18 October 2008

Watercolour brush

This brush has travelled a very long way through water, with watercolour, on watercolour paper.

Winsor & Newton Series 7.

Photographed here resting on my studio palette. One of my oldest brushes.

with Cerulean blue



Hope I look as good when I clock up the mileage this brush has! Oh sorry… keep forgetting I’m in Aus… K’s on the odometer is more apt!

WAYNE said...

..speaking of measures in distance and music miles davis klicks!

..the old brush was worthy of a blog post, and 'Cerulean Blue -- well anything to do with 'the Blues' is cool in my book ;)

thanks PG cheers :)


An old brush, and particularly one that has served well is indeed worthy of a blog post!

I have a # 1 round that I am very fond of and that I have almost worn out… I have been using this one for 12 months & both WIPs I need to finish…and I don’t think it’s going to make it!

Klicks…why of course!…My brother came to mind when I read that
…and why is it I get the impression we aren’t talking paint anymore?! Back at you ;)

PS...Cerulean Blue is one of my favourites, but don't ever team it with Burnt Sienna...LOL

David Burge said...

Wayne,a sweet natured, well adjusted, fat bellied critter by the look of it. Good size too,
going by the ferrule width.
That'd cost you an average workingman's weekly wage these days too. esp with devalued $au.
I have a few kolinsky brushes inc a W&NS7 but merely a #10.
I've grown very close to a couple of synthetic brushes more recently but must admit my prized brush is a Rosemary #8 Kolinsky mop. A monster with the best enduring tip I've come across. Will have to post a pic of it sometime. Have had it several years and I'm yet to paint something worthy of it's expressive potential.
Might be good to do an equipment/palette inventory perhaps.

WAYNE said...

PG keep that old brush;) ...

It's when a brush is 'nearly worn out' that its wizardry is at hand.

Yes, concerning music vis a vis paint! ...'Paint', within the presence of light, is colour. 'Sound', within silence, is (to me) the 'presence of form'. Music is 'sound within light' (no matter how soft, no matter how loud). And, music is 'light within sound' (no matter how dim no matter how bright).

Hmm, yes Cerulean Blue and Burnt Sienna can easily be a mud-mixer. But if you are Charles Reid, (need I mention his masterful watercolours??!) then you can mix these, and more, right on the paper, while simultaneously pitching the overall tone to perfection. Reid is a master of light in watercolour.

A final note...the note is A

don't know where that came from (shrug), but music, I guess:)

cheers & thanks PG:)


Wayne, what a wonderful, insightful and inspiring reply.
That brush of mine is an old one from my ceramics era a number of years back, which seems a life time ago now.

Your views on paint and music are beautiful making me want to hit the ivories and doodle…Can one doodle on the piano? 

Charles Reid and his masterful use of the above mentioned colours can make beautiful music when combined. My Ladies & Their Instrument series use this pairing predominantly however I was told recently (no mentioning of names here, but you know him quite well) that they are terribly cliché and when one is beginning needs to ‘get this out of their system!’… lol…

I am yet to discover ‘the secret…’ capturing the light in watercolours, but in the meantime will endeavour to have fun trying.

A for Appassionato! Obviously one who has a passion for what he does with the paint and the music!
Thanks for your support.

WAYNE said...

Thanks for your broad-brush cariacature;) of my faithful 'series 7 brush'! Actually it has a rather 'trim' belly thanks all the same (heheh).

To me, there is a certain elegiac beauty to an old brush that's seen you through many years and many paintings. The symbolism of 'the form of the round' is powerful. Articulate.

Two or three high-quality brushes, (say 1 large, 1 small and a medium flat) are worth the investment IMO (so long as budget permits!). A broad Hake is cheap as chips (almost) and worth every cent for those large washes and large-scale works.

I mainly use synthetics or bristle brushes for acrylics and body paint where the viscosity of paint mandates this.

