Look after your brushes. They desrve it.

Shakehands with your brushes, look after them, learn how to get the most from them and they will reward you with years of service.

There are simply thousands of brushes on the market these days. Some are made from natural materials such a squirrel, hogs hair and sable and some are 100% synthetic.

Don’t get hung up about the quality and certainly not about the quantity. At the end of the day the cost has got to be a consideration as well as availability. I have a wide selection of all sorts and size, but I have my favourites and am quite happy with half a dozen in various sizes. (PIX)

We are concerned about working in with watercolour paints which you mix with water, so what you are looking for are brushes which will hold a lot of water, so forget a bristle of any type, they are tough little chaps suited for acrylic and oil paints. If you are a beginner go for what you can afford and make sure they feel comfortable in your hand. A nice big flat or chisle brush for laying down a wash, a large mop with a good point and a smaller brush for fine details. (NUMBERS)

It’s good to practice with them and see how many different marks you can get out of one brush, even with a large round one, if the point is good you can achieve a wide  variety or lines and shapes. Getting to grips with  your brushes you will soon find that they will do a lot of the work for you.

Some don’ts….NEVER leave a brush standing up in a pot of water for any length of time as this will distort the bristles.  If a brush does distort, you can knock it back into shape to an extent, by wetting it, smoothing it out and wrapping some tissue round it and taping it, then leave it alone for a few days. ALWAYS keep your brushes clean and in a container where the bristles  don’t get squashed or bent.