Dancing on the Beach, 2015, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5" x 7"
A change of season always has me sorting and cleaning out, Today it was brushes--something I've sadly neglected for years. Today, when the first three brushes I picked up were totally unusable because of dried paint or destroyed bristles, I knew it was time.
Acrylic paint is pretty hard on painting brushes. I use mostly hog bristle. They stand in water while painting continues until the water needs changing. Keeping the water level below the ferrule to try and prolong the life of the brush means that its fairly frequent--at least a couple of times in a morning of painting.
A through cleaning means to take most of the paint off with a paper towel, rinse under running water while separating the bristles, and then brush in my hand with a mild liquid detergent until the water runs clean. Despite this, paint tends to linger in the bristles near the ferrule until the near end of the brush is stiff with paint and only the tips have any spring. Sometimes they get worn down until the brush has a point where one was not intended. The manufactured bristles usually splay out, and the loose ends can leave bits of paint in all the wrong places.
So, I sorted, and sorted until I had a nice pile of usable brushes, and a very large pile of "others." Sadly, the rejects are still on the shelf--just in case I should need a really stiff brush someday! Happy Fall!