The large squirrel brushes hold tons of water and come to an incredible point given their girth, but they are just too 'wonky' to be of any use to me. Generally, in my watercolours a brush needs to have body, structure, form, and a certain springiness. They also need to be capable of holding a lot of water (until the brush interfaces with the paper) and then let it flow. So far I've found the synthetics don't have the water-carrying capacity nor do they release the water as well as sable IMO. While they do maintain their form quite well they lack the spring of sable. I am conscious of ecological environmental impacts and so all my sables are old. Synthetics are constantly improving thankfully. They need to model their fibres on the sable IMO.


WAYNE said...

...BTW, forgot to mention..., yes, do post a photo of your Rosemary #8 Kolinsky! I'm not familiar with the 'Rosemary' brand/make/type.

The artist's inventory concept is cool too.. get that one percolating...

cheers again

WAYNE said...

PG, thanks again for your comment:)

In reference to that, this morning I browsed your 'Ladies and their Instruments' series. Within each painting I see a reflective introspection set within a radiance of sound, a shimmering cymbal, symbolised by the 'corona' of hair surrounding the players.

The Cerulean and Sienna are beautifully interchanged in these. (As you mentioned earlier these are not so easy to combine!) In your series they set a musical 'key' IMO.

BTW, methinks (ahem) there is nothing clich∉ except the word 'clich∉'. Just as 'there is nothing new under the sun', except that which is The Oldest;). So-clarify, ...our intuition.

The figuration, the tilt of the head, the lilt of line, the restrained transparency of colour, suggest to me a 'minor key'? [I often defer to the minor keys because of their aptness to 'carry'.]

thanks PG, cheers ~W

Nick said...

A good brush is a good friend. I was approached recently by Princeton brushes to endorse their line - a nice thing, since two of my faves (a 1.5" synthetic sable and a big mop) are indeed Princetons. Valfred Thelin gave me his prized 3" red sable yrs ago before he died, and I eventually ruined it with acrylic, forgetting to wash it out. That brush would be well over $1000 now. Breaks my heart.
I'd love to see more of your equipment, palettes, painting table, studio, etc. - please post more!!
PS-PG: that was burnt sienna and ultramarine blue, not cerulean


Thanks for browsing my ‘Ladies & their Instruments’, hope you enjoyed your brief musical interlude with them as much as I have here reading your generous thoughts on them.

You are indeed very observant, these ‘Ladies’ are joyously absorbed musically speaking and ‘carried away’ exactly my intention. To have it suggest a ‘minor key’ to you is high praise indeed, I sit here at my other keyboard and blush!
Thank you ~W


Although no names were mentioned… :) I do publicly apologise for misquoting the cliché colour combo in the above comments.
I’ve gone back into the archives and it was ultramarine blue and not cerulean paired with burnt sienna that was the "one of the all-time w/c cliché" … however as my ‘Ladies’ predominantly use the cerulean with some ultramarine blue I totally thought it was that combo.
PS – NNG my apologies to you, PG (insert Blush)
Hi Wayne (insert Wave)

WAYNE said...

Hi Nick
Thanks for cruising through this 'brush thread'! That 3" red sable of yours would now be as rare as a camel in Antarctica and would cost as much to freight one there! Sometimes I keep my 'ruined brushes' because they can make interesting err-regular lines that have an unpredictability (kind of like watercolour washes, except in line).

Hmm, my studio is rather a small space. I'm quite tall with a large wingspan so I can't even swing a paint-brush in here without striping the wall. Some of my largest works I've painted outside or in the lounge-room (the lounges have to be removed from the room first to make room for the lunges). My studio palette is (ahem) a 1-buck white china plate (BUT it beats plastic ones hands down IMO). If I need more mixing area I'll use two (or three). I use lots of water jars. My 'trigger water sprayer' is a 2-buck item from the local hardware, but its spray can settle like a Dunedin fog. Most of my best tools of trade are very simple, but special;)

cheers & thanks Nick, I think you should post some of your artist's inventory (DB's idea, and a good one - see above)~W

