Brushes

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Where do you store your brushes when you have been painting? Please don’t store them with the ends of the brushes facing downwards, in water or turps, its a bad habit and can ruin your brushes.

Brushes are not cheap. They come in various sizes, shapes, types of bristles and handles.

They range from the tiniest brush with a good point, to very large flat headed brushes which could almost be used by a painter and decorator.

Types of bristles can be made of sable, hog hair, squirrel and other animal hairs. If these sable is the softest and easiest to get good results with. A brush with strong  hard bristles can be used to roughy cover large areas and block in colours.

For me a synthetic hair works best. It tends to be flexible yet durable. The cost is usually slightly less than sable.

Going back to storage.. Gently clean your brushes under luke warm running water if you can. Sometimes if the brush is still loaded with paint I will swirl the head of it round in the palm of my hand while rinsing it under the tap. This releases the paint. If I was using oil based paint I would use a little substitute turps and rinse the brush in a jar of the first, then to clean it thoroughly I would use a bit of washing up liquid in the palm of my hand and a tap running warm water and just rinse the brush till the water runs clear.

Once the brushes are clean dry them on a little kitchen towel. This also helps to assess if all the paint has gone.

Place your brushes with the brush heads facing upwards and all the bristles smoothed back into the correct shape of the brush head. You can use your mouth and lips to repoint delicate brushes. By storing them this way they will dry better, the brushes will not end up bent almost in half, and the bristles will not end up glued together with paint. Brushes are a valuable commodity and correct storage will save you money by not having to buy as many replacements.

 

Drawing practice.

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What’s better than challenging yourself to do something different.

If you draw something often enough you get to know its shape, whether its a drawing of a car, or a landscape, or a face.

If you want to see things more clearly when you are drawing it can be an idea to turn your picture upside down. then you can identify areas you need to adjust.

This is an extension of the idea. Draw the object upside down then turn it the right way up. It’s a way of learning. I find myself talking through what I am doing. Is the nose too long, are the eyes too close together. Just think how you would draw someone if they were standing in their head? How does the hair on their head fall? Where would the shadows be. In this case I can turn my phone round and clearly see that the face is too long, the eyes are too small and the face is too thin. But it doesn’t look as bad from the normal perspective. I think that’s because of foreshortening. Tablets and phones tend to be held horizontally where pc screens are vertical.  With phones that means the top of the image is further away from your eyes than the bottom of it. Consequently the top half may be drawn slightly bigger than it should be so that when viewed upside down you can see the distortions.

When I was a child I learned to draw by copying from cartoons and photos,  but also by drawing people from life and from memory, the old adage is right, practice makes perfect. I just need to spend the time to learn and hone my work.

Old painting, or new idea?

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This is a painting from a few years ago. It was based on the idea of nerves in the brain -synapses, electric currents sparking ideas. I honestly dont know where it went. I do know it was a medium sized acrylic on canvas.

My art life has flitted from idea to idea, like this painting I try to generate new thoughts, I love to experiment, come up with different feelings and emotions.

Why should art always stay the same. Why not do different things?

Red sky morning…another bad rhyme

I got up early

after going late to bed

The sun was below the horizon

The sky was deep red.

Got to take a picture

Run downstairs

Get a few shots of it

Then go back to rest

Will the old rhyme come true?

Red sky in the morning

Shepherds warning ?

No sign of rain,

No sign of snow.

A little breeze

But no freeze..

Sunset has come

No reddened sun

So we will see

What is to be.

 

 

Staring at me?

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Who is that man staring at me? Why is he staring? I have never met him before. Never spoken to him. Trying to hide behind a magazine, I peeped out. . Still staring directly at me! How rude and somehow frightening too. Like when a cat stares at its prey, ready to strike? Or a snake catching your scent … Who was he? How did he know me?

Oh no, he’s coming over. Sitting down opposite me at the cafe table. .

Excuse me? You have ketchup on your face. He grabbed the napkin and wiped my face, like I was a child! Then he got up and walked away. I’ve never seen him again since!

 

Sleeping

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I want to be in my bed

Asleep,

Sleeping, snoozing, snoring, napping.

Tired out

Kaput,

Knackered,

Dozing, having 40 winks

Getting some shut eye

Sleeping under the duvet….

Warm, snuggled, wrapped in feather down

Hushed, soft, moonlit,

Hidden in the dark,

Eyes closed but seeing the stars.

Waves of colour.

Dreaming of galaxies and sun’s,

Nebulae encompassing infinity,

Then shrink down, back to the room,

And sleep.. …

Sliders.

Imagine a game like curling that you play with stones on ice, but on a normal floor. That’s sliders, a curling game where the stones have ball bearings underneath them to allow them to glide across the floor  You aim at a target with scores which go from 1 2 3 4 5 and 10.

Today I actually scored a 10, which is very unusual for us. Sometimes I can’t even reach the target as the bearings on the stones are starting to get worn out. We play a simple game where the highest score after an hour wins. Today there were 7 of us playing. It’s also good exercise as you are bending and stretching and walking backwards and forwards.

If you want a simple game to play at a community centre or village hall I would recommend it.