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Author Topic: Brush Shapers - Worth it?  (Read 1031 times)

Offline Daeothar

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Re: Brush Shapers - Worth it?
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2022, 10:59:31 AM »
...do you know the address of that profligate painter?  Might be worth raiding her bins.  There must be a market for hardly used series sevens out there…..
I think it may have been Jennifer Hailey. I'll let you do the doxing though...  lol

Oh, and what was a brush shaper, by the way  :D
Yeah; that question still hasn't been anserwed, now has it?  :D
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Online Cubs

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Re: Brush Shapers - Worth it?
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2022, 12:43:59 PM »
I know Jen Haley does beautiful work and she has said in the past that she prefers a larger brush with a sharp point. Personally I prefer a range of brushes - big brushes for big work, small brushes for small work. I have more control over a tiny brush, it doesn't obscure the bit I'm trying to paint and I prefer reloading the paint for details like eyes, to avoid a flood of paint spilling out. But if I'm doing a larger area of fine detail, like patterns on cloth for example, then a larger brush with a sharp point (using paint with a retarder medium) is the way I roll.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2022, 02:15:02 PM by Cubs »
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Offline Bravo Six

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Re: Brush Shapers - Worth it?
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2022, 01:57:31 PM »
Thanks for the input lads. Talk about muddier paint water.....  lol

@Daeothar

Quote
Youtubers using a size 1 brush (just the tip) to do detail work is just weird to me; like I said I use sizes 000 and 0000 for detail work myself. 0 and 00 are my worker brushes, and those are the largest ones I tend to use on miniatures (bar make-up brushes for drybrushing).

I'm with you on that. 00 and 0 are my worker brushes too. WN Series 111 are cost effective and usually (and I mean "usually" not always) found here in Canada at Michaels. I can't find this Series 5 you refer to though. No mention of it on the W&N site.

I guess my question to Sunburst's point about paint stuck in the ferrule...... how does one loosen this up? I always try to clean that area well and can often feel mini bits of paint come loose from that area, leading me to believe (falsely it seems) that I'm cleaning the brushes well.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2022, 02:06:26 PM by Bravo Six »
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Online Cubs

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Re: Brush Shapers - Worth it?
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2022, 02:16:29 PM »
I guess my question to Sunburst's point about paint stuck in the ferrule...... how does one loosen this up?

I give the brush a rinse in some 100% acetone, which does the trick. You have to be careful not to overdo it though, because it will also loosen the glue holding the bristles in place.

Offline Ray Rivers

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Re: Brush Shapers - Worth it?
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2022, 02:40:05 PM »
For years I was in the small brush for details camp. The problem I found was that the brushes just didn't hold up for very long and some times even started bending. Too few fibers and too much pressure, I think. I started using larger brushes with excellent points for details and found they lasted far longer than smaller ones. I don't buy the small brushes anymore in fact.

As far as brushes are concerned, I think a couple points haven't been mentioned. First, I always use thinned down paint. Normal paint out of a bottle is just way too thick, IMO, and not only has a tendency to "blob" but also destroys the tip of the brush because it is too heavy for the tip to hold. Second, is that once I load the tip of the brush with paint and use it, I rinse the brush and remove all the paint even if I am using the same color. I also let the paint flow off the brush naturally and do not try to force it onto the miniature. When I look back at my painting style before I started using larger brushes, I believe that the real problem I was having with the tips was that I would be continuously dipping the brush back into the paint without cleaning it and putting too much pressure on the tip and not allowing it to simple flow naturally where I passed the brush.

Mind you, rinsing off the brush continuously slows down your output, as does using watered down paint, but I feel I get a much better result and extend the life of my brushes by doing so. I never, never, allow paint to enter the ferrule of the brush, unless it is one of my older brushes that I just want to get a rapid base coat painted on.

Offline dwbullock

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Re: Brush Shapers - Worth it?
« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2022, 03:30:16 PM »
I've used this stuff. 

https://www.generalpencil.com/store/p92/100-BJ.html

As long as my brush wasn't too far gone, it worked with cleaning and reshaping.  I was shocked at just how much paint I was able to get out of some of my brushes.  And it did help reshape a few.  Not perfect, though.  On the plus side, a small container at my local art store was like $8.

Offline 2010sunburst

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Re: Brush Shapers - Worth it?
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2022, 04:11:40 PM »
Thinned paint I assumed was a given Ray, but I may well be wrong.  You should be able to let the paint flow off of the brush, not need to push it off.  I also rinse as I go, and always wet the brush with fresh water and repoint it (with my mouth, yeh, I know, yuk!) before picking up paint again.  Tip drying kills paint flow as much as over thick paint.  It is less of an issue with bigger brushes because they have a smaller surface area to volume ratio and therefore dry out more slowly. 
Something else not mentioned is that Metallics kill brushes as well.  The particles are larger than ground up normal paint pigment and hold the bristles apart.  I use older brushes for that purpose. 
Good call Bullock.  The Masters brush cleaner is what I use to clean my brushes at the end of every painting session.  Adopting this into my routine is what I believe has increased the life of my brushes exponentially.  I believe it has terpenes incorporated into the formula to loosen dried paint.

Interesting discussion this…..we are all doing the same simple thing, but we are pretty much all doing it in our own individual way.  Ain’t modelling great LOL.

Offline Ray Rivers

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Re: Brush Shapers - Worth it?
« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2022, 06:19:39 PM »
I mentioned thinned paint because one cannot assume that all folks do that. Un-thinned paint is a brush killer.