PG:), rest easy!
Thanks for clarifying 'the combo' and for your kindness and sensitivity towards others, and revising stuff etc:) Sounds just like me! --anyway the computer screen can make cerulean look a bit like ultra and the other way around;)

If you want to feel a little better have a look at my recent stumbling comments under my Alps post, -- anxious me, given to constant revisions from new perspectives, ever wondering if I might not have expressed myself better! But I get a reassuring vibe we all mean each other well, to encourage, and clearly so. Too often I fall short of that ideal, so to anyone who reads my wonky words, (ahem) please excuse, ...sometimes I soar like an eagle (is that 'saw'?)--other times my nose crashes into the carpet like a paper jet.

Re: cliché ...it's a French word I never overstood. ...a bit like passée .. one that slips past... So then, there's always tomorrow: bright sun shiny day:)

On a another note, many thanks PG for your generous interpretation of my (ahem) final note 'A' as standing for 'Appassionato'!! That really was so kind of you:)

cheers & thanks PG, for your kindness to us all...

sincerely ~W

WAYNE said...

Hi PG,
..if you missed seeing my reply to your comment within the 'double-reply' above pls refer to my preceding comment. Cheers & take care:)


Wayne, thank you for your thoughtful reply.

Your ‘vibes’ are correct and I dearly and respectfully hope they transfer themselves to NNG.

The “nose on my paper jet” is often crumpled…at least yours lands on the carpet! (She laughs hysterically)

I have no one to blame but myself…I’m in the pilot seat here and wonder what all the buttons are for…perhaps reading the manual will help!

Papa Golf…Over and out!


WAYNE said...

PG thanks for your reply (and sorry for a little lateness in getting back to you... had some other things on today

...for your 'concerns' (I get those too), I would prescribe a good dose of 'doodling on the piano'...:)

I think everyone here who has read these comments (re colour mixes etc) appreciates that we're all basically in agreement IMO. Whether someone says "Look let's be careful to avoid getting into a 'stuck-state'" (i.e. ?cliché) .. hmm, okay, there's something to be aware of in that and just to keep in mind. Or, whether I say: "It's OK for me to use these same two or three pigments, over and over, because I'm trying to express an abstract spectrum or breadth through spare means" [the latter is 'of The East': "less is more"]. Yin and yang-- each valid for different and complementary reasons.

It seems we're in general agreement IMO, but looking through different lenses: some 'focused', others 'wide angle', and some wondefully distorted \;∫
All approaches are valid. First I learn. Then I learn to unlearn. Then I earn. Then I unearn. Then I turn to the urn...
..(sip) .. ahhh...where would we be without café ?! LOL

cheers, take care, ~W


You are too much Wayne, glad there was an LOL on the end. This is an extremely enjoyable exchange and let me preface this by saying I will buy the next round of espresso, one which will keep you up until the middle of next week!

(Big smile) To quote you as I too am, “ever wondering if I might not have expressed myself better” my wanting to clarify being in the ‘pilot seat’ namely ‘my mouth’ and its earlier comments and would not want to come across as arrogant, I hope not. In fact quite the contrary!

Much ‘doodling on the piano’ is probably in order considering the amount of dust that has accumulated there – well over a year!

Love your sentiments, ‘looking through different lenses’ and ‘less is more’ totally agree here.
PG :)

PS… I can use some instruction with regard to using some of the HTML tags… they have me beat!
Feel free to email!

joel said...

wow. i am just catching up with all these great blogs that i didn't know i should be looking at. (my fault).

i have a lovely little raphael watercolour brush. it is my favorite. i use it when i need luck and/or inspiration.

it belonged to an very young artist named "Skip". he took his own life and our painting group decided to buy his leftover stuff to help his mother financially.

i think the little brush is blessed.


-- Joel.

wayne said...

Hi Joel,
Many thanks for your kind words:)

The Raphael sounds like a beauty and all the more meaningful for the reasons you say. The story of Skip ... is carried on via your brush ...the brush is like 'a baton in a relay'! Run with it!