When I upgraded my brushes to Winsor & Newton Series 7‘s a few years ago, I started paying more attention to brush care. With the brushes’ higher cost, I wanted to get as much life out of them as possible. For me that meant keeping an older brush around to do my painting dirty work.
Before I started using the S7’s, I was pretty rough with my brushes. I was guilty of all of the brush sins, including things like stabbing at models sometimes with the brush and letting paint get into the ferrule regularly. While this wasn’t a big deal when I was spending a buck a brush, I knew I had to change my habits with the new brushes, but doing so would slow me down. Lets face it – when you’re base coating, dry brushing, or otherwise just trying to lay paint down quickly, doing things right takes more time.
That’s when I started going to the bargain brushes at my local art store. They’re nowhere near the quality of S7’s, but they have one distinct advantage: the el cheapo factor. For a few bucks I could pick up a couple flats for drybrushing and a few rounds for base coating work (especially for my bases; concrete patch chews up brushes quick!).
When it comes to layering and detail work, I stick with my good brushes, but if I’m throwing down the first layers – like the black undercoat and Boltgun base coat for metals – I can go to one of my workhorse brushes (as long as they still have a decent tip) to get the job done fast. And when I finally mutilate them past usefulness, I don’t have to feel bad about only needing to drop a couple bucks for replacements.