What’s just exciting as a new mini? – A new brush! I received a new Winsor & Newton Series 7 No. 1 Kolinsky Sable brush today. It was time to replace my old one, which I’ve been using almost daily for three years. The old one can still be used, it just isn’t as good for painting small details. Here’s a picture of the condition of my old one:
Notice that the brush doesn’t hold a point as well as it used to. Even with this, the brush has lasted much much longer than the synthetics I’ve used in the past.
There are differing schools of thought on brushes. One is to buy a really cheap brush for a dollar of less & just throw it away after 4 to 6 weeks of use. Another is to buy a mid-quality brush & replace it after 8 to 12 months of use. And the third option & the best in my opinion is to buy a good quality brush which will last several years.
The problem I have with synthetic bristle bushes is that they do not keep a good point for very long – it may be the way I use them, but the points begin to hook & curl after a few weeks of use. Some people by really small sized brushes like 000 or 10/0 for fine details, but the problem with these brushes is that they hold very little paint & often the paint dries in the brush before you can apply it to the miniature. And, even they begin to hook and curl.
The Winsor & Newton brush cost me a little over $17 including tax (the shipping was free since I do the Prime thing).
The above picture is a Reaper Pro Kolinsky Sable No. 2 brush that is 10 years old. As you can see, you can no longer use this brush for fine detail work, but it is great for applying base coats & wet blending. I like using size 1 & 2 brushes.
I start each painting session with a cup of fresh water. And after each painting session, I clean my brushes using Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Soap:
Next to a good brush, another essential tool is a wet pallette:
I think I’ll be changing the parchment paper after a few more sessions. I tend to change the paper between batches of miniatures. For example, I’ve been working on a batch of 10 28mm fantasy figures & will finish them tonight or tomorrow. I’ll put in a fresh sheet of paper for my next batch which is 12 10mm SYW French Infantry.
I don’t know how helpful this post is to you. But I know from “painful” experience that good tools make a big difference. Many many years ago a young Floozy was driving a nail with a cheap hammer (I can’t say Wal-Mart, because Wal-Mart wasn’t around back then) and the cheap hammer head bounced off of the nail striking the Floozy’s thumb with such force – she lost the nail & had a black & blue thumb for many months. A carpenter friend laughed & said my problem was that I used a cheap hammer that had no balance. Well, he sold me on buying a Plumb hammer. It cost twice as much as the cheap one, but it is still in the Floozy’s garage & it has been nearly half a century since the Floozy last hit her thumb with a hammer.
I’ll leave you with a cute “alien” – honestly I get a lot of painting inspiration from K-Pop videos.