Here is a studio tip for brush maintenance that came from one of my painting students. Andrea repurposes cannelloni pasta trays to support her brushes while painting.
Many prepared food items come in well-designed plastic containers. Mostly these are recycled, but if you look closely at the one in the photo below, notice it’s elongated channels divided by a central ridge. This can allow you to position your brush in an up or down position depending on your handle length or preferred way of using the tray.
Andrea uses this tray to place her paint-filled brushes in while painting. The brush head is placed in a ‘down’ position without weighting the brush on its bristle tips and elevates the handles which makes them easy to grab if working quickly. This keeps her work space manageable while painting and for cleaning up. If using short-length brush handles you might opt for a bristles-up position for personal reasons.
These plastic trays are also great to dry your brushes with tips resting down after being washed; I keep one relatively clean for that purpose. Positioning washed brushes slanted ‘down’ to dry protects the bristle tips to a considerable degree while allowing them to drain.
Additionally, once they are dry, a tiny rub of petroleum jelly onto the dried bristle tips nicely re-shapes their edges and makes the brush easier to clean after use with acrylics.
I am always interested in studio tips. Please contact me if you have one you wish to share!
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