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  #16   Report Bad Post  
Old 12-15-2009, 08:40 PM
Nilesh Nilesh is offline
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Re: Acrylic brushes - are they all (really) created equal ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bayou13
You guys will probably laugh at me, or say "oh, that explains it...", but I never pay more than a quarter for a brush. I know it is because I don't know what I'm doing, but I have been using the same brushes for several years and I just keep them in these cups filled witrh water and never let them get dry. They seem to work fine for me.

And yes, one of those brushes is a tooth brush... hehe

In the photograph, that large foreground brush on the right caught my eye.

How did it get like that?

Or is it wearing a wig?
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Old 12-16-2009, 11:17 AM
Bayou13 Bayou13 is offline
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Re: Acrylic brushes - are they all (really) created equal ??

Hello Nilesh,

Well, I have a very bad temper and when the brush doesn't put the paint on the way I want it to, I just give it a good whack and say, "Bad Brush! Bad!"

Just Kidding,

Actually, that is a brush I use primarily for making clouds, skys, and mist. Here is a post I did about using that brush back some time ago.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=523511

Rick
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:47 PM
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Charlie's Mum Charlie's Mum is offline
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Re: Acrylic brushes - are they all (really) created equal ??

Love those brushes Rick - I have some on a smaller scale!!!
As Jim says, they come in very useful .... the tooth brush is also good for spattering

I have some good Escoda brushes which clean easily and stay good but I also use the Soft brushes by Royal - cheap as chips - but they don't last long however much I look after them!

Must test that tip on my synthetics and see how it works - don't use bristles for acrylics. Have you tried it Rich?
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Old 12-16-2009, 01:20 PM
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BeeCeeEss BeeCeeEss is offline
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Re: Acrylic brushes - are they all (really) created equal ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nilesh
...

If you had some extra brushes, and kept them reserved for like colors, you could probably go for a year or more like this.

It would be interesting to see how far it could be taken. If someone uses this approach with their brushes, and keeps them going until the year 2021 -- or even for a month or a year -- please let us know how it goes.

I would think that problems with mold and mildew would prohibit this sort of practice unless you have ways to keep them at bay.

I think it is generally harmful to any brush to keep it soaked with water for very long periods of time -- days, weeks, months. The water will weaken the glue in the ferrule and even cause wooden handles to swell and crack.

I used to use one of those devices with a metal cup for holding water and a spring-like bracket that held the brush handles to suspend the brush tips in water throughout a painting session. I thought it was a dandy solution to keeping my acrylic brushes wet but not allowing them to sit on their tips and bend and damage them. But I started getting a lot of brushes with loosened ferrules and cracks and peeling finish on the handles near the ferrules. The wood would even turn black right at the ferrule.

I decided to come up with another way to keep my brushes moist but not waterlogged while I was painting in acrylics. I now use a shallow tray with a wet sponge in one end. I rest the hair/bristle ends of my brushes on the wet sponge and let the handles rest on the opposite end of this tray. The moist sponge is just enough to keep the brushes damp but not soggy until I either need to use them again or I'm ready to give them a good cleaning at the end of the day. I always lay them flat to dry overnight so the water does not collect in the ferrule. Since switching to this method, I've not had any more problems with ferrules getting loose or the handles cracking and peeling. My brushes last much longer.

Beverly
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Old 12-16-2009, 01:23 PM
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Re: Acrylic brushes - are they all (really) created equal ??

I typically prefer any stiff brush - it has to have some strength to it since I tend to paint in fashion that can be harder on brushes. Plush, soft brushes won't cut it since they will get squished.

That, and a brush can't shed all over. Ugh, I've had a few like that over the years and they get trashed pretty quick. Not much one can do with a brush that falls apart during use.
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Old 12-16-2009, 06:38 PM
old_hobbyist old_hobbyist is offline
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Re: Acrylic brushes - are they all (really) created equal ??

Quote:
a brush can't shed all over. Ugh

Tell me about it! I had a pic rejected by a gallery because there were "OMG, brush hairs!" imbedded in the paint (would you believe!). Cheap Chinese bristle hairs!
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:14 PM
Nilesh Nilesh is offline
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Re: Acrylic brushes - are they all (really) created equal ??

Good information here.

One thought that might be of use: To keep hairs or bristles from falling out, why not use some glue? Squirting some superglue down into the ferrule could help hold all the hairs together. Low-viscosity, penetrating acrylics might work well too.

