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Old 09-18-2017, 08:45 PM
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Any thoughts on what this 3" mystery brush is and what it would be good for?

This is my first post - I hope it's in the right place!

My dad gave me this M. Grumbacher 3634 brush that was with his house-painting brushes...but I have a feeling it's more of an art brush. It's 3 inches wide and stamped "M. Grumbacher N.Y. 3634". I think it might be ox hair? The bristles are very dense and quite stiff.



I did some online research and it seems like it would be good for priming a canvas with gesso. But I was curious if anyone has seen this particular brush, or knows what this type of brush is called, what kind of hair it is, any tips for me on how to put it to good use.
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Old 09-19-2017, 09:34 AM
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Re: Any thoughts on what this 3" mystery brush is and what it would be good for?

You could try to ask Grumbacher.
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Old 09-19-2017, 11:05 AM
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Re: Any thoughts on what this 3" mystery brush is and what it would be good for?

Possibly badger hair? I have a smaller one that resembles this.
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Old 09-21-2017, 02:49 PM
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Re: Any thoughts on what this 3" mystery brush is and what it would be good for?

Kay - I just googled badger hair paint brush and you're right, that really does look like what I have! It sounds like those brushes are good for applying varnish... I know yours is smaller, but have you found a good use for it in your paintings?
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Old 09-21-2017, 02:55 PM
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Re: Any thoughts on what this 3" mystery brush is and what it would be good for?

Greg - good idea! I just emailed them to see if they can help
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Old 09-22-2017, 10:36 AM
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Re: Any thoughts on what this 3" mystery brush is and what it would be good for?

Yes, Amy, it is for soft blending with oils. The woman who cleans my studio did use it once for some fine dusting she was doing...guess it worked okay for her, too.
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Old 09-22-2017, 03:14 PM
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Re: Any thoughts on what this 3" mystery brush is and what it would be good for?

I heard back from Grumbacher and it is indeed made with badger. Here's what they said:

"The brush you referenced below is a Badger Mottler used to produce Classic Decorative Finishes. This one in particular was probably used for blending or producing appearance of certain wood grains. This brush was discontinued in the early 1990’s."

I'm not sure yet how I'll use it since I don't use oils or want to do decorative finishes. I might be able to get some good blending with acrylics or in mixed media projects.
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Old 09-29-2017, 12:52 AM
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Re: Any thoughts on what this 3" mystery brush is and what it would be good for?

I have its 1" little brother call "The Skipper", designed as a water color brush for Skip Lawrence and sold by Cheap Joe's. I was not skillful enough to use it as that. So, I used it to apply textured gesso to various hardboards. Gary



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Old 10-03-2017, 03:08 PM
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Re: Any thoughts on what this 3" mystery brush is and what it would be good for?

Gary - I like the idea of using this brush for gesso! I've considered doing a watercolor wash with it, but I think it would suck up about $8 worth of paint lol

It could be cool to do some big splotches of acrylic over the gesso and explore some mixed media projects with it.
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Old 10-11-2017, 05:21 AM
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Re: Any thoughts on what this 3" mystery brush is and what it would be good for?

Tell us what you find it fun to use for!
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Old 10-22-2017, 11:28 PM
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Re: Any thoughts on what this 3" mystery brush is and what it would be good for?

I just discovered something I love using this big 'ole brush for! I'm doing a series of value study exercises and got inspired to try using white and two shades of graphite pencil on a light grey toned paper. It's something I read about in Andrew Loomis' book Creative Illustration.

Instead of buying a toned paper I mixed up a really watery wash with black gouache to lay down in my sketchbook. This brush was wonderful for that purpose! My other largest flat brush is a 1/2" flat and it would have been kind of a pain to use on the 7x10 paper. But this one was awesome.

Granted, I wasn't going for a lot of control or anything, but now I want to tone a bunch of pages with it


(post to more about the process I'm using for these quick value exercises)
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