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Old 10-06-2017, 04:01 AM
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Long handled brushes

In a few places, I've read of the advantages to oil painters of using long-handled brushes, but, having long searched (no pun intended), I've been unable to find a UK website advertising these. Can anybody help?
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Old 10-07-2017, 07:33 AM
contumacious contumacious is offline
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Re: Long handled brushes

Do you mean longer than the average long handle brush lengths?

Rosemary & Co. (in the UK) makes some superb brushes, will ship just about anywhere and they offer extra long handles - 24" - for some of their line.

https://www.rosemaryandco.com/oil-br...ch-handle-oils

I started working professionally as an artist in 1972 but I never really saw a need for a long handled brush until decades later when I first tried painting on large pieces while holding the brush out near the end rather than up near the ferrule. I would never have guessed that it would give me more control over some types of strokes, plus it made it easier to make more expressive, smoother and longer strokes without the need for a mahl stick. Though I don't currently own any extra long handled brushes, I definitely want to try some.
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Old 10-07-2017, 08:22 AM
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Re: Long handled brushes

Hi, contumacious,

I can't imagine why I didn't think of Rosemary. Although I don't have any of their brushes, I've known of them for a long time. I followed your link, and Rosemary have just what I'm looking for. Thanks for your help.

Unlike me, who only took up painting about fifteen years ago, and have tried watercolours, acrylics, pastels, and more recently oils, which I think I'll stick with, you have many years experience and I'd like to see some of your work. Where can I find some on WC?

Hope to hear from you again soon.

I've just looked up "contumacious". Are you really a rebel?

Arthur
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Last edited by Art Leat : 10-07-2017 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 10-07-2017, 09:45 AM
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Re: Long handled brushes

As far as the advantages Art; I know that when I use a shorter brush, I tend to get tight. With the long ones I get looser and feel a more relaxed stroke.
If you are an easel painter, the long brushes tend to give you a better view of the canvas; you can stand back.
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Old 10-07-2017, 11:05 AM
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Re: Long handled brushes

It is possible that your inability to find long haired brushes specified as such is that almost all oil painting specific brushes are long handled. Usually only the short handled ones say so specifically. Jackson's website allows you to filter the brushes by handle size and I have copied the link:

https://www.jacksonsart.com/brushes/...---handle/long

Hope this helps,

Don
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Old 10-07-2017, 12:17 PM
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Art Leat Art Leat is offline
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Re: Long handled brushes

Thanks for your comments, Dcam and DAK723. I'll be ordering some Rosemary's as I indicated earlier, and look forward to seeing how I get on.
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Old 10-07-2017, 12:47 PM
contumacious contumacious is offline
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Re: Long handled brushes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Leat
Hi, contumacious,

I can't imagine why I didn't think of Rosemary. Although I don't have any of their brushes, I've known of them for a long time. I followed your link, and Rosemary have just what I'm looking for. Thanks for your help.

Unlike me, who only took up painting about fifteen years ago, and have tried watercolours, acrylics, pastels, and more recently oils, which I think I'll stick with, you have many years experience and I'd like to see some of your work. Where can I find some on WC?

Hope to hear from you again soon.

I've just looked up "contumacious". Are you really a rebel?

Arthur


You are welcome. I am not really a rebel, more of an ornery geezer.

I don't post my artwork on the WC forums for personal reasons. Maybe some day I might but you aren't missing much. Of the 90 some paintings I have done in the last 2 years since starting to paint only for my self, I am pleased with just a handful of them though I have sold about a dozen, which usually comes as a surprise to me. In the past, I worked as an illustrator and cartoonist for most of my life and I am just now learning how to paint in oils as I approach the "golden years" of my life. Previously almost everything I did was in pen and ink, digital, airbrush or acrylics.

There are some very talented oil painters on this site based on what I have seen of their work and I am sure they will be able to give you some great advice.
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Old 10-07-2017, 01:39 PM
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Re: Long handled brushes

You can check these out if you like bristle brushes. They are 19 3/4" long (50 cm)! I'm not sure how much shipping costs would be, but they're the longest I've seen. I have also see artists tape an old brush handle around the end of another brush handle to get a longer brush.
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Last edited by JamieWG : 10-07-2017 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 10-07-2017, 06:06 PM
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Re: Long handled brushes

Just a few comments regarding the advantage of long-handled brushes:

I do some very "tight" paintings, as well as some very "loose", "painterly" paintings, having rather taught myself the operations of both.

Many oil painters will claim that they have "more control" when using long handled brushes. The fact of the matter is that one doesn't truly have "more control" over the paint application; what they have "more control" over is the ability to actually see that which they are painting (in terms of "general shapes") compared to the scene (or photo) in front of you.

