Hello All! Due to my brother's bachelor party this weekend in New Jersey I was unable to work out a painting tutorial for this week. Luckily for you I have planned for this and I have a great topic for today's article. We get to talk about cleaning! Well actually we'll be talking about proper care of your painting materials and how it can save you money in the long run.
Treat this brush like you would treat your own...
Proper brush care is an essential part of this hobby. A well cared for brush paints smoothly and last longer. The first thing to do when you have finished with a brush is to rinse it with water and dry it on paper towel. Secondly, squirt some paint thinner into a small bowl and add some water. Take your paint brush and “paint” the bottom of the bowl lightly until the pigment stops flowing from the brush. To dry the brush, “paint” your paper towel a couple of times and set the brush upright to finish drying.
A brush that hasn't been cleaned properly can become stiff and frayed. This will lead to unsightly lines in your stroke, and an inability to properly and accurately spread the paint. Basically, your art will suck. If you are noticing any of these symptoms currently, it is time to buy a new brush and follow the proper care solutions stated above. While brushes may only be a few dollars, it is easy to see how buying more brushes more often can add up. Wouldn't you like to be spending that money on a draft or something? Also, I should mention that smooth, properly blended artwork sells for more than stringy, gritty artwork.
Your workplace is showing...
I would love to say that keeping a clean workplace is a huge key to success, but it isn’t and my workplace is quite often a mess. Properly stated, a comfortable workspace is a huge key to success. Painting is a hobby that requires some space, so you want to make sure you have enough space to work comfortably. Constantly having to shift things aside to make room for yourself can be a huge distraction. Things like this, that draw your attention away from your painting also draws your mind away from focusing on the task at hand and painting to the best of your ability. The better your painting, the more money it is worth.
Did I not mention that?
Perhaps I should have mentioned this in my first article, but you should be collecting things. One way to help keep fresh ideas pouring into my head is by keeping a binder full of interesting pictures. Anytime you look in a magazine and find a picture you like, cut it out (not in the waiting room) and file it in this binder. Landscapes, portraits and animals are all great for reference and inspiration. Old calendars are great for that sort of thing. Also, you may consider keeping a small box full of interesting objects as well, like old bottle caps for interestingly shaped rocks and such. Having a place to look for inspiration when you've hit a block can be enormously helpful in moving the process along.
Odds and Ends...
A few more things to keep in mind:
1. Put the cap back on your paint!
2. Keep your water away from your projects
3. Keep your paint all in one place (looking for that one color that’s really on the counter because you had it in your hand when you went to get a drink but the pizza guy came so your dropped everything on the counter to go and pay and then you were so excited because of the pizza that you totally forgot what you were even doing in the kitchen so you didn’t go back there sucks.)
4. Put the cap back on your paint (Really! Buying new paint knowing that you had a full tube makes you feel like crap)
Anyway, more painting next week!
-The Painters' Servant