad they Helped!

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