Recently I have been getting emails and messages from fellow artists looking for advice in oil painting. Since I enjoy writing about my "craft," I figure I can post tips on my blog regularly (which will keep me up on my game anyways). So here it goes:
Mistake No. 1 - Cheap Brushes
When starting out with painting, you may think that most brushes are the same. Walking through the aisle of the art supply store seeing high price tags on some brushes might just seem silly when there is an economy pack on the end cap with 10 brushes and a neat-o little plastic holder for $9.99... but please, don't think these value brushes are anywhere near the same as the more expensive brushes (this also applies to most all materials, but this post is particularly about brushes - stay on track, josh!). Shell out a little bit of money for nicer brushes, it will be worth it. Shown below, I've posted a picture of bristles in my paint! How frustrating! I actually think that the culprit here was excessive shedding from my head (notice the dark color compared to the white bristles), but non the less... hair/bristles in your paint makes a poor quality piece - that also means all you pet owners out there should be cautious too!
I've found that the more that you work, the more that you will realize that you have favorite brushes. My favorites have been with me for quite a while now and I think that has something to do with taking care of my brushes! Treat them well, and they will treat you well - and last long! My best advice to easy cleaning and care for your brushes is a combination of Silicoil Brush Cleaner Tank, followed by Ugly Dog Brush Soap (click links to purchase). Rinse well, then apply a small amount to the bristles again and reshape the brush back to the correct shape. I store the brushes bristle up to air dry over night.
Hope some of this advice can pay off to someone out there. I'll try to make this "Painter's Mistake" thing a regular weekly post... I have plenty of mistakes I've made to share! Paint on, painters!