Art Studio Maintenance : Shaping Paint Brushes


One of the last, but often overlooked steps
to cleaning your brushes, and a whole lot of other artist implements, is shaping. By
shaping, I mean making sure that your brush is going to dry in a relatively similar shape
to how it was beforehand. So if you have like a square shape here at the top, that therefore
it’s going to dry that way. Now what can happen is, over time, you can see actually this guy
has kind of lost it’s shape. It used to be tapering to the end there, and now it’s all
kind of fuzzy and weird, and little more like a flat top, like it got a buzz cut down at
the barber shop. This can be prevented by making sure you take some very easy steps
for shaping. Now there’s also some oils and liquids and post cleaning products that you
can get to shape this, but the basic, the science of it, if you will, if it even is
a science, is what I do is I take a paper towel, when the brush is still wet and I’ve
just cleaned it, and kind of run through the brush, and I’ll try and shape it. Oftentimes
brushes will spread outwards, so basically kind of shaping it and kind of pressing it
in a little bit will help it keep its shape more when it dries. Paper towels are very
helpful in this regard. Because if you do not do this your, basically your brush’s life
will be, you know, in two. Other things you can do to keep shape is like if you have some
random bristles, you can always, you know, with a little pair of tweezers or clippers,
zip those guys off to help your brush keep its shape.

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