Hello again!  This time I want to talk to you about brushes and paints.  They are very important in your painting.   You can put a lot of love and effort into a painting and it still won't turn out right if you are using the wrong materials.  First let me discuss paint. Acrylic paint in particular.

     There are different grades of paint.  If possible,  ALWAYS use professional grade!!!  It has much more pigment and therefore much better paint!  Student grade is watered down and will almost always give disappointing results!  This is true of both oil and acrylic paints.  Gamblin oil is one of the best brands for oil and Liquitex Professional Heavy Body paints are one of the best acrylics to use! These are found pretty much everywhere but can be ordered through BlickArt.com for almost the same prices as Hobby Lobby.  Blick does have the advantage of large sizes in most colors that Hobby Lobby doesn't but that is only good if you paint a lot like I do or use large canvases.  Once you start using professional grade you will never go back!  Suddenly your paintings are much more vibrant and alive and for good reason.  Plus they last longer!  Student grade paints are dull and it takes twice the paint.  Next week I will go over some color mixing so you won't need to have one of every color.  A basic set of 9 or 10 colors will make many colors on canvas!  Unless you need a special color for tropical water like I do, then I buy more colors.

     I have the photo below of some of my brushes and a tube of Liquitex paint.  You need to look at the brushes so you will understand the differences between the many kinds available.

     The brush at the top is called a Hake brush. Call it Hake, Hake' or whatever you want, but it is usually 2" wide and made of goat hair.  It is really good for filling in space especially sky and especially soft skies!  It can leave hair on the canvas but you can let it dry and roll it off or  go back with the brush and pick it up when you see it.  When using it you use an "X" stroke back and forth very softly or lightly.  Keeping a light hand takes practice but once you get used to it you will LOVE this brush!
     Next is a FLAT bristle brush.  These are your workhorse brushes.  they are tough and can take a lot of punishment. When new they are square like this one.  As you use them they wear down on the edges and begin to look like a FILBERT which is rounded.  The smaller one next to it is a FLAT that is worn down from use.  You can buy a FILBERT but your money is best spent on FLATS as they take more wear and tear and don't have to be replaced as often.  These brushes are used for most of the painting.  They can actually scrub on the canvas and take the punishment!  Bristle is tough stuff!  And with a bristle you have multiple surfaces to use.  The tip of course, but you also have the flat side and the edges along each side.  They are indispensible.  (You really need them, in other words)  They come in many sizes, but a 4, 6, 10, and 12 will do for most paintings.  I have a 20 which is a whopper for my really big canvases.  Of course I have a can full of them.  Here again, it pays to buy good brushes!!  Cheap "bundle" or packages of brushes are not worth your money!  Buy good brushes on sale or use your 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby to buy one at a time.  There are several good brands out there.  Again, just don't buy bundle pkgs.
     Next is a synthetic brush. Nylon. These have a very sharp point on them and are wonderful for buildings, etc where you need a sharp edge.  They also come in several sizes.  I have a 2,4, 6 and 10.
These brushes are also good for animals again to get a sharp edge.  Just don't scrub with them.  They are tough, but the sharp edge can be ruined if you do scrub.
     Next to last is a sable brush.  Sables are delicate brushes for fine detail work.  They come in multiple sizes and I have many.  Also, they can be flat or round.  I use both.  Here you just have to experiment for what suits you best.  Just remember,  NEVER scrub with a sable!!  They will fall apart if you do!! Sable is a natural hair and therefore delicate.  Some sables can cost in the hundreds too!  And they can be as small as one hair, no kidding!  I've never used one that small,  but I do have some very small ones.
     Last but not least is the Rigger or Liner brush.  As you can see, it is very long and narrow.  It is used for fine lines, bare trees, grasses and for signing your name.  I love it, but it takes practice to get used to using it.  Your paint must be almost ink thin for tree branches and grass. These long bristles hold a lot of paint so you literally roll the brush in the THIN paint until it is saturated and hold the handle so the bristles are lower than your hand, then the paint is fed like an ink pen and goes a long way.  Again, this takes practice but it is well worth it.  Take a day or so and practice just that alone on paper or whatever and you will be amazed once you get it!

     OK, now that I have talked your head off, below I have some photos of paintings I am doing for the March Art Walk.  I want to have plenty of small paintings available.  They sell well.  Also I came up with the idea of taking 2x2 canvas and gluing magnets on the back then selling them as really small fridge magnet paintings or for work.  I got 2 pkgs of 3 at Walmart.  They are cute, but we'll see if they sell.  That's the deciding factor, right?  I have a few larger of 11 x 14 and 16 x 20 and one 18 x 24.  This summer, I may take even larger, we'll see.  Anyway, enjoy and Thanks for looking!

     Oh, I almost forgot!  I was given some frames by a friend.  One of them was 12 x 30 and had 3 photos in matting.  I took it apart and decided that I could use the photos (on thick photo board) as canvas and paint over them.  I coated them with thick gesso, let it dry a day or so and then painted three cute scenes and varnished them. Then I taped the well dried canvases back to the mat and mounted them back into the frame.  I also wrote on the mat to add to the flavor.  It is so cute!  I call it "FLORIDA'S THREE SEASONS"....Sunshine, Stormy, and Sundown! Below are the paintings separate and then mounted and framed.

12 X 30

Sorry, there was a lot of glare on the plexiglass which I reused because there is a mat separating the paintings from the glass.

12 x 24
These surfboard paintings are proving to be popular!

5 x 7

5 X 7

Assorted Seascapes
Notice the six small 2 x 2 magnet paintings
The largest is 8 x 8

5 X 7

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