Sunday, January 20, 2013

My addiction...

I'm addicted... to paint brushes. I must have at least 250 paint brushes in my studio. And I'm constantly buying more. I can't pass up a sale at Michael's or any other art supply store without walking out with at least half a dozen. I know I shouldn't. I know I don't need them. But it's just... so... hard... to say no.

I do use a lot of brushes when I paint, tho, in my defense. On a typical day, I may use 30 or more. I have this OCD thing about using a brush to paint one color, and then cleaning it and putting it to the side to dry. Then, for the next color to paint, I'll grab a new, clean brush and follow the same pattern. Paint, clean, dry, next brush. Even if I have to go back to a color that I've already used - clean brush.

Not sure why, or where, I picked up this habit. But it's something that I've been doing for as long as I can remember. I guess it's not the worst habit in the world (at least, it's not when you have so many brushes at your disposal) but it can be a little annoying. If I don't have any brushes left in the correct size, for instance, I get kind of mad. But regardless, I won't let myself take any 'wet' brushes out of the Rancor's mouth to reuse them, until the next day (see pic below for explanation on that one).

This is basically how I start my day, every day... taking all the brushes out of the Rancor's mouth, and putting them in my brush caddy where they belong. They are all separated by size and brand. After I use each one, I clean it with water until all the paint is gone. Then, I use "The Master's Brush Cleaner and Conditioner" on each one, get the tip back to a nice fine point, but the small clear plastic guard on the end, and put them in the Rancor's mouth, bristle side down (this allows water to run out of the brush, and prevents water from going down into the ferrule, which can break down the glue that holds the bristles together).

I prefer natural hair brushes over synthetics, because the natural hair brushes will hold their points better, and longer. I seem to get that little tip curl on all of my synthetic brushes after a month or so. My natural hair brushes, preferably red sable, will last forever. I've got some brushes in my caddy that are at least 10 years old, maybe even older than that. Take care of your equipment and it will take care of you.

I prefer well made (which often equals more expensive) brushes over cheaper ones. My all time favorites are probably the Winsor and Newton Series 7 brushes. I have quite a plethora of these in assorted sizes. They are always the first ones to get used daily.

This is what my current "daily" rotation looks like... these are the most common, and most used, of my brushes. Sadly, I have 2 or 3 small containers that contain brushes sitting on my shelves and I often need to dive into those to get more brushes of certain sizes, depending on what I'm painting that day.

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