Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Lesson One: You get what you pay for.

Okay, so the oils worked better today. Or, really, I should say my brushes worked better today. Turns out, like all art supplies, you get what you pay for.

I have people all the time come up to me and ask why their oil pastels works don't look like mine. For one, they are theirs, but maybe more importantly, those who ask, are generally using an inexpensive, off-brand. Translation: more filler: less pigment. Less pigment: less coverage.

But, I get that it is hard to plunk out lots of money if you are not even sure if you are going to like the medium. So, when I bought my oils , I did spend up. But, being the wise fool that I am, I thought I could skimp on the brushes. You know, with oil pastels, you don't even need a brush, so why should they matter so much. Then, as I was out there in the internet art world--yes, I was procrastinating--I kept reading over and over again how good brushes were a key to successful painting. Well, it turns out I do have some very good brushes--they just weren't the clean looking and tidy ones I purchased 2 winters ago for the first "oils experiment." So, I used those. I'll keep the others for craft projects and the like but will not reach for them first when working with my new-found medium. Never, if I can help it.

But, that begs the question: where do you get and what are the best brushes? Well, again I forgot the blog and my computer closed down during still another power outage today (they happen on a very regular basis around here!) so I can't even look at my history to find the artist who recommended the site I'm dying to buy from: Rosemary and Company.

Rosemary and her staff of several women make hand-made brushes that are supposedly to die for. She lives in West Yorkshire, England, ships to the US and is about one half the price as the art supply stores I frequent. So, I think the next time I sell a significant piece, I'm gonna treat myself to some of her brushes. She's on facebook too--I'm gonna go find her there!

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