Tuesday, August 19, 2008

On Paint Brushes

Another aspect of my slow but steady improvement in painting ability had been a growing dissatisfaction with the quality of work I could produce with the tools at hand. Most of my old brushes, dated back to when I was using oil based paints and were pretty cheap ones at that, mainly Humbrol Heller reds for under a pound each. Now these are good brushes for durability, and for applying base coats they work great. But they don't handle detail well. For that I had used Javis Sable blacks; but increasingly I was annoyed at how they lacked a fine point, or tended to split into several strands. My no.2 Javis spends more time as a basecoater and highlighter brush nowadays, being incapable of less than a 2mm wide line.

Now though I've finally got some new brushes and they are working out pretty good. The Proarte 'Prolene' series I found in the local art shop. I took a size 1 and 3/0 to try (top of photo); not cheap at £3 each, but I felt the need to experiment.

As it turns out they're very good, maintaining a fine point and even line, even when fully loaded. The size 1 produces a consistent line of 1mm width, which is good for lining, lettering and so forth (see the standard in my Dogs of War unit below), whilst the 3/0 has produced the finest eyes any of my figures have ever been able to look across a table with. I would advise keeping water on hand though, for regular dipping of them, as at that price it would be annoying to clog them with paint, and at this price I don't want a new set of Dry-brushes on my hands.

While some gamers and painters have the luxury of a permanent set up for their painting (including myself until the end of last year); presently I have to manage with this luxurious set up:

As you can see the paint 'table' is just an upturned storage box, and the paints and modelling tools themselves reside in the packing for our set-top digital TV decoder. High class, but for the next three months, it'll do. The purple rag by the way, keeps the paint off of me and provides a wife-annoying-free way to clean brushes without resorting to kitchen roll or worse...

1 comment:

  1. Hi there AKI.

    I loved your blog so much I've added it to my feeds and to my home blog as a post ("A great gamer's blog to enthuse you with gaming spirit").

    I found it a really enjoyable read and now I want to start painting a Dogs of War army !

    Thanks for inpsiring me,

    Sigmar's Warhammer Blog