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I'm brand new to painting minis, but I've got this problem where the tips of my bristles tend to start to curl at the end. I am not sure if I am doing something wrong, or if it's a characteristic of the brushes I'm using.
I got the GW Hobby Starter Kit, as well as the GW Foundation Paint Set, each of which came with a "Citadel Starter Paint Brush". I've had this curling problem on both brushes. After getting maybe 1/2 way through my Assault on Black Reach set one brush is totally ruined (additionally, I probably should have cleaned it better), and the second is also curling even though I have been more careful about cleaning.
Anyone know what's going on? Am I doing something wrong or do I just need better quality brushes?
Everything GW sells as hobby supplies are greatly overpriced for what you are getting, go to a hobby shop and pick up some paint brushes of the different sizes you think you will want to work with (large brushes cover larger areas, smaller brushes are better for detailing). Brushest tend to be between 2 and 4 dollars each, depending on where you buy them and what quality they are, the more expensive generally are higher quality, although you may not NEED the best brushes they have for your purposes as a hobby painter.
When you clean your brushes off use warm water and try and get all of the paint out of the brush, and don't set them bristle down in the water (they will rest on the bottom and it will damage the brush). When you are done cleaning them use your paper towel to get them in the form you want them (back into the original shape they had then you bought them) and then put a plastic protecting tube over them to stop them from being damaged, personally I throw them wherever however my uncle keeps his in the refrigerator and says it helps to preserve them.
Occasionally bristles will be damaged and quality will be lost. If in trying to bend the bristle back into place you will end up damaging the bristle more, or if you will damage surrounding bristles you may want to just cut that bristle off. You can make a 2 dollar low end brush work for you for YEARS if you treat it right, and quite often it will give you similar results to the high end brushes (down to a certain point, high end brushes are always better for extremely fine detailing). You don't need to spend a hundred dollars on 5 brushes, the only way that will really help is if you are a very skilled painter (high end brushes are great for high end detail work, but if you don't have the skill to do said high end detail work then you will be wasting the money on the high end brushes), you just need to take care of the brushes you have.
Oh, yes, and when painting you only need to use the very very tip of the brush, not the whole thing, the base of the brush should not be bending as you paint or as you clean, that is a sign you are doing things too hard, your brush should never be fanned out when you are painting.
Last edited by archonofdeath; February 27th, 2009 at 19:58.
A youth with his first cigar makes himself sick; a youth with his first girl makes other people sick. - Mary Wilson Little
Sounds like you need less paint on the brush, try painting with paint about half way up the bristles, also try washing your brush when you done. G.W brushs are very good for painting models and will last a long time if cared for.
I AM BOOMER!
I get this problem and my remedy is to lick the ends of my brush tips after I have washed them.. Its a bad habit i know and probably a few people are feeling a little sick.. but it works for me. Also, I've come to like the taste of GW paint..
Also, I have found that the newer brand of GW brushes are not as robust as the old red's especially when cleaning them.. You'll need to use only the tip as has already been suggested and also when cleaning them out make sure you don't bash them on the base of your wash pot.. I have lost lots of bristles on some recent brushes that way.
I have heard there are other, 'better', brands out there so you could take the advice previously posted and try some other brush manufacturers and see how you get on
so thats pretty much most of the possibilities.
To be honest slightly hooked brushes can be good for painting eyes and stuff. they hold small drops of paint better somehow.
- too much paint(should be about half way up your bristles)
- not washing properly
- leaving them in the water pot?
- bashing the bristles
- not using the plastic covers
- Careless?(by the sounds of things, no)
Thanks for the advice everyone. Yeah, I have tried to be pretty careful since I ruined the first brush so easily. I try not to get the paint up too high, and make sure to wash them when I'm done. In fact I also do some cursory washing in the middle of painting because it doesn't seem to take long at all for the paint to dry and start to stiffen the brush.
This is how I've been washing them though, tell me if this is bad:
First to get most of the paint off I kind of roll them against the edge of my clear water cup (that's all I do when I do a mid-painting clean). When I see that the paint has stopped coming off the brush, I bring them to the sink and rub the brush against my fingers with hand soap. I don't rub with the brush strait into my hand, but to the side, probably about a 45 degree angle. If I see any traces of paint in the bristles I basically scrape it out with my thumb nail.
So does it sound like any of the washing could be damaging? I may have to try licking them when I'm done, see if that helps...
Curling specifically is a symptom of 'pushing' with a synthetic brush. Try to learn to get the tip into the little crevices by sort of approaching from one side and still using somewhat of a brushing motion. Pushing paint into cracks with the tip will always make synthetic brushes curl over. (I'm a guilty pusher, I just keep a stable of cheap golden taklon brushes with curved in tips for use in base coating so I don't wreck good brushes )
Just because the paint pots don't have a skull & bones on them doesn't mean everything used as acrylic pigments is ok to ingest You should really not get into the brush licking habit if you think you might want to experiment with oils or enamels one day!
edit: I highly recommend this stuff: http://www.dickblick.com/products/ma...and-preserver/
a $7 pot will last years and you can leave a bit in the bristles to condition them in storage.
Last edited by InquisitorAffe; March 1st, 2009 at 01:43.
yea. i got into the brush licking habit. I daren't do it at the shop though, other brush lickers , and my parents give me strange looks. It works though. It really does.
I was taught to repoint my brushes by folding my hand a little and pulling the brush through the crease that forms on your palm, while slowly twisting the brush.. but like others said, don't but too much paint on, pull the brush across models don't scrub, don't leave brushes point down in your water pot, clean them regularly and never never clean in hot water as it melts the glue that holds the bristles in. A little bit of washing up liquid doesn't hurt as long as you get it all out. GW used to do a bar of soap with their more expensive brushes.
Oh and don't worry too much, even the best cared for brush won't last for ever, after a good chunk of painting they will have to get downgraded to dry brushing, then glue applying, then ming then the bin, thus is the lot of a brush.
Also like people have said try other brands, but make sure you get acrylic brushes not watercolor or oil paint.
I tend to stay away from synthetic brushes as much as possible and stick with natural bristle brushes so this technique only works for natural bristle brushes. It is going to sound somewhat quirky, but it works. I will relax my brushes using regular hair conditioner that I grab from our bathroom. I wash my brushes in the normal fashion, then I apply hair conditioner to the brushes and let them sit for a few minutes. I rinse them in luke warm water then remove all the water with my fingers and form them into the shape desired and stick them standing straight up in a styrofoam or a flower form block. I then flip the block over so the brush tips are pointing down and suspend the block inside a mason jar. Gravity does the rest as they dry out completely.
Hope that helps!