Yes, I feel bad about what I said a while back.
And my point was … ?
Well, it was a good point.
It was that you definitely need a good brush.
But a good brush can’t turn anyone into a good painter.
And I do reckon that a good painter – I mean, someone who knows how to mix good glass paint, how to get it to the right consistency, how to load and shape a brush – yes, I reckon how a good painter doesn’t need a perfect brush to paint well: in most cases, she or he will do a beautiful job even with an ordinary brush, because they know about paint and how it flows.
So my point was this. Don’t ever let anything distract you from focusing on the paint and learning how it lives and dries.
Like I say, it’s a good point. I hope you take it to heart. By all means get yourself the best brush you can afford. All the same, if your tracing isn’t as you want it, it’s more likely the paint’s fault, not the brush’s.
But of course there are exceptions. Important exceptions. (I mean, even with the best paint on your palette, you couldn’t use a tracing brush to lay an undercoat!)
And that’s why I’m feeling a little bad.
You see, even with tracing brushes, it’s important to be sensitive to the different capabilities of different sizes (small, medium etc.), different tips (pointed, chisel etc.), different lengths (short, long etc.), different material (sable, hog, acrylic etc.).
So I want to restore a bit of balance to my discussion.
Here are two examples, both of them to do with the tycoon’s skylights.
In the first case, we had to paint 48 of these:
Now see those curves … Well, our everyday preference is for a brush with short-length sable hair. But in this instance, we found a medium-length acrylic gave our strokes the necessary grace:
What still surprises me is the size of this brush. In our terms, it’s massive: size 8 (out of 10). Yet it was just what we needed. With the right brush, these swirls were – I won’t say “easy, but they came more easily than they would have with the wrong brush:
There you are, appearances can be deceptive. And habit – blind force of habit – could easily have meant we used the wrong brush, which would have cost us time and money.
In the second case, we had to paint some decorative shapes to separate Latin words from one another:
And of course it would be possible to cut and use a stencil. But actually it was far easier to find and use an appropriate brush:
Once again, an acrylic brush – but this time with a chisel head.
There you are, a bit of balance. I know I tend to rant. It’s what comes from working out in the wilderness of Stanton Lacy … So I hope I’ve put the record straight and – who knows? – maybe even given you a timely reminder to watch your paint and also watch your brush.
All the best,
P.S. Next time I’ll make a quick video so you see the second brush in action. You’ll see how shapes come easily … when you have the right brush.