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Friday, May 20, 2016

Update and Introduction

Hello, Painters!

I am Lori, the new Social Media Coordinator for Dynasty Brush, a division of FM Brush Company. Karyn Meyer-Berthel, the previous voice of the Dynasty Brush blog, has moved on to spend more time painting and creating. It is an honor and a privilege to follow in Karyn's footsteps. I intend to continue what she started as well as introduce some new features both to blog and on Dynasty's social media platforms.

Let me tell you a little bit about myself: Born and raised in central New York state, I was a quiet kid who loved to draw. Both of my parents are artistic people and they always encouraged me to be creative. With their constant support as well as the guidance of a wonderful team of high school art teachers, I was able to win scholarships that allowed me to further my art education.

I earned an Associate degree in Fine Art and a BFA in Art and Design with a minor in Art History. Although I started painting in high school, I really connected with the process during my sophomore year in undergrad. Later in my college career I took an elective in the Theatre department, which introduced me to the world of scenic painting for the performing arts. I loved it because I was able to paint in a scale much larger than what would fit in my small, shared studio space. When my college Technical Director informed me that I had the potential for a career as a Scenic Artist, I laughed--I could not believe that someone could be paid to have that much fun painting! I started my first scenic painting apprenticeship two weeks after I graduated from college and I have been a professional Scenic Artist ever since.

What is a Scenic Artist? Simply put, a Scenic Artist paints and sculpts scenery for theatre, opera, dance, television, or film. I have spent my career working in regional theatre, opera and higher education. As a Scenic, you need to be able to paint in a variety of styles, meet deadlines under pressure, work collaboratively, and think outside the box. For one single production, you may be called upon to paint a large cloudy sky backdrop, create a faux hardwood floor, replicate vintage wallpaper, and carve a piece of foam to look like a marble statue--so the work is always different. A Scenic Artist is part fine artist, part decorative painter, part house painter, and some would say part magician since we are just some of the many who help make the magic of the entertainment industry.

When I am not painting for the stage, I am painting and drawing at home--working on small projects in acrylic and collage or doodling and painting with my two kids--and pursuing an MBA in Art and Entertainment Management. My family and I have lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for about six years and we really enjoy all of the art this community offers. 

I will updating the blog with new posts on the first and third Fridays of each month, so be on the look out for new content. You can also find me on the Dynasty Brush Facebook page and the Dynasty Brush Twitter account. I am very much looking forward to getting to know all of our readers and followers and seeing what you are creating with Dynasty Brushes!

Painting a sky drop for a Yale Repertory Theatre, 2004.
For more brush information, check out the Dynasty Brush website.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Paint Brush Highlights: Black Steel

Black Steel.

Aptly named, Black Steel is the work horse of our "Black" lines of brushes.  These brushes are meant for heavy paint, heavy canvas, heavy labor. Their bristles are a black and white proprietary synthetic mixture, built with the interlocked construction to keep the sharp edge and spring an artist needs.  The handles are a soft matte gray with an anti-reflective coating, which is perfect for plein air artists.  These tough brushes come in rounds, flats, filberts, fans, brights and our patented Wave shapes.  Give them a try and let us know what you think!

Keep Painting, 

For more brush information, check out the Dynasty Brush website.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Artist Resources: Acrylic Mediums

Acrylic paint is more versatile than any other paint with flexibility and adhesion that are completely different from that of oil or watercolor. They can lay down thin in washes like watercolor, go on heavy like buttery oil paint, or take on a variety of aggregates for texture.  With acrylic paint, comes a wealth of mediums, gels and pastes to alter the paint even more, like adding open time, or creating matte or high gloss finishes. Modern artists have the benefit, too, of excellent technicians and conservators that have a rich knowledge of acrylic properties to lean on when questions arise.  Below is an overall list of most of the mediums on the market, with exception to brand specific mediums.  

Mediums:  Mediums are products that can be added to paint in any quantity to change its characteristics. Mediums can be brand specific, but are usually the same across the board, and can often be safely interchanged with other brands of paint.  Mediums are often milky when wet, but dry clear.  It is always advised to test mixtures before applying to a painting.

Crackle Medium  
Glazing Medium -- slows drying time and gives more translucency
Pouring Medium or Self Leveling Medium
Polymer Medium -- used to reduce viscosity and extend color without changing the integrity of the paint film
Fabric Medium
Texture Medium
Iridescent or Interference Medium
Air Brush or Screen Printing Medium
Additives -- follow directions carefully as these are intended to mix in limited quantities.  (slow dryers, flow releases and blending fluids)
Gel Mediums -- see below

Gels are used for changing viscosity, extending color, and altering the finish.  They are also excellent for adhesion in mixed media work.  Pastes are similar to gels in consistency or viscosity but usually dry opaque.

Heavy Gel 
Extra Heavy Gel 
Soft Gel Gloss 
Regular Gel 
Glass Bead Gel
Opaque Gel
Self Leveling Gel
Clear Tar or String Gel
Moulding Pastes
Fiber Paste
Pumice Gel
Clear Granular Gel
High Solid Gel 

If you have technical questions about which mediums are the best to use for a particular process, contact the manufacturer of the product as they are usually the best resource.  Retailer websites also offer great videos and excerpts on medium use as well.  

We don't recommend using brushes to mix mediums into paints, but there are quite a few of our brush lines that are heavy duty enough to handle a heavy body paint mixture, including Black Steel, Beau Blanc, Golden Stag and Interboro.  I am also partial to the Urban FX line for working with acrylics and mediums as they have great sizes and unique shapes.

Keep Painting,

Check out the Dynasty Brush website for more information on our lines of brushes.