Tuesday, October 26, 2010
New Brushes, Nothing Like It
Yesterday it was time for a treat. New brushes. Four new bristle flats. Although I did break out a $3 #12 a while ago in my plein air kit, these were four good Manets (French) that I am using in the studio. Under controlled conditions I could really pay attention to them. Beautiful!
#6 through #14, All Hogs
You have to understand that I have never thrown a brush out. I even have a #1 with no bristles left on it. You never know when you'll need that specially worn ragged brush. Sometimes the older and more ragged the better.
The new brushes feel great. Suddenly you have (or think you have) control. They do precisely what you want. Crisp edges, chunk patterns, corners, sides, ends, all distinct.
How long do they last? It depends. For me painting on canvas 50% of the time just about daily, it doesn't take long to break a new brush in and then relegate it to the "used" coffee can. I keep a separate set in my plein air bag. For a #6 that takes about 3 weeks, a #8, maybe 4 weeks, a #10 5 weeks, and a #14 2 months. I use the large brush a great deal along with a similarly sized long filbert. The smaller brushes fill in as required. The #6 I use to draw when the painting is complex to deviate from massing in. Lots of brushes. I pick up a few each time I hit an art supply store carrying the makes I prefer. It is great to have a set or two in reserve just to perk you up.
I like the flats and long filberts for a few reasons. First, they hold a good load of paint. The longer bristles are conducive to calligraphic strokes. They wear down to brights and short filberts which are good for shovelling paint. I like both Escoda and Manet filberts.