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Old 08-15-2019, 01:20 PM
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MarcF MarcF is offline
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Oil painters, do you ever dabble in watercolor?

I have a hankering to try some watercolor.
All I own is oil painting brushes.
Can I simply use those brushes, or must I restock my studio with dedicated watercolor brushes and what else?
I canít see how the watercolor would hurt my brushes - but...
Thanks for info about it.
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Old 08-15-2019, 03:46 PM
ik345 ik345 is online now
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Re: Oil painters, do you ever dabble in watercolor?

Watercolor brushes are much softer (mine, but I have only three). If you have relatively soft oil painting brushes, you can use them. Large flats are good for areas like background. But why? - buy just one dedicated, like large round. It will be enough to play.
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Old 08-15-2019, 03:52 PM
TomMather TomMather is offline
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Re: Oil painters, do you ever dabble in watercolor?

Watercolor brushes are very different, and I would not consider them interchangeable with oils. Itís not the shape, but the softness, sizes and shapes. You might consider buying a watercolor ďkitĒ that includes basic colors, brushes, palette, etc. That should save you some money and would probably include brushes in the most useful shapes and sizes.
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Old 08-15-2019, 04:26 PM
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Re: Oil painters, do you ever dabble in watercolor?

Thanks.
Iíll buy a kit.
Thatís how I started in oils - then bought better supplies.
No great expense.
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Old 08-15-2019, 04:53 PM
contumacious contumacious is offline
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Re: Oil painters, do you ever dabble in watercolor?

I have been painting with watercolors longer - 46 years vs 42 with oils. I used to really enjoy watercolors but over the last 7 years or so I am finding them more frustrating than oils and much more difficult to achieve the look I want.

I have some sables, mongoose and synthetic watercolor brushes that I use interchangeably with my oils and have never noticed any problems of any kind doing that as long as I clean them with Masters brush cleaner when going from oils to watercolors. No need to do that when going from watercolors to oils. These are not really expensive brushes, $10-25. If I was a hard core watercolorist using $75+ Kolinsky Sable brushes I probably wouldn't use them with oils.

My favorite watercolor brushes that I use with oils are larger flats in mongoose or sable, and Loew-Cornell 7020 Ultra Round synthetics with needle sharp points on them. I like the #8 Ultra Round better than a rigger / liner with oils. It is easier to control and holds more paint yet allows me to do extremely fine lines if I want to. The thicker belly of the Ultra Round keeps the tip from flopping all over the place like a rigger / liner does, plus I can shape it to a finer point on my palette. I also prefer the shorter handles on the watercolor rounds for precise work.

Last edited by contumacious : 08-15-2019 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 08-15-2019, 05:54 PM
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Re: Oil painters, do you ever dabble in watercolor?

Sounds great but Iím stuck at hobby lobby and Michaels. I donít see sable or mongoose in these chain stores. May have to go on line for them.
Meanwhile Iíll see what they have when I go out soon.
John Singer Sargent painted in watercolor as a respite from his oils.
And anything JSS could do, uh, ok, yeah, never mind.
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:46 AM
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Re: Oil painters, do you ever dabble in watercolor?

The only type of brush I would avoid using with watercolors are the natural hog bristle type because they are porous and can swell up when they soak in water.
Still I have used them briefly to lightly scrub out a passage, while dabbing with a dry cloth, to remove watercolor paint from paper.
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:23 AM
budigart budigart is offline
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Re: Oil painters, do you ever dabble in watercolor?

For "trying it out," I would go to a large department store (Walmart, etc.) and buy a pack of cheap brushes and one of those little watercolor kits in a metal container. A pack of 5 or 6 brushes shouldn't cost more that $5, and same for the watercolors. You can always spend a small fortune on equipment later if you decide you really like it.
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Old 08-16-2019, 02:23 PM
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Re: Oil painters, do you ever dabble in watercolor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by budigart
For "trying it out," I would go to a large department store (Walmart, etc.) and buy a pack of cheap brushes and one of those little watercolor kits in a metal container. A pack of 5 or 6 brushes shouldn't cost more that $5, and same for the watercolors. You can always spend a small fortune on equipment later if you decide you really like it.


No-no-no. Although I normally start with such setups, that was what I did with watercolors and oils. Cheap watercolors did not work at all. Winsor and Newton's small Cotman set cost a tiny bit more but the difference was huge.


Same was for oils. Maybe I would not achieve much with three primary colors of a good brand that I would vote for now, the but cheap Reeves set I bought first sucked (although their crimson is a wonderful color).
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Old 08-16-2019, 02:56 PM
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Re: Oil painters, do you ever dabble in watercolor?

Well - I did not go for the most expensive or the cheapest.
This did all come to more than $80 though, even with my 40% off one item coupon. Once I figure it out I'll get the really good stuff.
But I can't wet to finish the huge oil painting I'm almost done with so I can have some real fun! Can't wait to get my feet wet! (maybe that's not the best cliche when dealing with watercolor?)
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Last edited by MarcF : 08-16-2019 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 08-16-2019, 03:15 PM
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Re: Oil painters, do you ever dabble in watercolor?

I often mix painting watercolours in between painting oils. I use the same soft brushes for both, it works for me. I am a bit fanatical about cleaning them so they're in pretty good condition.
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Old 08-16-2019, 04:21 PM
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Re: Oil painters, do you ever dabble in watercolor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ianuk
I often mix painting watercolours in between painting oils. I use the same soft brushes for both, it works for me. I am a bit fanatical about cleaning them so they're in pretty good condition.
I decided to get watercolor brushes and keep them separate, so there is no cross-contamination with my oils. (I'm equally fanatical about them). I have a pretty well equipped studio at this point!
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Last edited by MarcF : 08-16-2019 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 08-16-2019, 05:29 PM
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Re: Oil painters, do you ever dabble in watercolor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcF
I decided to get watercolor brushes and keep them separate, so there is no cross-contamination with my oils. (I'm equally fanatical about them). I have a pretty well equipped studio at this point!

Enjoy the watercolours.
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:53 PM
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Re: Oil painters, do you ever dabble in watercolor?

Please ask watercolor questions in the watercolor forum.
Closing thread.
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