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Green Splash of colour
Watercolour classes
group and private tuition

The basic materials.
Colours - Brushes
Pencils - Paper

another splash of colour!
rural image curves Enquiries - class2009@watercolourclass.co.uk
* * * *  : Learning how to paint watercolours :
: Brush Care :
Links to current class projects
This page!!
Basic materials ORDER FORM  for the three local classes
Instructions for an  easy-to-make cardboard easel.
A few good watercolour books
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These few notes from Rosemary, the expert on all types of brushes, is an invaluable little chapter in the art materials section.

Thanks again Rosemary

Sends email to Anthony Forster
Saturday 20th July


Brush care & Tips.

Proper use, together with correct care and cleaning will ensure your brushes have longer life. I hope the following tips will help.

• Storage is important - always keep aired and whenever possible, in the upright position. Natural hair needs to breathe in order to prevent mould growth. Avoid window sills and radiators and keep your brushes out of direct sunlight.

• Try to keep handles dry, to prevent them from loosening and cracking. When you dip the head into water, try to keep the water level below the crimping and only wet the ferrule.

• Moulting or shedding hairs from a new brush is a normal process. Once the brush is broken in and following a few painting sessions the moulting will stop. Always thoroughly rinse a new brush before first use, to remove the Gum Arabic used to set the head.

• Always clean a good quality brush thoroughly after each painting session. For fine hair, such as Kolinsky & Red Sable, rinse in cold water. Remove as much moisture as possible with kitchen roll and reshape before storing. For transporting to and from art class, I recommend a bamboo brush roll. This not only keeps brushes secure and prevents damage to brush heads, but also allows for air ventilation. Another special tip for longevity of brush heads is to recondition your sables as you would your own hair! Once a year, take ordinary hair conditioner and apply just one or two drops to the heads allowing to soak, then rinse well before storing again. This will greatly enhance the performance of the brush.

• Expensive brushes, especially ones with a perfect sharp tapered point shouldn't be used to mix the paints. Instead buy a less expensive alternative and save your points.

• Less expensive nylon brushes will eventually develope a curl or burr at the point, here is a simple remedy that is useful to know and worth trying. Carefully pour boiling water into a suitable container and briefly immerse the brush head (two seconds should be enough). Reshape and allow to dry naturally. This sometimes revives the twist or burr. However after continued use, nylon will always curl to give the point a burr.

Thanks to Rosemary for allowing me to include her invaluable advice on Brush Care.
To visit her website go to:  www.rosemaryandco.com


From personal experience I would also like to add a further couple of suggestions, if you live in a hard water area, as I do, (note the buildup of lime scale around your taps etc.) to prevent any such build up in the hair roots of my brushes, when at home I always use filtered water to rinse my brushes and mix my colours.

A rather annoying experience easily avoided, is to prevent lint or just plain dust building up on your brushes that have been left standing upright for far longer than it has taken them to dry.
No doubt you have experienced the frustration when applying a good wash to a nicely stretched support say a half size sheet of waterford "140 lb not" only to find your first strokes to achieve that wonderful sky using your favourite large brush is full of bits of lint.
I now keep my brushes between two gravy spoon holders, or just loosely fold your bamboo brush carrier to cover them which still allows air to circulate over the hairs.


NEW It is now possible for members of the three local classes
to order materials on line click link below.

* * * * sends mail to Anthony Forster
Watercolour tuition - private and groups.
For tuition enquiries & mailing list inclusion
E-mail: class2010@watercolourclass.co.uk


Three watercolour classes restart in
September - 2010


Local classes in the North Staffordshire area.

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Click this link to see


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Learn to paint 

Watercolours In the Derbyshire Peak District

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Copyright 2002- 2010

Anthony Forster Studios

(PLM issue-27)
Page Last Modified on
Aug. 11th. 2010



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[ art class projects ] [ art-class books ] [ basic materials ] [ cardboard easel ]
[ MWS homepage ] [ MWS workshops ]