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Old 11-06-2005, 01:27 PM
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prettytulips prettytulips is offline
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Brush shapes the old masters used.

Does anyone know what shaped brushes were available during
the 18th and 19th century? Were they mostly rounds or did they
use flats and filberts too?

Thank you.
S
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Old 11-10-2005, 08:20 PM
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Sir Paul Sir Paul is offline
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Re: Brush shapes the old masters used.

Helen Van Wyk stated in one of her videos (& I've heard it from other sources as well) that only ROUND-shaped brushes were available in those time periods for painting, and that the various 'flats' we have today didn't come along til later. (Though exactly when I have not heard) ..or as she said... 'They had so little.. & did so much... We have so much.. & do so little... (lol)

Just as well, I like rounds best of all anyways... Hope this helps!

PS
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Old 11-11-2005, 01:47 AM
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prettytulips prettytulips is offline
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Re: Brush shapes the old masters used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Paul
Helen Van Wyk stated in one of her videos (& I've heard it from other sources as well) that only ROUND-shaped brushes were available in those time periods for painting, and that the various 'flats' we have today didn't come along til later. (Though exactly when I have not heard) ..or as she said... 'They had so little.. & did so much... We have so much.. & do so little... (lol)

Just as well, I like rounds best of all anyways... Hope this helps!

PS

Thank you for the confirmation. I appreciate it.
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Old 11-12-2005, 03:49 AM
Mark Diederichsen Mark Diederichsen is offline
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Re: Brush shapes the old masters used.

I think "flat" brushes have been around for centuries.

In "Il Libro dell' Arte" (The Craftsman's Handbook) by Cennino d'Andrea Cennini, written in the 1400's, he describes how to make two shapes of artist brushes, the round pointed shape and another shape he called "blunt" brushes, with the hairs all lined up, like what we now call "flat". He used minever tails or white hog bristle.
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Old 11-19-2005, 01:23 AM
JEZ!!! JEZ!!! is offline
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Re: Brush shapes the old masters used.

I wonder why the question has been asked? Is it to replicate the strokes for personal use?
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Old 12-06-2005, 03:03 AM
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Re: Brush shapes the old masters used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JEZ!!!
I wonder why the question has been asked? Is it to replicate the strokes for personal use?

Yes, it was and I failed miserably
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Old 05-22-2006, 09:51 AM
Quebster Quebster is offline
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Re: Brush shapes the old masters used.

Short-bristled Brights brushes are made for scrubbing. Shadows are scrubbed and only occasionally are light colors scrubbed to make a scumble. Flats are for slathering on paint, They are like knives. Light colored paint usually needs to be applied heavily if you want to maintain opacity and brilliance. Filberts are drawing brushes. They work best with dark paints which can be diluted. Filberts with light paints leave a furrow on either side. Rounds are designed for thin dark paint. They leave furrows with light paints (which need to be applied thicker). Fan blenders can be swished back and forth but you have to wipe them after every stroke or you get mud. They are particularly good when used on end to stipple subtle transitions. Egberts require real skill to use properly. This is where a proper choice of painting medium comes in...the medium must be thixotropic in that it holds its shape but becomes liquid when moved with the brush, going right back to thick paint when the brush passes. Using an egbert requires real experience with mediums and mixing. They are time consuming because you get one stroke and have to wipe the brush off and recharge it.
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Old 05-22-2006, 09:54 AM
Quebster Quebster is offline
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Re: Brush shapes the old masters used.

FLATS have longer hairs than do brights. That makes them much more flexible and capable of piling paint on in thicker more expressive strokes. Thicker paint is associated with mid-tones and highlights, but not shadows. Therefore, flats are one of the preferred brushes to use with any colors aside from shadow colors, which must stay thin and transparent in most pictorial painting. Well-made flats should have hairs that curve toward the middle and, in profile, come to a sharp chisel point. The ends should be the natural ends of the hairs, tapered and with flags (split ends). Under no circumstances should they appear to be chopped or cut. The brush in this picture has had more than twenty years of use, yet it still retains the inward curving of the bristles and comes to a sharp, chisel edge. With proper care, a well-made brush can last for decades.??Flats will be your mainstay brush, capable of everything from troweling on thick strokes of paint to laying in precise lines with the chisel tip. As with all brushes, the paint is applied at the tip of the brush and the action comes from the base, near the ferrule, so preserve that action and do not allow paint near the ferrule. Keep the paint at the tip.
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Old 05-22-2006, 09:58 AM
Quebster Quebster is offline
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Re: Brush shapes the old masters used.

