Monday, 9 February 2015

GIVE YOUR BRUSHES SOME LOVE - HEARTFELT FRAMED FOR UNDER $100

HEARTFELT by Sea Dean - Black Frame
HEARTFELT
By Sea Dean
Ready to Hang
8" x 6" on Strathmore Windpower
Frame Approx 11" x 10"
Display horizontal or vertical
$95

To view my online Gallery of originals please visit Daily Paintworks
Shop for Limited Edition ACEO here

In my gallery I have selected works framed and ready to hang. I also recently added more to my Daily Paintworks gallery. They make great gifts for those that simply don't have time to work with framers. 

As I keep my costs low, prices start at $35 and most are under $100. Buy with Paypal and I ship the next working day.


GIVE YOUR BRUSHES SOME LOVE

Because I treat them well I've been using the same brushes every day for years. Here are some tips on how to care for your most important tools.

1. Never leave out of water with paint on the bristles when not in use.
2. Never stand in water that comes higher than half way up the metal piece 
3. Clean when you finish for the day and every time you change your water.
4. Use tepid water. Acrylic is plastic and therefore needs warmth to help detach it from the bristle. Hot water melts the glue which holds the bristles and handle in place and also damages the bristles over time.
5. Clean under running water or in a large bowl. Do not stub the brush down onto the surface of the bowl. Gently brush it back and forth. Under water separate the bristle gently with your finger nail making sure the clean water gets right to the base of the bristles. 
6. Water should suffice unless the bristle has taken on dye by using strong pigments like Phthalo Blue. If the bristles have taken on dye, use some dish soap, saddle soap or Murphys soap to clean. I've heard of several other methods, but make sure the instructions are for acrylic painting and cleaner is not oil based.
7. Make sure all soap is thouroughly rinsed away and shake brushes to remove most of the water. Blot with an old clean towel. 
8. Lay flat or suspend with bristles downward from a brush hanger. Never dry with bristles pointing upwards or with bristles pushing against a surface.
9. In extreme cases when bristles have curled, use a final rinse of warmer water just on the bristles and smooth on some gum arabic to bring the brush back into shape. Do not rinse but allow to dry and rinse off before use.
10. In even more extreme cases when your beloved wood handled brush has been abused and all the paint has flaked off the surface, a coat of varnish will bring them back to life. You can use hardware store varnish, or in a pinch clear nail polish or the thicker variety of varnish for paintings. I suppose you could also use your thicker acrylic paints and put your own style on them. A clear coat over the top and you're ready to paint another 100 canvases.

I've been a stickler for GOLDEN TAKELON BRUSHES for several years. They are easy to paint with and easy to clean. White Takelon is too soft and Brown Takelon is too hard. Bristle is designed for oil painting and watercolour brushes are too expensive and too soft anyway. Golden Takelon is just right for most surfaces and it's cheap too! 

Until recently I've mainly painted small canvases up up to  6 sq ft seated at my easel or desk and using short handled brushes. However, I'm starting to paint larger and courser canvasis, so it was time to reassess my tools. 

Firstly when painting larger it's better to stand so that you can reach everywhere with ease. It also helps to be more mobile and step back often to gain perspective. When standing it's better to use a long handled brush which also gives you more perspective. Secondly, I've found that the courser substrate demands a tougher brush to push the paint into the crevices and facilitate sweeping brushstrokes without tugging. I've therefore started to use stronger natural bristle and Takelon brushes with long handles. I also find that for covering large backgrounds, the large flat brushes they sell for varnishing and gesso work very well for at least the base coat.

Recently I completed an 8 Sq Ft exhibition canvas and during the process I trialed a new type of brush by Royal Langnickle called ZEN. I was very pleased with the way they slid across the canvas and yet had a tensile strength to them. They feel luxurious in the hand because they have metal (yes metal) handles. They remind me of sexy sports cars covered in chrome. And clean up is a dream. No more flaking wood and no more acrylic gummed onto silicon handles. Yay! I fell in love immediately and today I treated myself to a complete set of 1/2 and 3/4 inch plus some scripts for detail and signatures. I know that sounds extravagant, but they were 40% off at Michaels plus the most expensive is only $7. What a deal!

Get your Micheals Coupons here.
And no, I'm not getting a kick back, but if someone knows how I can please pass it on.