02/01/2005: "A Word on Brushes"
Here is something you may not believe, but up until a few weeks ago I'd never painted with a sable brush (except for water coloring). I've always painted with bristle brushes and knives (sorry Dio) to created textured area, such as in the landscapes or backgrounds...and for the smooth bodies of the figures, I use cheap white synthetic brushes, like Dick Blick's "Wonder White" series.
When I started reading that book on the techniques and materials of oil painting they would show samples and tell you exactly how to recreate them, including all the brushes they used. I noticed that this particular artist always used a small round or filbert sable brush for the faces and other areas where fine details were needed.
I decided that on top of experimenting with new painting mediums I also wanted to try some new brushes. I bought several red sable brushes and I used them for this past Eros painting (Which I've named "En Plein Air") and I *love* the way they handle! Every time I fork out a little extra money to try a higher grade oil paint or nicer brush etc. I notice a marked improvement in my ability to achieve the results I want.
Not that I can afford nice materials, but they do seem to make a difference, at least for me. And speaking of costs, my city sales taxes were due today, as well as a thing for the assessor's office, where I inventory all my business assets so they can tax those too. Guess what counts as "business assets"? Well, my easle, and my cheap brushes, and computer including software, etc. It was a real joy. I make so little for my art considering all the hours I put in; I swear, with all the taxes and the extra $150.00 for my business license this year, it makes me glad I'm not in it for the money or I'd be about to cry right now.