Posts Tagged ‘Winsor & Newton’

BrushesI was looking at the brush in my hand the other day and I realized how rough I am sometimes on my brushes.  It was a natural bristle brush that was new just a few weeks ago, when it looked like the brush to the far left in the photo.

Over those few weeks, I caressed paint on to canvas.  I also pushed paint into the canvas.  I ground the paint against the canvas, using a lot of force, to almost burnish the surface.  I stroked.  I poked.  And when I looked down the brush had turned into that poor guy shown second from the left.

I can be rough on my brushes.

For my normal wet technique I use a natural hair squirrel mop like the two shown on the right.  It’s a big, soft brush that holds a lot of paint and is a staple in my studio.  The brush on the left is new and the one on the right is obviously not.  This erosion of the bristles shown here represents about 6 or 7 months of use.

Hard use.

I like the way the bristles whittled themselves down to the angle my hand takes when I normally strike the painting surface.  Unfortunately, it has eroded to a point where its capacity to hold paint makes it a hindrance to my technique.  So he is put aside and maybe I will find a use for him at some point, so I keep him with my other spent brushes.  I could never throw such  loyal workers to the trash heap.

I have amassed quite a number of brushes, both well used and brand new, over the years.  I have tiny detail brushes that I go through quickly.  I have  some cheapy brushes that work perfectly well for certain techniques.  I have some of my favorite medium priced brushes that I have stockpiled because they’re no longer made.  I also have some pretty expensive brushes.  I have a set of beautiful Winsor & Newton Series 7  brushes that are handmade with soft, luxurious Kolinsky sable.  I’ve had them for about 13 years and have only used one or two of them for a few minutes.  They’re lovely in the hand but I never felt comfortable with them and just wouldn’t feel right grinding them roughly into the surface.

So they sit and wait for a day when I’m ready to put them in the game.

Maybe today?  Maybe… but probably not.

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