Painting Edges and Cleaning Brushes

Painting Edges and Cleaning Brushes

May 7, 2022 — Painting edges and cleaning brushes, it was an edgy day in the studio! And ’twas lovely to be here today after all these days home designing products and building the Contrado store. I am so in awe over what I get to do in this space. What a privilege to have this painting talent and all the other personality pieces to jump without a parachute and say, this is what I’m going to do and I will either make it or I’ll die. No Plan B. And to have my health and energy. To understand technology, sales (some anyway), and know how to use it. It was a huge gratitude day while I was painting the canvas edges of the newest 4 paintings. 

As I’m going to visit my friend in Weaverville early next week and head to Hawaii shortly after that for 2 weeks, I decided to clean brushes today, too. Now, if there is anyone actually reading this, you will shocked that this only the second time in 25 years that I have cleaned my paint brushes. And no, not turning a new leaf. My strategy has been (and will continue being) to just keep using them until they wear out. PAINT, child, then you don’t have to clean the brushes! In the early years, they wore out so quickly because I bought such cheap brushes that I was constantly tossing them in the bin and starting with a fresh clean one. But now, with the Kolinsky sable brushes, you’re dropping real money, and it’s amazing how long they last and how good they still look. They’re worth every penny (or tenspot in this case). These are 18 months old now and I’ve probably done 30 paintings with them, and I don’t paint small ones often. They’re in beautiful shape, the little ones are getting quite stubby, but they’re still in fine form. I haven’t needed to trim them at all. I just leave them reclined in their linseed oil “spa” overnight, and wipe the oil out of them in the morning. I’ve never really seen a reason to clean them, I just wipe them as I go when I’m painting to change color.

But since I’m leaving for two weeks, really more like 3 including the visit to Jeanne, I’m thinking “paint edges and clean brushes”. Otherwise the brushes would get “gunky” sitting inert in the linseed oil without being used, so decided to clean them. Hopefully they won’t be too stiff when I get back. I did pack them with The Master’s Brush Cleaner, meaning I pressed the moistened Master’s into the clean bristles, so that should keep them supple and conditioned. Seems like I read this somewhere. We’ll find out. As usual, learning on my feet. 

Paint edges and clean brushes, this painting got its edges painted today
Zinnia Phiz, one of the new paintings I painted edges on today, and as it was my last painting before cleaning the brushes, I supposed much of the paint in at least several brushes, came from this messy little flower.


Regarding painting edges and cleaning brushes, from here, let’s learn about Kolinsky fine art brushes from the Thoughtful Artful Gents:

Finisher – Kolinsky comb size 0 An intermediate size brush used for combing after drying. Kolinsky’s hair shape gives the brush a wide belly and a thin tip. The hair of the male sable holds its shape best and is used exclusively in the finest brushes. While many other natural and synthetic hairs are used for brushes, nothing can match the quality of sable.    Show Source Texts

Synthetic bristle brushes are very durable and can be used with oil-based, acrylic or watercolor paints. Here are some brushes you can try. Squirrel hair brushes are highly absorbent and can hold a lot of paint. The Kolinsky Sable Series 7 brushes are truly versatile; not only are they great for big blurs, but their fine tips can be used for fine details and fine lines. Kolinsky Sable Series 7 brushes outperform the competition, especially when used with professional grade paints.    Show Source Texts

Series 7 Kolinsky sable brushes are made exclusively from the finest Kolinsky sable hair in stainless steel seamless nickel-plated tips with polished black handles. In summary, kolinsky sable brushes are ideal brushes for fine detail work. They are made from the tail hair of the kolinsky sable or the Siberian weasel. Each head is made from kolinsky sable, a Siberian weasel whose wool is said to be worth three times the weight of gold. The hair is obtained from the tail of the colonial (Mustela sibirica), more of a weasel variety than true sable.    Show Source Texts

The brush comes wrapped in a golden tip and has a nice long walnut handle. The hair in this brush comes from the most northern regions of Russia and is the highest quality and most expensive hair used in the manufacture of brushes. Originally made to order, the Series 7 brushes were originally manufactured in 1866 and developed to be the ultimate brushes for watercolor painting.    Show Source Texts

Two large brushes can come in handy when painting wet on wet, as you don’t have to waste time cleaning the brush between each application of color. After the brushes have dried, they are soaked, washed with soap and water. Almost all artists are familiar with sable brushes. The wide belly of the Kolinsky Sable Series 7 brushes makes it much easier to apply fill – on a full sheet of size 10 imperial paper, you can easily paint a large sky fill with just one brush.    Show Source Texts

As a primer, you can choose wool from various animals: post, red sable, squirrel, bull, goat, camel, pig or mane, weasel, fitch, mongoose and badger. Always show respect for your brushes by caring for them properly. Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible for artists around the world to keep track of which brushes are made with Kolinsky Sable’s hair and which are certified.    Show Source Texts

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Lauren Forcella

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About Lauren Forcella

Painting nature is my way of being devotional to this beautiful planet we’ve been born to. I strive to bring onto the canvas the livingness, aliveness, and wildness of this wonderland we call Earth… Read More

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