I can see how wood would tend to have problems with lengthy periods of high moisture or wetness. It might be safer to use synthetic handles and glue that would hold up to the water well.

The sponge idea sounds like a good one too.
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Old 12-18-2009, 08:10 PM
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Re: Acrylic brushes - are they all (really) created equal ??

thanks to all for your contributions and advice --- some very helpful info.
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Old 01-01-2010, 03:54 PM
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Re: Acrylic brushes - are they all (really) created equal ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nilesh
Good information here.

One thought that might be of use: To keep hairs or bristles from falling out, why not use some glue? Squirting some superglue down into the ferrule could help hold all the hairs together. Low-viscosity, penetrating acrylics might work well too.

I can see how wood would tend to have problems with lengthy periods of high moisture or wetness. It might be safer to use synthetic handles and glue that would hold up to the water well.

The sponge idea sounds like a good one too.

Sorry to raise this thread from the dead:

1) Be VERY CAREFUL if trying to use super-glue to keep the bristles in a brush. I tried that once on a shedding brush. The glue wicked through most of the bristles and completely ruined it, though it wasn't much use anyway since it shed all over.

2) Wood handles tend to end up with the paint on the handle cracking after a while, from what I've seen.
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Old 01-09-2010, 06:15 PM
Chestnut Tree Cafe Chestnut Tree Cafe is offline
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Re: Acrylic brushes - are they all (really) created equal ??

I like Prolene acrylix brushes. They are brown synthetic and I prefer them to the WN galeria brushes I had. They are better for detail than hogs and easier to clean, with a bit less liquid carrying capacity.

Chris
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Old 02-18-2010, 01:14 AM
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Imzadi Imzadi is offline
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Re: Acrylic brushes - are they all (really) created equal ??

I hope it's okay to bump up an older thread. Not sure what the policy is. I know enough to do a Search & read the archives for the wealth of info here already posted , but, what happens when we find an older archived thread we want to ask a question about?


Anyway. . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Carol
I find the gesso to be very abrasive and thus I only buy cheapish brushes (Softgrips) and throw them away when the bristles fray too much. Softgrips are thew same price for any size, $2.99 so they work out quite economical in the long run.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sashntash
While I love using natural hogs hair bristle brushes, I have found (and read) that it is the water that makes them go mushy... Hence, the problem that you are having since switching from oils to acrylics.

I have switched entirely to synthetic brushes. They do not get mushy from the water. They will, of course, eventually wear out... all brushes do.. but it won't be from mushiness

I use several brands depending on what I'm doing - thick or thin, loose or detailed.

My overall most favorite brushes are the Winsor & Newton Monarch. They are synthetic "mongoose" and the stiffness is between that of a hogs hair and a softer brush... They are wonderful and if I had to pick just one brush to use - the Monarchs would be it !!!!

One caveat ..... if you use primarily flats - as I do - the Monarch regular flat is shorter than most, so I buy the extra long flat...

If I want a stiff brush, I use the Silver Brush Bristlons which are synthetic "hogs hair."

For a soft brush, I use various brands of golden taklons......

I am returning to painting after a looong absence. I just ordered a couple of sets of Golden Taklon synthetics as that is what I used to use with my liquid acrylics.

I was always told to use natural bristle brushes for oils only as they do get mushy, and that has been my experience, too.

However, I am about to take a Brenda Harris acrylic landscape workshop, whose list of about 10 required brushes to bring are the Royal soft grip, natural bristle brushes.

I'm confused. Am I just going to bring brushes that are going to end up turning mushy? She uses tube acrylics. Do they require stiffer brushes? I think she does have us scrub in backgrounds & bushes. She requested bringing some scrubber brushes. She does have a more impressionistic style, so I can see the bristles become scruffier after they've been in water. But, I can't imagine the bristle brushes holding their stiffness for very long, especially as often as I wash out my brushes.

What am I missing here? I am going to deliberately learn her techniques, so I think it is important to bring the requested supplies if they are intrinsic to the techniques. But, I don't want to later find I could have simply stayed with my soft Taklon brushes in the first place as the natural bristles get all mushy.
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Old 02-18-2010, 05:03 AM
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Re: Acrylic brushes - are they all (really) created equal ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Imzadi
I don't want to later find I could have simply stayed with my soft Taklon brushes in the first place as the natural bristles get all mushy.

