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Why Artist Brushes?

Milano Tudor a mid 15th century artist always struggled with trying to find the right brush to paint with. Camel hair, badger hair, or horse hair were always top choices for creating a perfect brush. After many visits to his local farm to gather his choice animal hair for putting together a perfect brush, he had a great idea. How about using his own hair. He realized that his long straight hair would be the perfect hair for creating a great artist brush. After painting with 4 to 5 brushes he had put together he noticed that his works of art had such a remarkable change in appearance and texture. It was so dramatic that his work caught the eye of some of the great masters artists of that century.

The Master artists inquired from artist Tudor to what was his secret?

Tudor replied, “Tis the passion of the artist and the artist his sacrifice.”

Growing up I have always been fascinated with artist brushes. I loved going down to my local art store and taking a brush off the shelf and feeling the stiff or soft bristles and imagining what kind of works of art I could produce with the strokes of these brushes. I probably have today around 300 different types of brushes. Having been a full time artist over 25 years I just about know how and when to use a certain brush to get the effect I am looking for.

But why brushes? Well for starters it just makes sense to take a stick attach some hair to the end of it and dip it into any form of liquid or powder and apply it to any surface. Well, that is just the basics of it.

Brushes have been around for hundreds of thousands of years, back when Kevin the Cave man was painting the next caution symbol of the saber tooth crossing on a rock wall all the way up today of taking a brush and putting on makeup.

Brushes, especially artist brushes come in all shapes and sizes. Large wide brushes can get the job done quicker for large surfaces areas to cover and tiny round brushes can be used to paint a name on a mailbox. Whatever you use a brush for it will seem to always feel natural to use.

My art brushes are an extension of my arms. I like to say it translates what my creative mind is saying to the canvas.

Although, as in the fictional story above I haven’t taken Artist Tudor’s trade secret and created brushes from my black course hair…I still have learned that in order to get better there has to be a sacrifice somewhere in your life.


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