BRIGHTS: They are scrubbing brushes and should be relatively short and stiff, like a little broom.The traditional manner of painting shadows has always been to scrub them in, making thin layers of dark paint which could be successively built up. This adds greater depth to the shadow tones than trying to lay them in all at once. With their short, stiff bristles, brights are ideal for scrubbing in shadows. In some cases, you could use a bright to scrub in lighter colors over a dark underpainting, making a semi-transparent tone called a scumble. By it’s nature, the stiff bristles would produce a somewhat streaky scumble and not like the soft fog-like scumbles most artists prefer. Another important use for the brights is in the Rub-Out Technique, where a thin veil of paint is applied to the surface and highlights are created by rubbing out that middle tone. The procedure is much like highlighting a drawing with chalk. A dry brights brush is perfect for removing and cutting into paint to reveal the surface underneath
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Old 05-22-2006, 10:02 AM
Quebster Quebster is offline
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Re: Brush shapes the old masters used.

From my notebook:

Brights
Scrubbing brushes
Used for dark paint
Laying in shadows
When laying in a shadow, it's scrubbed in
Can also scrub out (within shadow)
The shadow shouldn't pop
Scrub in shadow. Let dry. Scrub in another shadow color. Nuanced. Stays w/in the picture plane. Has interest.

FLATS
Midtones to hightones

EGBERTS
Used as the tone goes higher
Lays in a nice controlled stroke
Holds just a bit of paint
Not transparent or scrubbed
Thick specific stroke
Should pop

ROUNDS
Only for dark paint
Can get dark paint to be dark and thin
A good round will return to a well formed point when dipped in turpentine
Will lay in a furrow if you use it with light colors

SABLE FLATS

For laying in fine lines
Look for good chiseled edge when buying

MONGOOSE
1/2 way between bristle and sable
Slightly different effect than either bristle or sable

FAN BLENDER
Soften edges
*Glazing and reducing glazes
Stippling - change tones
Create transitional tones
Creates pointillism effect - eyes blend into brighter, cleaner colors

Last edited by Quebster : 05-22-2006 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 06-03-2006, 11:31 AM
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rain24 rain24 is offline
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Re: Brush shapes the old masters used.

Great info Quebster! I just added this thread to my favorites because of all your notes!

I do have a question...what's an egbert? I don't think I've come across that one yet.

Thanks!

~Rain
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"If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." — Vincent Van Gogh
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Old 06-03-2006, 04:23 PM
Quebster Quebster is offline
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Re: Brush shapes the old masters used.

Dental Laboratories are great places for brushes. They might have something that Dick Blick doesn't. I haven't checked. The notes that follow are gathered from the net. I have a friend in the denture business and their technicians use these, too.

ROUND
Rounds are the CLASSIC BRUSHES of fine art painting. They are
used in painting landscapes, florals, portraits, and just about any subject.
Large rounds are great for laying in color while small rounds are
indispensible for painting detail. Many artists choose to use rounds
exclusively while others prefer flats, or a combination of different shapes.

A good round brush, such as a sable or kolinsky, will consistantly spring
back to a fine point and provide a controlled flow of color. With practice,
it can be used to create varied and interesting strokes.

SPOTTER
Spotter brushes are similar to rounds, but have much shorter hair
lengths. Upon leaving the ferrule, the hair immediatly comes to a fine
point. The shorter hair doesn't flex and so can be used to place a small
dot of color accurately. The name originated in photography processing
where it is used for eliminating dust spots. It is also used extensively
in miniature painting.


SHORT-HANDLE SPOTTER
These spotter brushes are the same as our traditional spotters
except for their shorter handles. They also are used by Miniature Painting
artists who prefer not to be burdened by a long handle while painting.


RIGGER

The rigger or 'script' brush is similar to a round but with much longer
hair. Its name is derived from its use in painting the rigging of sailing
ships. It is ideally suited to this job, as well as electric lines, telephone
wires, etc., because of it's ability to make long fine strokes without
running out of color. It is also indispensible for painting tree branches
and general calligraphy. With practice, it can be flexed and lifted to
create strokes that taper to fine lines.


LINER
The liner is a round brush with hair length between a round and a
rigger. It is used in the same way as a rigger where the extra length
is not essential or where less flexing is desired.



LETTERING
A lettering brush has a round ferrule like the liner, but the end of the
hair is shaped flat instead of pointed. It is very similar to a one-stroke.
DESIGNER
The designer brush is exactly the same as a round but with longer
and more pointed hair. This extra-length/finer-point feature appeals
to many fine artists who value this brush highly.