That may be a chance you have to take. You might also find that the natural bristle is just perfect for your style of painting. Unfortunately, it is part of the process.

You might ask the instructor, if possible, if the brushes are required. I have found that many times it is their preference about some products but can be done with other products. Worth asking anyway.
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:46 AM
sashntash sashntash is offline
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Re: Acrylic brushes - are they all (really) created equal ??

First - it is fine to post in an older thread and bump it back up. In fact, it's a great idea.... better than starting a new thread on the same subject !!!

about brushes... it all depends on the techniques used in painting.

For scrubbing in backgrounds and bushes, you'll find that the Golden Taklon synthetics are too soft. For that you do need either natural hogs hair bristle brushes or a synthetic hogs hair bristle like Silver Brush Bristlon.

Some acrylic painters use natural hogs hair bristle brushes for most of their painting. If you've ever watched Jerry Yarnell's show on PBS, that's what he uses.

The problem with natural hogs hair bristle brushes and their mushiness with water is that they don't maintain a hard "chiseled" edge so it's difficult to do precise edges and details. But for scrubbing in backgrounds or doing initial underpainting they are excellent. They are also fine to use with a more impressionistic style where precise edges and details aren't important.

In both natural bristle brushes and synthetic bristles the range runs from very soft to quite stiff. With fluid acrylics you can use a softer brush. You can also use a softer brush if you are diluting heavy body acrylics with a moderate amount of water.

If you are using heavy body acrylics without a lot of water, you generally need a stiffer brush - not necessarily a super stiff brush, but something stiffer than a Golden Taklon synthetic.

As I said in my previous post - if I need a stiff brush I use Silver Brush's Bristlon (synthetic hogs hair bristle), for a medium stiff brush I use W & N's Monarch (synthetic mongoose) and for a soft brush I use various brands of Golden Taklon.

And I do use them all (including my natural hogs hair bristle brushes). Each has a use depending on what techniques I'm using.....
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Last edited by sashntash : 02-18-2010 at 06:53 AM.
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Old 02-18-2010, 02:23 PM
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BeeCeeEss BeeCeeEss is offline
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Re: Acrylic brushes - are they all (really) created equal ??

I paint mostly with fluid acrylics, although I do use heavy bodied paints at times, and I love to paint with natural hog bristle brushes. Yes, they do get a bit mushy after soaking in water, but they are great for scumbling and creating soft edges and blends. I like my older, really frizzy hog bristle brushes most of all because they are great for breaking up a hard edge, etc. Another bonus of the natural hog bristle brushes with acrylics is that they really soak up some water and hold it which helps to keep your paints from drying out too quickly on your brushes. Even heavy bodied acrylics are generally not as thick and full bodied as oil paints are. When the water soluble oils came out, it was quickly apparent that mushy, water-logged hog bristle brushes weren't up to the job of moving the heavier oil paints around. Several different synthetic brushes were developed specifically for use with the water soluble oils. The bonus is that they work great for acrylics, too.

If you need a more controlled application but still want a stiffer brush, the Silver Brush Bristlons are terrific and so are Princeton's La Grande Synthetique brushes. They are stiff like natural hog bristles but they are synthetic so they don't get softened with prolonged soaking in water. They keep a much sharper, neater edge than natural hog bristle, too. Great for control and they really stand up to heavy use.

As others have already said here, much depends upon what type of painting you like to do, the paints you use and the surfaces you like to paint upon. If you paint on canvas, the stiffer brushes are great for pushing paint into all those little depressions between the canvas fibers.

I generally use soft brushes, like the Golden Taklons, for thinner paint applications. For me they are too soft to push heavy bodied paints around very well. But that is a personal preference.

The up side is, natural hog bristle brushes are relatively inexpensive so you can buy a couple to try out and it won't put a big dent in your wallet.

Beverly
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Old 02-18-2010, 03:07 PM
sashntash sashntash is offline
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Re: Acrylic brushes - are they all (really) created equal ??

I also love my older frizzy hogs hair bristle brushes - they are great for dry brush techniques.

And, as Beverly said, for softening edges and blending.

All brushes have their uses. You just have to experiment and figure out which ones you like for what you are doing.

and believe me... I have tried them all !!! You quickly discover which ones are your favorites and you keep going back to them.....
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