THAT's the advantage of a long-handled brush! If I had a choice, I'd rough-in a portrait, or some landscapes with a 3-foot long brush! ! ! When I begin a portrait, I rough-in such a "general shape" that one cannot even tell that it is a human being. For that, I'd be happy to have a 3-foot long handled, brush, because my goal is to match the basic, large shapes of the subject.

No need for such a long-handled brush when applying the details, but for roughing-in, it can't be beat!
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Old 10-07-2017, 08:03 PM
contumacious contumacious is offline
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Re: Long handled brushes

Quote:
Originally Posted by WFMartin
Just a few comments regarding the advantage of long-handled brushes:

I do some very "tight" paintings, as well as some very "loose", "painterly" paintings, having rather taught myself the operations of both.

Many oil painters will claim that they have "more control" when using long handled brushes. The fact of the matter is that one doesn't truly have "more control" over the paint application; what they have "more control" over is the ability to actually see that which they are painting (in terms of "general shapes") compared to the scene (or photo) in front of you.

THAT's the advantage of a long-handled brush! If I had a choice, I'd rough-in a portrait, or some landscapes with a 3-foot long brush! ! ! When I begin a portrait, I rough-in such a "general shape" that one cannot even tell that it is a human being. For that, I'd be happy to have a 3-foot long handled, brush, because my goal is to match the basic, large shapes of the subject.

No need for such a long-handled brush when applying the details, but for roughing-in, it can't be beat!

------------------------------------------

That is not the case for me. I can paint a significantly more controlled, smother, longer and more expressive stroke with a long handled brush holding it near the end than I can holding it near the ferrule. This was quite a surprise and I never would have thought that would have been possible. I think it has something to do with the geometry and the way the arm bones and muscles work vs. just the fingers / hands / wrist. I am literally painting with my entire arm, not just my hand. I really don't know the mechanics of it, other than it is a fact - at least for me, possibly others. It really has little to do with being able to see the work more clearly in my case.

That being said, I can definitely paint small shapes and, fine details more precisely holding the brush close, but the individual strokes done this way don't appeal to me as much and more often have to blended and worked to look more cohesive which is not the style I am going for now with most work. When painting while holding the end of the handle, I am not trying for ultra realism, but rather a more natural looking and flowing stroke that still captures the subject correctly.

Often when painting in plein air or in the studio when I am painting using clearly visible and thicker brush strokes I will often use a very wide brush for most of the painting, even smaller shapes and lines. For example a 3/4" wide flat for 90% of a 9x12 landscape. I don't always hold at the end, only when the desired stroke demands it.

Last edited by contumacious : 10-07-2017 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 10-07-2017, 08:03 PM
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Re: Long handled brushes

+1 Bill!

Also, with the longer handles:
1) Allows more relaxed if not more holistic viewing
2) Swirls and long strokes are more spontaneous methinks.

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Old 10-08-2017, 02:25 AM
p_nathan p_nathan is offline
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Re: Long handled brushes

I find the balance and heft of a long-handled brush preferable to a short handled brush. It "works better" from a motion standpoint, in my opinion.

Now, someone with a different arm length, different finger length, they might say something quite a bit different. Or someone who did miniatures.
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Old 10-08-2017, 08:37 AM
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Re: Long handled brushes

Ornery is a category I fall into too, I reckon. Can't stand parties, Facebook, selfies, mobile phones, or the noise that now passes for music - Oh for the days of Tin Pan Alley.

An output of 90 pieces in two years - much more than I've ever achieved - is pretty impressive and, if you've sold a dozen, the ones you like must be worth looking at. Come on! Let's see 'em

At times, when I'm struggling with a painting and wondering whether it's all worthwhile, I take comfort in reminding myself that many of the artists now considered great trashed a lot of their work. Just this week, I read of how Sargent, having spent a long time on a society woman's portrait, decided he didn't like one of the hands, so abandoned the thing. And didn't I read somewhere that Monet still considered himself a student when in his eighties.

I'm surprised at the number of bad artists out there, quite often of the Bob Ross school, who on their websites make a living offering not only to make you an artist but, within a few months, a certified instructor too. What
are things coming to?

Trawling round WC for good stuff on oil painting and painters sounds like a good idea, but I find, as I dare say you do, that navigating around the vast quantity of WC content is time consuming and an art in itself.

Looking at the Rosemary website again, I see that what they call long handles are eleven inches long, the same as all my other brushes, and what they call standard are seven inches, what I would call short. No reference to longer handles that I could find.

Kind regards,

Art
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:04 AM
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Re: Long handled brushes

Matisse

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Old 10-08-2017, 09:35 AM
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Re: Long handled brushes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dcam
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