Artist Tip Taking care of artist brushes

Artist Tips by Ron Gribble

Last post we discussed brush-cleaning devise that I use, This post I want to stay with brushes.

Generally speaking, good oil painting brushes are not expensive, but it takes only a minute to prolong their useful life.
care of artist brushes school paintng

I try to remember after each painting session (not so easy when I am on location) to clean my brushes with clean soapy warm water, as follows.

Wipe the brush across a wet piece of soap until a good quantity of the soap is worked into the bristles.

Grip the ends of the bristles with one hand and with the other hand move the brush so that the bristles are splayed out and the soap can work right up to the ferrule.

Now Place the brush into a sink, and squeeze the soap back out by pressing the ferrule end of the bristle against the hard surface until you squeeze out the dirty soapy water. Rinse with warm water
Artist brushes artist tips
Repeat this until the soapy water that you squeeze out is no longer dirty.

Lastly repeat step one only, then gently mould the bristles nice and straight leaving a good amount of soap in the bristles. The flat can have a chisel edge moulded by squeezing gently between thumb and first finger.

Leave to dry, with the soap "training" and protecting the bristles. You will be able to transport these now without them bending over if they press against anything. The soap, when dry, can be broken out again, when you want to use the brush.

In Conclusion, think of your brushes as the instruments of your trade. Would a surgeon use a dirty scalpel? You must be confident of the brush mark that will get from a particular brush. If it has dry paint up the ferrule, You will not get what you expect, ant the result is loss of control, on the canvas.
I hope this helps

Ron Gribble
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