Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I go through brushes like crazy, like they weren't $5-$12 each. For every painting I retire 3 or 4 brushes from regular use. Everyone tells me it's negligence and bad brushes and that's somewhat true. Every job ends with me in a zoned out frenzy, not even thinking to put a brush down to wash out the acrylic crust in the ferrel for an hour or more. I've tried more expensive brushes, but they just fall to the same fate.
I've gotten comfortable with a variety of mid-grade brushes-- synthetics for the bulk work, and sable/synthetic blends for details and faces that require more care and finer glazes. And I've acquired a system of moving brushes down an assembly line of jars, from new to very bad, keeping the bad ones around for dry brushing, scumbling and other distressing techniques. This bunch I have now is about 2 years of brushes. I use the big cheap hog hair hardware store brushes for the gesso underpainting, which give nice texture.
As well as painting bigger, I'm also experimenting with painting on a smoother surface which is less tiring on my hand, and probably better on the brushes.