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Thread: Ask Loston (Dr. Stupid Jr)...

  1. #641
    [SUPPORTER] Bruce Lee's Avatar
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    Thanks for the assist, Smitty! You covered all the important things that I would have posted in response. I actually caught up with Ace on DeviantArt, so he got the full treatment answer to his brush woes. lol

    Last edited by Bruce Lee; 05-08-2017 at 12:21 AM.
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  2. #642
    Good gosh-a-wolly! Are you the sole distributer of brushes in North America? I don't know that I've used that many brushes in the course of my career.

  3. #643
    [SUPPORTER] Bruce Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty View Post
    Good gosh-a-wolly! Are you the sole distributer of brushes in North America? I don't know that I've used that many brushes in the course of my career.
    I haven't actually used any of these yet. I've been using the same brushes for years and years. Right before I moved from New Jersey in 2000, there was a Pearl Paint store going out of business, and I couldn't resist looking around. I'd purchased a few Raphael brushes there before, and I was hoping to find some discounted. Well, I did! They were marked down quite a bit. I bought many of these brushes there for about $5-8 each! A few I ordered online, like the Scharff seroes 3000 brushes, just to try them out (which aren't bad, but I like the Raphael brushes better). Now I have a lifetime's worth of brushes. I'm still looking for a "white out" to replace the Pelikan Graphic White that was discontinued. Any suggestions, Smitty?
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  4. #644
    Ah, the old bulk trick... got it. Fair warning, the one time I tried that, by the time I got to brush number three, the moths found them Consider tossing cedar chips into the box you store them in.

    I feel your white out pain. My preferred Pentel Presto Pen changed formulas about 10 years ago. While it still covered mistakes and provided a thin, glass smooth surface, that surface was now deathly allergic to ink. Anywhere ink touched it, the Presto would crumble off the page.

    I haven't found anything to replace it. It's either Pro White to cover mistakes or patches to provide a new surface.

  5. #645
    [SUPPORTER] Bruce Lee's Avatar
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    I've never heard of moths eating brushes before, so that's a new one on me. It hadn't occured to be me that something like that could happen, so I'll have to look into getting some cedar chips. It would be a shame to lose so many brushes.

    In regards to white out pains, I was introduced to Pelikan Graphic White when I first attended the Joe Kubert School back in '94. A bottle was included in our equipment kit, and I found it to be invaluable in the early days of learning to ink with a brush especially. It seemed like every other line I put down had a wobble in it, or came out too thick back then. It took a few years to really develope the proper control to do good inking. Now it's just a matter of getting the ink flowing well. I still make mistakes of course, but I often use white out for "special effects" inking purposes like spattering, or to break up linework, etc. I still have two active bottles of Pelikan Graphic White, but since it's been pulled from the market, it's impossible to find another. I'm left trying other white out products, but none have really thrilled me so far. Pro White has been the best of the lot. I've considered using acrylic paint, though I'm not sure if it'll work out or not, but I'm willing to try it.
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  6. #646
    Master of Miniaturization Ace Corona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty View Post
    Normally I wouldn't butt in but, looks like Loston's booked up and I hate to see you ruin a good brush before you get started.

    The TEN commandments

    Rule 1: Never "break" the bristles. When new, brushes are covered with a hard candy shell made of acerbic gum. Do NOT twist the bristles free. SOAK the gum out. This can take as much as ten minutes the first time. Take the time to do it right.

    Rule 2: NEVER allow a dry brush to come in contact with ink! While there is a technique called "dry brush", it uses a wet brush. Keep a jar of water next to the desk (NEVER ON the desk. That's a safety issue and bad juju) Soak brush thoroughly, push excess water out by wiping against the inside lip of the jar, blot bristles against a clean absorbent rag. Now you're ready for ink.

    Rule 3: When dipping into ink, never dip further than half way. Better yet, never dip more than 1/3. A brush is a mop made to absorb, there's more ink in there than you think and you know where to get more if you need it. A handy trick is to never fill the bottle with more ink than can cover 1/3 the bristles. Now you can dip straight to the bottom of the bottle and never overload the brush.

    Rule 4: NEVER allow ink to touch the ferrule (the metal band that holds bristles to handle). If it does, rinse thoroughly immediately. Once ink dries in the ferrule you're smurfed. The bristles will no longer come to a point and the dried ink will be a magnet for more ink and now you're extra smurfed.

    Rule 5: Rinse out ink constantly. To rinse out every time before dipping may not be required but, is not excessive. Certainly every couple of minutes, more often in dry climates. Ink is viscous, relatively quick to dry and waterproof once dry.

    Rule 6: Never allow a brush to dry with ink in it no matter how diluted the ink. If you need to switch instruments or take a break, rinse thoroughly, load with water and hang upside down (in a brush holder, do NOT let point touch anything) or lay flat. Keep your eye on the brush, if the distraction takes longer than you thought, load up again or wash it.

    Rule 7: Wash thoroughly after every use. Loston likes shampoo, I prefer "the Masters" Brush Cleaner and Preserver in the flat wide tub.

    Rule 8: Never allow the brush to dry without a setting agent. You want to recreate the hard shell the brush came with. Loston likes hair conditioner, I stick to "the Masters". Once clean, work up a filmy solution (not lather) and then roll the brush against a clean rag. Check for, and straighten out, any bends, make sure it comes to a perfect point. Dry upside down or flat.

    Rule 9: No not allow a wet brush to stand bristles up. You do not want water to become trapped in the ferrule or to absorb into the handle. Either will cause mold and... you're smurfed.

    Rule 10: uhh... Mind your mother and brush your teeth.

    The SNAP Test

    Normally I would say never buy a brush without test driving first... but, we're too late for that here. Still, you want to test the brush in case it needs to be returned.

    SOAK out the gum (do NOT twist bristles) Load brush with water. Find a spot ( a towel, pants leg, out the window) where water spray will do no damage. Snap your wrist. The bristles should come to a perfect point. If it fails to point perfectly the brush is dead; not sick, not wounded, DEAD! Sleeps with fishes, food for worms, DEAD!

    If it does point perfectly, don't trust it, do it again. If it points a second time, don't trust it, do it again. If it points a third time, it's alive and good to go. Note that's three times in a row. ANY failure to point = dead.

    Perform the snap test after every cleaning, prior to setting. If it fails to point you're not clean or, still have soap in the bristles or it's dead. See if further cleaning or soaking cures the problem.
    Thanks Smitty, I'll copy and paste this to my iPad. Sorry I took so long to respond, but this thread didn't get answered for some time, so I stopped checking back until yesterday. Thanks again for your help!
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