Do you happen to have any Russian sables chasing around your neighborhood? If so, you have got at your disposal the best possible material for producing your own watercolor brushes.
Any genuine artist or craftsman will agree that the equipment of the discipline is especially important. In this case we are referring to watercolor brushes. Quite simply, cheap brushes typically prove to be a misuse of cash, so when you require a brush, wait until you can acquire the very best. Outstanding brushes will turn out to be a smart investment. You will not likely need many, and, given sensible treatment, they will probably last an extended time.
The variety of watercolor brushes is what is in question. Here’s a little suggestion. It never hurts to check out your nearby art vendor. You know the saying, “Iron sharpens iron….”? Clearly you will come across some very informed individuals at the neighborhood art store. Artists who are seeking to earn a living monetarily will choose to labor at an art retailer simply because they are surrounded by their craft and men and women of like passions. They love to chat regarding their work, and they can give you some very useful insights about your acquisitions. The art sales person can review for you the various types of brushes they have in stock.
Of the many varieties commonly supplied, painters differ as to inclination. As you will see before long, selection will differ with the type of watercolor painting you are doing. You might like to know that even in this time of computing devices, lasers, and mass production, the majority of watercolor brushes are nonetheless hand-crafted. This consists of even the less costly kinds. As a result, what you are spending money on for is traditional craftsmanship and a relatively labor-intensive production technique.
As noted, brushes differ in level of quality. There are natural hair brushes, the best being from a small critter know as a sable. And by comprehensive agreement it has been decided that the finest watercolor brushes are created from the hair found on the tips of the Russian male Kolinsky red sable’s winter coat. This unique hair has become renown for it’s capability to hold a load of paint and keep a resilient, sharp, and tough point, that always snaps back. Additional natural fiber brushes come from the likes of mink, ox, squirrel, and goat. Artificial fibers are another option that is usually less expensive than natural hair paint brushes.
Red Sable Brushes – Brushes of red sable are preferred for many kinds of work. Of these, the round, sharply pointed ones might possibly be the most beneficial. Some painters use almost nothing else but the Red Sables. A superior sable brush of the round type should, incidentally, be uniformly round, and should keep a sharp point at all instances. Unlike the less costly “other” animal hair brush, which is flabby and fails to hold a point effectively, the red sable brush should be springy and strong. Sable brushes come in a lot of sizes; companies vary in their practices of designating such sizes, but there is generally a number to show size. The watercolor artist really needs a minimum of three: small, medium and large. As a secure guideline, he will often use the biggest brush available for a specific portion of watercolor work.
Except for fine detail, the tiny brushes necessitate the watercolor painter to dip the brush much too often and are likely to cause the artist to employ perfectionist methods, which are not generally the desired technique for painting with watercolors. For all-around work, a reasonably large brush is good. For rapid, bold sketching, and for laying large washes (as on skies or backgrounds), a big brush is incredibly helpful, but they cost you so much in sable that one often feels compelled to choose something that is less expensive, like camel’s hair or squirrel’s hair, or perhaps a synthetic composition.
There are unique needs where flat, square-pointed sable brushes are even more effective than the round-pointed type. They are excellent timesavers, for instance, when it comes to the rendering of structures or comparable subject matter where squarish forms are necessary. A single stroke can symbolize a window shutter, the side of a chimney, or even a large roofing area. Three or four of these are, consequently, well worth having; they could vary from one-eighth inch to three-quarter inch in width.
Bristle Brushes – For a number of procedures, and specifically for scrubbing out highlights or fixing flawed watercolor painting techniques, bristle brushes can easily be used. These are much more commonly employed in oil painting, and they are significantly stiffer than sable brushes but often look quite comparable in form. They are perfect for repairing some mistakes. The flat ones have been commonly favored, though anything will depend on the end usage.
Care of Brushes – As already described, excellent brushes can offer many years of service but typically if they are given appropriate care. Rinse them frequently as you use them. For most efficient service, rinse them thoroughly with gentle detergent and warm water when you put them away. Shake each one out rather than squeeze it. By doing this it will probably keep a normal form. Do not let brushes to stand on their hairs for prolonged periods of time, and don’t allow them to dry in cramped or abnormal positions. Don’t try to soften hardened watercolor paint on your palette or color box by scrubbing it vigorously with your finest brush. Do yourself a favor and maintain different brushes for each medium you utilize as an artist. These tools are far too costly to use them improperly.
Finally, keep this in mind – moths are far too fond of costly sable brushes!