I’ve come to realize that when I am painting I just use the same couple of brushes. Especially, since I learned that the fewer I use the more skilled I become in using them. I use one brush to paint a cloud in the sky, a window on a facade or a reflection on the water. I use the tip, then the side, then twist it around and it all makes for a bit different effect. This also makes it much quicker to use, because I just give a quick wash to the brush in between colors and I am ready to go. With that in mind I realized I have a few brushes (gulp) I have not used in a (really) long time. So I took them all out and took a good hard look at them.
I have two sets of brushes which were sold in a bundle pack (for peanuts) at the crafts store and promised the ultimate experience. Some that I have inherited from a painter, and some that I have no idea where they are from. So here is a rundown of what I am facing.
So, here is what I have found. I have some bushes that are not (and have never been) good for their intended purpose. There are others that with the lack of care have become one mummified version of their once glorious selves. And others that are for techniques that I don’t really care for. So the decision is easy, right: chuck it in the bin!
Weeeeeel… the thing is, I become so attached to things, that it is really hard for me to just throw something out. I am convinced this is in part genetic (my maternal granddad was a renowned hoarder and yes, I get it from my Dad as well), in part it comes with age (I am becoming more and more sentimental) and in part utilitarian. I mean, some brushes could still have some use, right!? Case in point, I started experimenting with the use of acrylic gels (more on this in an upcoming post), and harder bristled brushes could leave some really nice marks in it. Yeaaaaahhhhh.
You see! This is what I was afraid of: I start out with good intentions, and end up with… OK. I ended up purging the set of watercolor brushes that I had. In all honesty I don’t use watercolors. Second, they were just plain awful. As for the others I will wait just a tidbit longer. I will do my best to use them for some purpose. If not, then (gulp) I will let them go.