Shaping Brushes with Use

February 11th, 2009

A paintbrush is a tool. With use, it will wear down. The finest tip, with use, soon becomes dull. Alas . . .

four brushes, new and used

four brushes, new and used

But there are positive sides to wear as well. We can think of the normal wear on the tips of the brushes as a shaping process, producing a new form of brush. As the photo above shows, four brushes of the same type will, with use, become distinct tools, each suited to a somewhat different job. All of these red sable brushes are fully functional, because I have kept them clean: the ferrules are not fused with dried paint, so hair still retains flexibility.

Below is another example, with hogs bristles. It’s clear these brushes will be suited to different jobs.

an un-used and a very used bristle brush

a new and a very used bristle brush

. . .