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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Current Events from Dynasty Artists

Two exceptional and internationally renowned painters to learn from:

Representational artist, Susan Lyon will be teaching a 4-day "Painting the Portrait in Oil" class in Cape Cod at the Creative Arts Center in Chatham, MA this coming September 15-18.  With emphasis on an accurate drawing, Susan will demo each day drawing and blocking in color with her brush techniques.  Each day a new color will be introduced and explored to create a likeness on the model and color harmonies.  

Jerry Yarnell has numerous workshops this year in Skiatook, Oklahoma at his home studio and in other areas around the country.  Each month is booked with workshops on landscapes, animal portraiture or aspects of architecture.  Take a look at his website for dates, times and descriptions as well as registration.  Jerry also has full online classes through his website and private lessons.

Keep Painting, 

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

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Paint Brush Highlights: Badger Flowing

badger flowing brush

Badgers are fierce animals, known for their ferocity in taking on almost anything, especially if they want to eat it, including poisonous snakes.  The softer side of a badger, however, is its fur.  Badger hair was primarily used in shaving brushes because of its water retention, and badger hair makes an excellent brush for applying varnish and shellac.  However, badgers are a protected species, and Dynasty prefers to respect the environment and further brush technology by mimicking animal hair via synthetics.

Our Badger Flowing brush is made with a proprietary bristle blend that looks and performs like real badger hair.  We call it "Badgerette".  These brushes are made without filler strips or plugs in the tuft, so they are solidly filled bristle.  And, they are cupped chiseled entirely by hand, which preserves the flagg tip and offers a beautiful working edge.  
badger flowing brush
Because of the chiseled edge, this brush prevents bubbles from forming in a varnish application.  So, these beauties are perfect for professional coats of varnish, shellac, lacquer on the finest paintings, or woodworking or even musical instruments.  These full, soft brushes are also ideal for faux finish work and even oil paint blending.  

The ferrule on this brush is what makes it so unique and gives it the name "flowing".  From the 1920's up to the mid 1960's, brushes were "cemented" with vulcanized rubber, to hold the bristles in the ferrule.  Although this worked well for some applications, the rubber was vulnerable to solvents and could damage the brush from both the handle end and the bristle end -- inside the ferrule.  So, metal ferrules were designed with a sealed backend.  This flowing ferrule was born and made more robust brushes.  Brushes now are cemented with epoxy so the flowing ferrule isn't needed.  However, we at Dynasty cherish tradition and we stand by our commitment to making the world a more beautiful place with our materials -- including our Badger Flowing Brush.

Keep Painting,

"Artisans creating brushes for Artists" For more brush information, check out the Dynasty Brush website.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Artist Resources: Pigments in Art Materials

"Indian pigments" by Dan Brady -
Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - 
Pigments are small particles used to color and tint materials such as paint, cosmetics or textiles.  They can be created from organic materials, such as  minerals like iron oxides.  These were some of the first pigments used in the earliest cave paintings, and they are still used today.  Pigments are also now synthetically made to give us more brilliant colors, like Prussian blue, which was discovered by accident in 1704.  The industrial revolution brought about many more developments in synthetic pigments, for both manufacturing and art.  There are too many wonderful stories about the history of pigments for me to write about here, but if you're interested, I have listed books about them below.

Pigments are usually chosen for their high tinting strength relative to the material they are coloring.  Pigments differ from dyes in that they are insoluble in the vehicle they are coloring, whereas dyes are soluble, or they dissolve in the vehicle.  For art and many commercial applications such as fabric coloration and car manufacturing, it is ideal for pigments to be permanent.  Pigments that are not permanent are called fugitive.  

In paint-making, pigments are combined with a binder and a vehicle to create a medium.  Before the invention of paint tubes, artists used to always make their own paint, purchasing pigments and supplies from local alchemists.  These days, pigments can be purchased individually for artists that want to make their own paint or pastels, at the sellers listed below.  
"From prehistory through to the present, paint has been defined simply as pigment -- a range of colors in a finely powdered state (from inorganic, natural organic, and synthetic sources) -- in conjunction with a binding medium (such as wax, egg, casein, oil, acrylic resin, or gum arabic) to hold the pigment and fix it to a support.  The binding media affect the paints' handling and provide diverse effects.  For instance, oil, acylic, and wax bring out the depth and intensity of the pigments, imparting them with a different color quality than they have in the dry state, whereas casein and gum arabic have little visual effect on the pigment colors." pg. 102, Krug.
Chrome Orange
Pigments are identified on tubes of paint or individual pastels by their ID numbers, such as PO: 21.  The "P" meaning Pigment, the "O" meaning Orange and the 21 is the number of the pigment in the international database.  PO21 is Chrome Orange, which can be used on it's own to make a single pigment paint or it can be combined with other pigments to form variations on the hue.

There are so many fine art resources to find out more technical information about pigments and how they are used in paint and pastel making; I've listed many below, but feel free to share other links in the comments for me to add.

Technical and Chemical Information:
Pigment Sellers
Books & Videos
How It's Made did a feature on Pigments a few years back:

Keep Painting, 

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


  • Krug, Margaret.  An Artist's Handbook:  Materials and Techniques.  Laurence King Publishing, London. 2007.