The artist and the brush

Posted by: AnneDalton

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Dear fellow artist, Some of you may be bewildered by the huge amount of brushes on offer for almost every type of arwork.   However, over the years, I realized that I do not need a huge box of expensive brushes, even though I work in watercolours, line and wash, oils and acrylics.

 Many  of the large sets of brushes that we see advertised are extremely costly and indeed unless you wish to treat yourself (or be treated....) to such a set, think again.   Do you really need all these brushes?   Will you every use all of them?    Are they suited to the work you actually execute?   

It is lovely, of course, to have a couple of sable brushes, with which to create fine strokes and achieve a delicate finish, particularly if you are a watercolourist.    But if you are given to broad sweeps of colour or washes, a cheaper substitute in acrylic will probably do exactly what you want!

I have a couple of firm favourites.     One is a sable Rigger brush which I use to achieve very fine, long strokes of colour,   An other is a shaped acrylic brush   (size 12)  which holds a lot of water at its base and, the desired colour at its tip.    I have several (nylon and ponyhair)  shaped brushes (size 3): two squirrel-hair brushes, one a size 4 the other a size 7: a couple of synthetic chisel headed brushes ( size 10) and one-extra soft 50mm (two inches) wide, household paint brush that I sometimes use when creating washes.         These brushes are used for my watercolours, my acrylic paintings and occasionally (for brushing in) oil paintings.    However, for the most part,my oil paintings are worked in with appropriate oil painting brushes and a palette knife.

And I look after my brushes!   After each session, they are carefully cleaned as required and allowed to dry and then placed, lengthwise,  in a special wooden box , then laid flat until the next time I require them.  

  Keep  painting.   Regards, Anne.

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