ONE-STROKE / FLAT
The one-stroke is long flat brush is used for long sweeping strokes in
watercolor. It is identical to the traditional flat brush used in oil
painting. As its name implies, it holds a lot of color and can make a
long stroke without reloading. Also, it flexes and is a favorite among
many artists for that reason.

BRIGHT
The bright is a flat brush similar to the one-stroke or flat, but much
shorter. The hair of a bright is approximately the same length as its
width. It doesn't flex as the one-stroke or flat does and consequently
is better for shorter, more controlled strokes. In watercolor, it is
sometimes referred to as an 'aquarelle brush'. In oil, it is the traditional brush for
impasto painting.

OVAL-WASH / FILBERT
The oval-wash brush is like a one-stroke except that the end of the
hair is rounded instead of flat. It is similar to the filbert brush
used in oil painting. The oval-wash can be used freely to make
bold sweeping strokes without having to keep it in a vertical position.
This shape is very popular with both watercolor and oil painters.

EGBERT
The egbert brush is a filbert, but with longer hair.
It has the advantage of holding more color, and it flexes. Its relationship
to a filbert is like that of a flat to a bright.

SHORT FILBERT
This brush has the traditional filbert shape, but its hair is quite short.
It doesn't flex as much as a filbert and may be used to place short
strokes more accurately.

CATS-TONGUE

This is a flat brush similar to the one-stroke, except that the end of the
hair is shaped to a point instead of straight across. It is an extremely
versatile brush and can be used to make almost any type of stroke!

SLANT-SHADER

The slant-shader is a flat brush with a slanted end instead of a straight-
across end like the bright or one-stroke. It provides a better view of
the stroke in-process, and can be used creatively to make variable-
width strokes. It is very popular with flower painters.

FAN

The fan brush uses a special ferrule that spreads the hairs into a thin
layer to form a fan shape. It has two main uses. In watercolor, stiff hog
bristle is used so that the individual hairs leave separate strokes on the
paper. Consequently, clumps of grass or scrub can be made with one or
two strokes. Soft-hair fans, such as a kolinsky fan, can be used to
soften edges in both watercolor and oil painting.

FLAT-HANDLE

Flat-handle brushes provide an excellent alternative to round-handle
brushes in wide sizes. They have flat stainless steel ferrules, resemble
house painting brushes, and are quite comfortable to use.

STIPPLER

The stippler is a short-handle round with short ox hair that is slanted at
the end like a slant-shader. It is used to used to produce special effects
by 'dabbing' instead of 'stroking'. The small random shapes in the shadows
of a tree trunk or shadows in rough shubbery are examples of its use.

HAKE

The traditional Oriental hake is a short flat brush made with goat hair
and a flat handle. It is used as a general wash brush and leaves
minimal hair tracks.

MOP/BLENDER

A mop brush is typically round or oval, and domb-shaped. It is similar
to a traditional cosmetic brush. Squirrel mops are very soft and hold lots
of water or color. They are mainly used in watercolor to carry water or
color to the paper. Mops are also used to soften or blend colors already
laid down. Pony-hair mops, also used in cosmetics, make a superior
blending brushes. Badger-hair blender mops are especially soft and
is excellent for blending in oil painting. (One of Bouguereau's alledged secrets!)

BLUE-SQUIRREL QUILL

This is a round pointed brush made of the finest blue-squirrel hair.
The ferrule is made of a plastic quill instead of the the usual metal
to avoid breaking the very fine hair. The hairs come to a fine natural
point, leave no hair tracks, but do not spring back as kolinsky hairs do.
This brush is used extensively in silk-dye painting.

DAGGER-STRIPER

The dagger-striper is flat in the shape of a knife or dagger. It uses the
very finest squirrel hair - Kazan squirrel - to provide an extremely
soft brush for painting lines or stripes in fine art or automotive striping.
In watercolor, it can be used to achieve very creative effects by pulling
the brush around, and also by pulling it sideways.

SPECIAL SABLE ROUND
These brushes are made with Sable hair that is firmer than watercolor
and oil-painting Sables. Used by watercolorists where an exceptually long
and/or firm point is desired.

CERAMIC

This brush is similar to a Red Sable Round but with an extremely
long point that tapers to a few hairs.The fine Sable hair is a bit stiffer than Kolinsky
giving the long point more support. It carries a large load and can be be
used to place a fine point accurately. Watercolorists also might find this
long-pointed brush very useful in some applications.

LONG-HAIR LINER

This Swiss Ox Liner is a very special brush!
It has extremely long hair (2 1/4" long) and a flattened end
(not pointed). Fantastic strokes and designs can be created with this
brush.
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