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idylbrush
07-10-2005, 11:32 AM
I got an e-mail from the kind folks at Escoda. They made an interesting suggestion. They feel that if a brush is not being used for a bit (several days to several months) that a light bit of olive oil worked into the bristles is a good way to help maintain the resilliance of the brush. Interesting idea for sure.

I would imagine that a good wash would be in order before using it again.

jan409
07-10-2005, 01:07 PM
Glad to know this. Some of my brushes do get dry with out use. I will try this idea. Thanks for passing it on. Jan

Artguy29
07-10-2005, 03:12 PM
Sounds interesting...will have to give it a try.

Dave

timelady
07-10-2005, 05:00 PM
Very interesting. I tend to rotate between groups of brushes (because I'm weird and moody and decide I don't like some for a while). So I'll try this!

Tina.

Charlie's Mum
07-10-2005, 06:38 PM
Now that's an interesting tip!
I'll copy it to the tip thread if that's OK with you Howard - thank you.

NodakerDeb
07-10-2005, 07:05 PM
Howard, I hope it works. Several months back I read in the watecolor forum to use cream rinse to keep kolinsky sable brushes nice and hydrated. It made perfect sense so I gave it a try and I pretty much ruined the brushes... can't get them to point worth a darn since. :( I've tried, in vain, to wash them clean enough, but there is a permanent split in all of them. This is why I now use Kolinsky sable brushes with my acrylics. I have to get some use out of them. I haven't gotten around to buy new brushes for watercolors, so any watercolor I use is in conjunction with fluid acrylics now.

Deb

BeeCeeEss
07-10-2005, 09:44 PM
Howard, did the folks at Escoda happen to mention why they recommended olive oil rather than, say, mineral oil? The reason I ask is because any cooking oil will eventually go rancid (and very smelly)--some much faster than others. Food-grade mineral oil does not have this problem. Mineral oil is recommended for treating expensive wooden cutting boards, wooden spoons, spatulas, etc. to keep them in prime condition to prevent drying and cracking. Cooking oils are definitely NOT recommended for this because of their rancidity problems.

Perhaps olive oil just naturally came to mind for the good folks at Escoda because the Spanish and Italians are famous for their superb olive oils. They seem to put it on just about everything! (well, almost) I just wondered if the mineral oil would be as acceptable for treating brushes.

I wonder if this procedure is recommended for watercolor and other water media brushes, however. I would think the oil would be extremely difficult to wash out of the brush before using it for painting again. On the other hand, as a treatment for oil brushes, I think it would be dandy.

Beverly

BeeCeeEss
07-10-2005, 10:01 PM
Howard, I hope it works. Several months back I read in the watecolor forum to use cream rinse to keep kolinsky sable brushes nice and hydrated. It made perfect sense so I gave it a try and I pretty much ruined the brushes... can't get them to point worth a darn since. :( I've tried, in vain, to wash them clean enough, but there is a permanent split in all of them. This is why I now use Kolinsky sable brushes with my acrylics. I have to get some use out of them. I haven't gotten around to buy new brushes for watercolors, so any watercolor I use is in conjunction with fluid acrylics now.

Deb

Deb, that is very disconcerting news. I heard this same tip a few years back from a professional wildlife painter at a local art show. She works exclusively in acrylics, however. I was talking with her about how she managed to get such incredible detail into her paintings, what type of brushes and paints she used, etc. She said she used kolinsky sable brushes exclusively and then told me of this tip using the conditioner to help the paint flow off the (very fine) brushes for detail work. She added that the brushes were very well rinsed before using them with the paints, but she never said anything about having problems afterwards.

If you can use your treated brushes with your acrylic paints but not your watercolors, it must have something to do with the very different working qualities, surface tension, flow release, etc. of the watercolors vs. the acrylic paints. I tried this method on some of my synthetic acrylic brushes after learning about it, but didn't find it any better than using a little bit of flow release with my mixing water before mixing my paints. Since discovering Golden Fluid Acrylics and W&N Finity Acrylics, however, I don't bother with flow release anymore.

Since the kolinsky sable is natural hair, have you tried washing them with one of those clarifying shampoos that is supposed to strip any built up foreign substance from the surface of the hair? Then use some gum arabic or even hand soap to reshape the brush and let it sit for a week or so to try to regain its pointing properties?

There must be some brush experts here on WC who can suggest some ways to recover those precious brushes for watercolor work.

Beverly

NodakerDeb
07-10-2005, 11:44 PM
Hi Bev,

I use the brushes with acrylics now because I tend to paint more abstractively/looser with acrylics and not so tuned into detail. The brushes can't be salavaged at this point (no pun intended :evil: :) ) because the acrylic paint is so hard on sable... they are pretty frayed now.

I agree with you a zillion percent regarding Golden fluid acrylics. Aren't they just dreamy to work with!

Deb

lenbet
07-11-2005, 07:10 AM
I got an e-mail from the kind folks at Escoda. They made an interesting suggestion. They feel that if a brush is not being used for a bit (several days to several months) that a light bit of olive oil worked into the bristles is a good way to help maintain the resilliance of the brush. Interesting idea for sure.

I would imagine that a good wash would be in order before using it again.
Hi Howard, Regarding brush care. I can't tell you what does work, but can comment on what does not work, at least for me. I read that dipping the brush in fabric softener and shaping the brush and lay flat to dry preserved the brush and kept its shape. I bought a gallon and tried it several times only to find it left the bristles stiff and hard to wash out if left to dry. It didn't help the shape any either. Now I rinse the brushes under warm running water, then wash with shampoo, rinse, shape and lay flat to dry. So far so good. I have been using the $3.00 synthetics by Royal for about two months and I think they work as well as my more expensive ones. Hope this helps. Len

BeeCeeEss
07-11-2005, 12:49 PM
I agree with you a zillion percent regarding Golden fluid acrylics. Aren't they just dreamy to work with!

Deb

Absolutely superb! They run the gamut in working techniques from thin, transparent washes that mimic watercolors to opaque applications. If you want them to retain brush strokes, just mix the colors with some heavy bodied gel medium. What's not to love?

Bev