View Full Version : should I try this

03-20-2013, 10:02 AM
when I saw the thread unusual brush behavior (Little doggies and other nibblers)) it reminded me of when on with a painting this morning ,I had done a grassy patch and wanted to place rough bush in the area,, RE// if you have watched a James Fletcher Watson video he has two brushes in his mouth most of the time and uses, well what can I call it only spit to blur his tree edges and his grassy clumps
and sometimes after dipping in his dirty water he takes of the excess between his lips,,so naturally Alan has to try
hasn't he,, first I could not get the right wetness my mouth was to dry .so I tried the dipping in the water test .but oh it was not to nice at all , james had the paper the right dampness to perfection to get a lovely blurred foreground bush .I wish I could..you never know there may be other fools like me who tried it out there. :lol::lol::lol:

03-20-2013, 10:09 AM
Never in a MILLION YEARS would I put a brush in my mouth!

It brings to memory the days when women in charge of painting luminous numbers on watch dials would sharpen the tip of the brush by putting it in their mouth. The brushes contained "safe" radium paint. SAFE they thought at the time. Guess what they all eventually died of?

Some of our paints aren't safe to start with for internal exposure, I am guess the rest are OK, but WHY risk it.

Beyond that fact, why expose germs and bacteria to your brushes to grow and fester? Blech.

I have older brushes that are frazzled looking for the use of making grass marks etc.

Going back and decyphering your post, I am now reading that he HOLDS them in his mouth while painting.

Nope, I don't do that either. It makes you drool :lol:

03-20-2013, 11:11 AM
I wouldn't recommend it Alan, but I have done it myself :lol:


03-20-2013, 12:58 PM
he did use a mostly earth colours palette ,, he surely did not need iron tablets
he lived to be over ninety,, we can put it down to the happiness and pleasure he got from his art

03-20-2013, 02:15 PM
Alan, ich wollte auch erwähnen, dass der große Meister sehr alt
geworden ist mit dieser Methode - so gesehen können die Farben
oder das Pinselwasser nicht giftig gewesen sein. Vielleicht sollte
ich es auch einmal probieren?

Alan, I wanted to mention that the great master very old can thus
see the colors - with this method become or brush water not have
been poisonous. Perhaps we should I have a go?


Brian Barnes
03-20-2013, 02:20 PM
Not a good idea.;)

Reminds me of the student teacher I once sponsored. The blue felt pen he was using for the overhead projector kept drying out whenever he stopped to talk. To refrain from interrupting his lesson from the back of the room where I was seated I caught his attention by subtly waving and pointing to my tongue. I thought he would understand that I meant he should put saliva on his fingertip to moisten the pen tip. Well, instead of using saliva on his finger to apply to the pen, he put the pen in his mouth. You can imagine how his mouth looked by the end of the lesson. :eek: My evaluation of his presentation that day remained uninfluenced by his misunderstanding my perfectly clear hand signals.:D The kids must have had quite the story to tell at the dinner table that night.:lol:


virgil carter
03-20-2013, 02:29 PM
Paint brushes in mouth? Cadimum, cobalt, and other dangerous natural and synthetic chemicals? Perhaps not so good for one's long term health, even if we can find someone who did it and lived a long life.

Perhaps he sterilized his innards with some daily Scotch?

Sling paint (but no swallowing)!

03-20-2013, 02:44 PM
I have enough problems dealing with the correct pigment/water ratio...now I have to consider saliva? Isn't watercolor a difficult enough medium as it ?

In the interest of full disclosure, I have, on occasion, transferred saliva to my finger tip to smudge a tree edge. But I am careful not to "double-dip." :) :)

03-20-2013, 03:07 PM
NO never done it; I HAVE put the handle end between my teeth a few times...I'm more likely to dip my brush into my tea by accident. :D My cat likes to drink my dirty water though and he's still going strong.:lol:

03-20-2013, 05:25 PM

My father was a professional sign painter, and he knew several painters that licked their brushes. They ALL suffered health problems from it. Paint is such a common household product it's easy to forget how poisonous some of it is; especially when ingested, and even more so when you're talking about small, cumulative doses over a long time period.

03-20-2013, 06:16 PM
My college art professor stressed that we should never put paint brushes in our mouths, just like we should never eat or drink or smoke while painting. He told us stories of artists who liked to do this to shape a good point on the brush, and they wound up developing health problems. It's not worth the risk. If you really want to use spit, you can put some in a bowl to dip in.

M.L. Schaefer
03-20-2013, 06:28 PM
No, Alan, No!!! Please, No! No! You get it, dude? NO! We love you too much to hear or see you even trying such a thing!

Why are there paper towels, towels, old t-shirts, tissue....so many materials to tap your brush to remove excess water, excess paint. I tap my brush so often, it is ridiculous, to remove that excess water after I clean my brush, and very important, excess paint before I place it on my paper.

We really do need a Skull & Crossbones Icon!

I'm thinking many problems caused by using bad habits when dealing with paints, i.e., Van Gogh and other oil painters. They were living a bare bones lifestyle, mixing their own paints. Their art was their thing, not contaminants such as lead!

We have it better in our day, paint is formulated safely, and perfectly safe when used brush and paint to paper. Not brush, mouth, and paint to paper. Besides it being unsafe: ICK! And the ENZYMES in your spit may be not such a good thing for the paint/paper! If THAT doesn't stop you, nothing will.

:heart: Margarete

M.L. Schaefer
03-20-2013, 06:29 PM
Oh, Cathy, More ICK!

Alan, we have all yearned for the perfect split brush...fur painters, landscape painters....And so very difficult to find. All too regular (grainers, so called "hair" brushes, all too difficult to control (fan brushes, but better if you only use the end portions)! I cut down my own (still not perfect, but better). Using a stiffer brush, and pouncing it up and down to remove water. Making individual strokes (aaak!) and softening where you want to soften. Using masking to build up and define areas. Spit to separate? Remember the Enzymes!

:heart: M.

03-20-2013, 07:42 PM
thanks for the chuckle ,it could be an age thing,, I often go in the kitchen to change my water /(no laughing I mean my paint water)brewed my cup a Yorkshire tea .at the same time.. picked up my mug (no tiny cups for Alan)sat at the table dipped in the tea looked at the paper and thought I had dipped in the burnt umber,just wait till you get my age you youngsters,and they still haven't taken you away
,you wont be chuckling then,,

03-20-2013, 10:40 PM
Enzymes in saliva break down starches that we can digest. They can't break down hair or cotton. However, I think there are better, germ-free liquids to put on brushes for special effects - like a bit of extra watercolor medium or aquapasto.

03-21-2013, 10:14 AM
"Perhaps he sterilized his innards with some daily Scotch?"
Gin works......

03-22-2013, 04:44 AM
"Perhaps he sterilized his innards with some daily Scotch?"
Gin works......

Never argue with an expert.........