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Frequently Asked Questions

You will find below a selection of FAQs relating to Winsor & Newton brushes. If you still can't find the answer you're looking for you can email us.

1. What are the best brushes to use for Griffin Alkyd colours?

2. What are the best brushes to use with Artisan and how should they be cleaned?

3. Is it possible to limit the damage from Masking Fluid to brushes?

4. What are the best brushes for painting Water Colour miniatures?

5. Which brushes best to use when laying a water colour wash?

6. What is the best method to clean Oil Colour from brushes?

7. What is the best method to care for Artisan Brushes?

8. What is the best method to clean Water Colour from brushes?

9. What is the best method to clean Acrylic Colour from brushes?

10. Which is the best brush for stippling clouds?

 

1. What are the best brushes to use for Griffin Alkyd colours?

Winsor & Newton have over 100 years experience in making brushes for artists. A selection of good brushes provides a choice of marks and makes it easier for you to paint. If well cared for, brushes will have a long lifespan.
If using thickly applied colour or impasto, bristle brushes are the most common.
Winsor & Newton supplies three ranges particularly suitable for oil;Artists’ Hog (Rathbone in the USA),Winton and Azanta.

If you prefer a synthetic hair brush, the Artisan range has been specifically designed for use with oil colour. The stiff nature of the bristle and its natural split tips, called ‘flags’, produce brushes which wear well and carry considerable quantities of colour.

If blending and glazing is more prevalent in your technique, a soft hair brush is recommended. Cirrus sables or the blend of sable and synthetic in the Sceptre Gold series are most commonly used (in the USA Lexington II - bristle/synthetic and Monarch – synthetic mongoose brushes are also used).

For further information on Oil Colour Brushes click here.

For further information click here.

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2. What are the best brushes to use with Artisan and how should they be cleaned?

A selection of good brushes provides a choice of marks and makes it easier for you to paint.There are a number of head shapes and sizes available to achieve all needs.There are a variety of shapes such Rounds, Flats, Filberts or Fans suitable for different strokes and techniques and a range of sizes from 000 – up to 22 allowing you to work in very fine detail or cover large areas quickly.

Winsor & Newton developed the Artisan range of brushes to achieve the best possible results when painting with Artisan Water Mixable Oil Colour.The brushes are made using a unique blend of high quality synthetic fibres which are designed specifically to have the performance and characteristics of hog bristle, yet maintain their spring and shape when in prolonged contact with water.

There is a comprehensive range of head shapes and sizes including short handled brushes in the Artisan brush range making it easier to execute a variety of techniques. (Short handled brushes not available in the USA)
Other brushes can be used with Artisan to achieve different techniques. For blending and glazing a softer haired brush may be more suitable such as a sable or sable synthetic mix. In all cases to maintain the life of the brush, wash thoroughly at the end of each painting session with soap and water.

For further information on Artisan click here.

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3. Is it possible to limit the damage from Masking Fluid to brushes?

Although some artists swear by vaseline, soap or petrol, our tests do not show any of these methods to be 100% reliable or safe. The masking fluid should be as fresh as possible and washed from the brush with soap within a split second of use. Use low priced brushes or old ones if possible. If fine lines are required, a goose quill is ideal or for larger areas, a Colour shaper is excellent. The masking fluid can be rubbed from both of these.

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4. What are the best brushes for painting Water Colour miniatures?

When painting miniatures, most brushes have too long a ‘length out’ from the ferrule. The large belly carries too much colour and obscures the view of the painting. Series 7 Miniatures are short stubby sables which allow the point of the brush to meet the handle without the belly getting in the way. These come in sizes 000 to 6, use the smaller sizes for smaller pictures.

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5. Which brushes best to use when laying a water colour wash?

Good quality sable makes the perfect water colour brush. A size 10 Series 7 is the best, it carries more water and gives the best control.

Alternatives for large washes are the 2” Sceptre Gold II flat wash brushes (sable/synthetic) or 1” Artists' Water Colour Sable one strokes or a Cotman mop brush. It is best to wet the paper before starting as this gives more time to graduate or control the colour. Always make enough of the wash before starting.

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6. What is the best method to clean Oil Colour from brushes?

Cleaning of Oil Brushes

1. Wipe excess colour from the brush using a rag.
2. Rinse remaining colour form brush using Artists’ White Spirit or Sansodor for oils and alkyds, water for Artisan.
3. Next, clean the bristle with Winsor & Newton Artgel or household soap (not detergent), working up a lather and rinsing the brush under warm (not hot) water. Repeat this until there is no trace of colour. Ensure all traces of soap are removed.
4. Finally, shape up the brush, dry the handle and rest the brush bristles uppermost in a pot or jar to dry.

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7. What is the best method to care for Artisan Brushes?

Artisan Brushes

To ensure the best performance and long lasting quality of this particular brush range, follow these simple rules:

1. Always clean brushes after use with plenty of soap and water or Winsor & Newton Artgel until all traces of colour have gone.
2. Remove excess water and re-shape the head.
3. Never leave the brushes standing on their head.
4. Store the brushes carefully, head uppermost.

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8. What is the best method to clean Water Colour from brushes?

Cleaning of Water Colour brushes

1. Brushes should be wiped clean on a lint-free rag and then rinsed under running water.
2. Clean brushes gently with cool water and mild soap, gently swirl the soapy brush in the palm of your hand.
3. Repeat washing and rinsing the brush until the soap and water run clear. You’ll be amazed how much colour comes from the brush head. Take particular care to ensure that the base of the brush head is clean.
4. Some pigments may stain the brush slightly, but this will not affect the performance or the life of the hair.
5. Gently reshape the head and remove excess water from the brush head.
6. Dry the handle and ferrule and stand head up to allow the hair to dry.

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9. What is the best method to clean Acrylic Colour from brushes?

Cleaning of Acrylic Brushes

1. Brushes should be wiped clean on a lint-free rag and then rinsed under running water.
2. Clean brushes gently with cool water and mild soap, gently swirl the soapy brush in the palm of your hand.
3. Repeat washing and rinsing the brush until the soap and water run clear. You’ll be amazed how much colour comes from the brush head. Take particular care to ensure that the base of the brush head is clean.
4. Some pigments may stain the brush slightly, but this will not affect the performance or the life of the hair.
5. Gently reshape the head and remove excess water from the brush head.
6. Dry the handle and ferrule and stand head up to allow the hair to dry.

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10. Which is the best brush for stippling clouds?

Winsor & Newton have a wide choice of brushes and the brush you choose will depend on how they feel to the artist. However, for stippling, a stencil brush would be too hard and if you want to stipple cloud effects, a softer brush would be more suitable, however it must also hold up to the stippling procedure. A good brush to use for this would be the Sceptre Gold range. The best brush within this range would be a series 101 round of size 12 or 14. These brushes have excellent spring and good carrying capacity. They are a mixture of sable and synthetic hair and will hold up to a lot of use and are suitable for acrylic, oil or water colour.

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