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View Full Version : hello! new here, need a spot of help!


chrisss
07-16-2008, 06:19 PM
this is something that has been plaguing me for a while now, i just bought some rather expensive acrylic/oil brushes, but am drastically frightened of painting with them because theyre so hard and perfectly shaped!
how on earth do i break them in? because, clearly, im not going to be able to make the most of the flexibility in them whilst they have this stiffness in them, i bought some watercolour brushes a while ago and ruined some of them because as soon as a painted with them they sort of snapped and now theyre all flayed and horrible!

thanks so much if you can help me!
Chris

Rose Queen
07-16-2008, 06:40 PM
I've copied your post over to the Acrylics forum so they can help you out!



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Bizkit
07-16-2008, 06:46 PM
Not sure what type of brushes you bought but they usually soften up as soon as you dip them in some water...shouldnt really be a big problem. With brushes you pretty much get what you pay for, you buy cheap brushes they dont last very long, splay, loose bristels, etc.. I would stick with at least a medium grade brush for starters and you can expand your collection as time goes by. In doing this you'll also find out what brushes you like and what you do not like..

~~Kathleen
07-16-2008, 08:43 PM
You might want to read this!
While it is from Windsor & Newton, it applies to all acrylic brushes.
The section re Acrylic brushes is toward the bottom of the page.

http://www.winsornewton.com/products/brushes/care-and-cleaning-of-brushes/#acrylic

I have used expensive brushes and cheap brushes.
Some are wonderful some not, I think it just depends.
The one thing to remember, is never ever leave your brushes standing brush end down in water, and always smooth them out between your fingertips after they have been washed, and lay them flat to dry!
~~Kathleen

Bizkit
07-16-2008, 10:43 PM
You might want to read this!
While it is from Windsor & Newton, it applies to all acrylic brushes.
The section re Acrylic brushes is toward the bottom of the page.

http://www.winsornewton.com/products/brushes/care-and-cleaning-of-brushes/#acrylic

I have used expensive brushes and cheap brushes.
Some are wonderful some not, I think it just depends.
The one thing to remember, is never ever leave your brushes standing brush end down in water, and always smooth them out between your fingertips after they have been washed, and lay them flat to dry!
~~Kathleen

I second that statment about not leaving em end down in the water:thumbsup: Im particularly HORRIBLE about that..and it gets expensive after a while.

Lulu
07-17-2008, 04:16 AM
And I third it as well! but I do it again and again.................

George Servais
07-17-2008, 11:25 AM
Hard? Stiff? Perfectly shaped? Yep, new brushes should be that way because they are loaded with a sizing material to protect them. Wash them out with warm,NOT HOT, soapy water before you attempt to use them.

BeeCeeEss
07-17-2008, 02:48 PM
Yes, indeed, that does sound like the sizing is still in the brushes. If you forcefully bend them when they are that stiff, you can actually break off the hairs or bristles! They need a little gentle soak and TLC.

When I wash the sizing out of new brushes, I run some tepid water into a large bowl and dip the brush into the water just enough to cover the hairs/bristles (but try not to let the water go up past the other end of the ferrule). Then I begin to gently squeeze the hairs or bristles between my fingers to slowly and carefully begin to loosen up the hard sizing. Never squeeze them too hard at this stage. As the bristles begin to separate, I can work them a bit more vigorously until they are completely separated and flexible. Then I wash them out thoroughly with some very mild soap and give them a good rinse. Squeeze the excess water out of them and shape the bristles/hairs with your fingers. Then lay them flat to dry (or begin to use them with your acrylics!).

As others have mentioned, don't use hot water to clean your brushes because it can excessively soften the hairs and they are more likely to be damaged.

Beverly

chrisss
07-20-2008, 06:26 AM
thanks for all the help! i know what i need to do now, and i definetely know where i went wrong last time!

frodron
07-20-2008, 12:14 PM
Several people have pointed out that you should not to leave brushes standing,on their bristles, so I just thought you might like to try this trick.
When painting with acrylics, I have a shallow bowl about 8" x 3" X 1 1/2" deep, partially filled with water & when I have finished using a brush for a period, I wipe the brush as clean as I can then lay it on an slight angle by resting the handle on the edge of the bowl with the bristles totally covered by the water.
You can leave them like this for days with the exception of small brushes & riggers as these tend to get their bristles bent when left for any length of time. These can be laid down flat in a bowl with the water just covering the bristles.
When you want to use them again just wipe them dry & off you go.

halthepainter
07-20-2008, 12:51 PM
Hi Chris: I'm going to be slightly off subject. I buy my brushes in bulk, when on sale, from Art supply Warehouse, Jerry's Artrama, or Dick Blick. These three companies often have very good online sales. I also paint in acrylic and oils. For acrylic paintings, depending on technique I'm using for a painting, I'll use bristle brushes, synthetics, or synthetic watercolor brushes.
A friend who earns a good living as an oil painter, buys cheap brushes, nothing bigger than a number 8. She really scrubs her oils into the canvas so the brushes don't last very long. Then she just tosses them. I think she uses synthetics. I don't remember which impressionist artist it was, but he had gone out to do a plein air painting and realized that he had forgotten his brushes. He cut some twigs, smashed the ends and proceded to paint. As far as I know his painting was satisfactory. I guess the message is don't fall in love with a particular brush. (although I do have a couple watercolor brushes I take really good care of)