Creating good art starts with talent and skill. It’s also dependent on having good supplies and taking care of the supplies you have. Your artist tools are an invaluable investment into your work. These five tips will help you take care of that investment and ensure it pays off as long as possible.
- The bristles of new art brushes are held in place with a light glue, called sizing, to keep them pretty and to help them maintain their shape during shipping and store displays. Rinse your brushes well before their first use.
- Clean your art brush bristles thoroughly. Make a point of cleaning all the way down to the ferrule. The ferrule is a fancy name for the metal ring that connects the bristles to the stem of your brush.
- Don’t soak your brushes in water or cleaning solution for long periods of time. The weight of the stem and the stagnation of the water bends and distorts the bristles. It can also weaken the glue inside the ferrule or cause the metal of the ferrule to rust.
- Buy the best cleaning solvent, soap and art brush shampoo you can afford. Water is fine for quick swishes in between paints, but a good, quality cleaning solution is worth its weight in gold.
- Lay your brushes on an absorbent towel to dry. Place the towel on a book or other hard surface and tilt it forward with a rolled up towel under one end. This will allow your brushes to dry with the bristles tilted down. This helps the water run off and the points of the brushes maintain their shape.
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