Thursday, January 19, 2017

Lets Talk About Painting: Part 4

This year I am creating new habits to improve my painting skills, one new habit that I am developing is keeping my brushes clean.  I have always kept my brushes clean however not my cleaning water.  I keep a Patron bottle on my desk filled with water and a splash of Dawn Dish Soap.  I would change the water out once a month if I remembered.  I have to wonder if I was really cleaning my brushes if the water I am cleaning them in is dirty.

I also keep a paper towel on my desk to wipe off excess paint for dry brushing and dry my brushes after cleaning.  I just changed out the paper towel when it just got to dirty to use any more.  Don't know why I just didn't changed out the paper towel on a regular basis I guess I just got lazy or cheap.

So the new habits that I am creating for my self are real simple.  First I keep my work space clean and organized for I can find what I am looking for when I am looking for it.   

I have a large marble tile that I use as my work space.  It is white to reflect more light while I am painting so I can see what I am doing better.  Next to that is a small ceramic tile (4 inch) that I use as a paint pallet.  It cleans up easy and can be replaced for less than a dollar.  Next to that is my paper towel to wipe off excess paint and drying my brushes.  So before each paint session I clean off the ceramic tile of dry paint and replace the paper towel with a new paper towel.

On the yellow bandana I have a clear bottle that I add water to before each paint session.  The water I use is distilled water with a splash of Dawn Dish Soap.  I have an old dish soap bottle filled with my cleaning water I keep on my desk.  I also will change out the water during my paint session after a few different colors, so I dump the water in the old Patron bottle I keep on my desk.  I also have a block of paint brush soap in a tin that I use after each color I paint.  The brush soap is something new I just started using and it does get more paint out of the brush then my cleaning water.  

I know this might sound like a lot of extra work to keep my paint brushes clean however it is worth the extra effort.  It really only takes a few minutes to clean off the tile, change out the paper towel and fill up the glass bottle with water.  Now that I am thinning down my paints and learning how to wet blend these extra steps are needed.  With wet blending you need clean brushes while applying the different colors or you will mess up the blend.  Also with thinning your paints you want the brush to pick up more of the pigment and having a clean helps.

You will also notice a brown bottle on the yellow bandana.  This is a 50/50 mix of distilled water and flow aid, this is what I use to thin my paints.  I have a dropper to suck up the mixture and control how much I put in my paint.  I will say the dropper that I am currently using I don't like, it is just a cheap one that Testors sells.  I am going to track down a syringe to start using so I have more control of how much of the mixture I add to my paint.  I also keep two different types of Q-tips out at all times while painting.  With thinning my paints I am learning how to paint all over again with my brush control.  I do make mistakes and the Q-tips can clean the paint up real fast.  The smaller Q-tip is make specific for models and I found mine at a local craft store.

Till next time, keep painting