And Yes, I also repoint by brush with my mouth, however, not like before, because now I always am cleaning my brush by giving it a twisting motion on my napkin which pretty much gives you a darn good point in and of itself. So I think now when I stick the brush in my mouth, its more to make sure the brush is moist than to give it a really good point (which is does).

Sticks brush in mouth... yummy!  :D

Offline 2010sunburst

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Re: Brush Shapers - Worth it?
« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2022, 09:35:20 PM »
I’ll admit to keeping a bag of sweets in the model room for the times I forget to rinse the brush before repointing it Ray LOL.

Offline Bravo Six

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Re: Brush Shapers - Worth it?
« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2022, 09:59:42 PM »
Quote
Interesting discussion this…..we are all doing the same simple thing, but we are pretty much all doing it in our own individual way.  Ain’t modelling great LOL.

Ain't it Sunburst?  :D I'll echo your sentiment that this has been a VERY interesting and insightful discussion. I'm glad I started it. What was the original topic about again? I can't remember.....  lol

Offline Mindenbrush

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Re: Brush Shapers - Worth it?
« Reply #25 on: June 28, 2022, 01:49:34 AM »
I believe it was “brush shaper”?

From the instructions, the Speedball Mona Lisa Brush Shaper is used after cleaning the brush and when dry the instructions say just move the bristles across your hand or rinse the brush. Seems to be a form of conditioner.

The spec sheet mentions Borax?
https://www.speedballart.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/422.pdf
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Offline Daeothar

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Re: Brush Shapers - Worth it?
« Reply #26 on: June 28, 2022, 07:33:51 AM »
Hah; the first time I open a link from the LAF at work and it's actually work appropriate; MSDS's are basically the bread and butter of my professional life these days  lol

I don't know why, but the description of 'brush-shaper' evoked a vision of something vaguely mechanical in nature, rather than a conditioner. Perhaps a pencil sharpener-like contraption of sorts? My visualising mind wanders into odd territory sometimes...

And some corrections on my previous post; the very old brush is indeed a W&N series 5, but the smaller ones that have been purchased since then are all of the W&N III variety. What threw me off is the fact both are the same light blue colour. The old brush has lost its gold lettering decades ago, but I still have the W&N gouache set it came with, and the description in there mentions a series 5 alright.

Also, it's actually a size 1... ::)

And then there's this thing that has shaped the way I paint maybe as much; I used to paint under two halogen lamps, and those things got hot. So hot that over the years, they actually melted the supposedly heat resistant housings and mountings. I used to hold resin and plastic parts right in front of them to heat them up to reshape; no hot water required there...

But the heat assured I had to apply my paints quickly, because they would dry on the brush within tens of seconds. So I adjusted my painting techniques accordingly. Never used a wet palette, but learned to keep everything plenty watered at all times. Yes; that means the paint on the palette as well.

This also meant I had to keep my brushes moist at all times, and the only ones that gave me some occasional trouble due to drying time were the very small detail brushes like 0000-sized ones.

So when transitioning to LED lamps, I got frustrated quite a few times when paint seemingly didn't want to dry; I was so used to paint being dry within seconds or at most a minute after application, that it actually affected my painting speed. I've adjusted now, but I do confess missing the heat and the speed.

This might also have had an effect on the way I used and maintained my brushes; neccessity forced me to keep them moist and clean, resulting in increased longevity...

« Last Edit: June 28, 2022, 07:41:40 AM by Daeothar »

Offline ced1106

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Re: Brush Shapers - Worth it?
« Reply #27 on: June 29, 2022, 07:10:35 AM »
Review on the Mona Lisa brush shaper. Unfortunately, the reviews don't mention what size brush and medium, so aren't too helpful: "This product works when used on brushes with very soft, fine bristles but with anything coarser doesn't seem to do anything much to reshape the brush. I used it on several synthetic oil and acrylic brushes including Winsor & Newton Artisan brushes, all with curled or splayed out bristles. It made very little difference to any of them. Very limited in its effectiveness."

Still for $12, you can tell us and let us know! :P

Only technique I can add is that I'll use a bad tip for the large areas, then, even if it's the same color, a better one for the smaller! The less I use a good tip, the longer it seems to last...  lol

EDIT: I'm fiddling with using colored airbrush primers to "thin" hobby paints. Dip the brush in the primer, then the paint. Mix from the brush on a dry palette (or wet). I already prime miniatures by brushing on colored airbrush primer to speed up painting, and colored airbrush primers are cheaper per ounce than hobby paints, since you buy them in 2oz and 4oz bottles. The colors won't match, but that means you're forced to mix and blend the colors, if you're as lazy as I am. :P

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000UXHBP4?&tag=crafteriahub0022-20
« Last Edit: June 29, 2022, 05:21:05 PM by ced1106 »
My DIY Contrast mix:
* White-primed miniature lightly pre-inked in a dark shade.
* 1 drop acrylic ink in a small pot of paint (eg. children's craft paint). Do not mix.
* Dip the brush in the ink. As you paint, you can dip into the paint to make the layer more opaque.

Offline snitcythedog

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Re: Brush Shapers - Worth it?
« Reply #28 on: June 29, 2022, 02:34:36 PM »
Just read through this again and very interesting to see how everyone else is doing things.  For the speedball stuff, it looks just like the brush cleaner I use to use in the states.  If it is the same stuff it is amazing.  You could actually see particles of acrylic paint working out of the ferrule when cleaning a brush that had been sat for a while.  Thank you all for the links becasue I will be ordering some soon.   
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Offline krieghund

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Re: Brush Shapers - Worth it?
« Reply #29 on: July 01, 2022, 09:30:43 AM »
I've had some success with this stuff from Instar.

https://shop.instarpaint.com/product/soap/

 

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