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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Carrying Brushes in a Palette and Other Tips...

Some fellow artists and students have shown interest in some of the tricks I use for my gear, so I'll start sharing some of them here as well...

1. Drying your brushes: After you wash your brushes, you must take care to hang them upside down to dry, so water will not stay in the ferrule and loosen the hairs. I put mine in a bamboo brush holder, and then turn the brush holder upside down and stand it against the wall or curved, standing on its own. Very simply and effective.

2. Carrying brushes inside a metal paint box: I use a full pan paint box for plein air, and it has room for brushes between the rows of pans. I don't place my brushes loosely into the space, as their tuft would get jammed against the box during transportation. Instead, I place a small elastic band around the widest part of the handle, to make it fit tightly between the rows and stay in place.

3. Carrying brushes inside a folding palette: I found a way to carry a brush or two inside my Holbein metal folding palette, by cutting a rectangular piece of sponge and making a groove in it where the brush handle rests. When the palette is closed, it presses the sponge against the brush and keeps it in place.

4. Gloves for painting:
To paint outdoors in cool or cold weather, you need to wear gloves. The problem is that I found regular gloves were slippery to the brush handles and restricted movement. So I got an old pair of sports gloves (similar to liners for ski gloves) and cut just the tips of three fingers off. Now my painting hand stays warm and dexterity is not affected by the glove anymore. Another benefit is that these gloves hardly take any room in your painting gear of pockets.

That's it for today! Cheers!

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