Monday, April 2, 2012

Annoyed With Brushes I Don't Want to Use

It's Monday again. Another start to a very busy week ahead. Every single day of the coming week has things going on. I can't get into it. It's all just too much stuff. 

With all the things I have to do, guess what I DID do? Yes, I painted. It's just this short of amazing. Where did I find the time? How did I get myself to the studio to do anything? Maybe since I rearranged things, and made the space comfortable, colorful and cozy it draws me there. Has to be it.

The photos of last year's CSA shares of produce and flowers is dwindling. I've used almost all of them. Thankfully, I find great compositions in the detail areas that make for good work. This time I chose these color packed tomatoes for this painting.

Now take a look at one of the newest brushes I bought. It's a pricey Isabey watercolor brush in a size I didn't have. Everyone raves about these brushes. I really don't know why. I'm not that happy using it. 

When wet it holds plenty of water. I usually use more color and less water, so I remove water by turning it against a sponge, then I go for color and paint. That's the part I don't like. The brush gets mushy. There is no spring. It becomes a flat, wet mess and goes no where. I should've taken a photo of that. I paid all that money for a stupid, horrible, flat mess of a brush. 

I might write the company a letter of complaint, I am that annoyed.

Okay, Windsor&Newton sable brushes are untouchable these days, so I guess it's not that bad. But really, it is bad because I spent money on a tool that I hate to use. W&N brushes I already own are wonderful.

Any Isabey brush users out there want to chime in with your thoughts? Come by and leave some in the comments. I can't wait to hear what you think about this brush.


  1. Hi Dora,
    I saw this post about the Isabey brushes. They are like all the mop-type brushes, really meant to do do big washy things. When I went to a workshop last fall with Alvaro Castagnet, he used these type of brushes for painting outdoors, doing big washes, then using a fine type of brush for minimal finishing touches. I had tried these kind of brushes before, like you, and couldn't work with them because they didn't suit the style of painting I was doing. Now that I have seen them in action, so to speak, and even tried them out for this different painting style, I can see their usefulness. With their big water/colour load, they really work well for working fast, loose and large. Check out his site - you'll see what I mean.

    PS love watching your paintings progress!

  2. Thanks for that info Lorraine! I will check out that site ASAP!

  3. Brushes are such a personal thing, sorta like finding JUST the right combination of pen and paper when you need to write a pile of thank-you notes; it only has to feel right to you and no one else.
    Like yourself I use a lot of pigment and not much water and have for the past few years used a half inch synthetic square (or "bright") brush for almost every watercolor. These are super cheap brushes - about $3.00 per, but I really like how they feel for the way I paint.
    Haven't posted on my blog for awhile so not sure what's on there, but if you scroll down you'll see work for Harpers Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, NY Times etc... all done w/ a $3.00 brush.

    1. Wow, a $3.00 brush! I spent more on that Isabey mop than the largest size block of Arches watercolor paper! On sale of course.
      Thanks so much for chiming in here with your comment, Stan. I know exactly what you mean about pen, paper, and brushes, it needs to feel right. I will drop in on your blog and take a look.

  4. Tee hee! I sent Stan here. I knew he'd have an encouraging comment!!!

    1. Karen Joy I am so glad you did that! It felt good to know a pro can love to work with a cheap brush. Stan's work is wonderful!


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