Sunday, April 13, 2014

Brushes: natural vs synthetic.

Brushes have been a much talked about topic on Art Tutor and has many aspects. Here are some extracts of discussion that have occurred. The first one on the natural vs synthetic brushes
  1. Brushes made of natural hair or synthetic filaments or a mix of both. If you are against animal products being used then that is out of the equation. In animal hair Kolinski Sable is the ultimate, each hair has microscopic “barbs” (for lack of a better word) along the strand, that’s why they hold a tremendous amount of water and point beautifully to a needle-like tip. They are also the most expensive. But prices vary from one maker to another. And escalate as the brush size grows bigger.
  2. There is a less expensive variety: Red Sable or from other animal sources like : Squirrel or Mongoose. The squirrel “mops”, the bigger ones can function like a mop but they do point nicely unlike regular mops.
  3. Synthetic filaments have come a long way and some are manufactured to resemble the sable hair structure. They have more “spring” but their water holding capacity will always be less than sable. They can last as long as Sable but you need to take care of them the same way. Sables get damaged when you scrub vigorously with them or use them often to mix bigger quantities of paint. Because we tend to do that with synthetics, knowing they are more rugged, it can shorten their useful life. Don’t throw those away; they are great for painting foliage.
A lot also depends on the way you paint i.e. technique used, support/paper used, a lot of dry brushing or more wet-in-wet etc.
The above was contributed by Jen on AT (aka JAKA)
Next week, I’ll post more about which brushes you need. Feel free to let me know which topic you'd like to see in this blog

Lastly, I don't know how many of you are familiar with Villager Jim ( He is a wonderful photographer and posts some of his photos on Paint My Photo to allow others to use them as inspiration for paintings.  Here is his post for today.

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