Working with big paint brushes

Big Paint Brushes

What a difference 40 years make!

When I was in my early teens I loved to paint using very small brushes, quite often, those “00” sable ones that were so fine you could easily count the number of individual hairs! Now, forty something years on, I’ve found myself going towards the opposite extreme and more and more of my work is being created using my two big old horse hair house painting brushes. I guess that my fuzzy sight has something to do with it, but there is much more to it than that.

I’ve been using quite large paint brushes for quite some time now but to start with these were modern nylon brushes that made nice wide marks, but ones that lacked much character. The bristles are fine and bendy and give little resistance to the paint and so they make a soft kind of mark. When however, I found my fathers old house painting brushes a few years ago, with their thick tough horse hair, I had found something that produced a wonderful course set of marks ….especially in thick oil paint.

work in progress

‘In the Luss Hills’, work still in progress

I’ve been using these two old paint brushes now since 2009 and am starting, at long last to work out how to get the best out of them. The paintings shown here have all been done in the last year or two and I’m getting quite excited by the possibilities.

Scottish Landscape painting

‘Rannoch Moor from Ghlas Bheinn, February’

Abstract Landscape Painting

‘Below Canisp, passing hail shower’

Abstract Landscape Painting

‘Between showers, from the upper slopes of Canisp’

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