|Beau Blanc Series|
Bristle or Hair? A long time competition between the two main types of natural tufts on brushes is a decision best left up to each artist individually. We won't go into the differences at this point, but shall we look at bristle specifically?
Bristle tufts are made of the sharp, tough, cylindrical bristles from hogs or boars. As with other natural fiber brushes, the region where the bristles hail from results in their name as well as their quality, sort of like wines from Europe. Shanghai, Hankow and Chunking are a few of these regions in China, with Chunking being the region where these boars run, a cold environment producing bristles that are sturdy and long. Once they are plucked, the bristles are gathered and sent to brush makers for processing. Then they are bleached, boiled, straightened and interlocked to create amazing brushes.
Bristle brushes have what are known as flags. Flags are sort of like split ends on the bristles. The length of the flag is important to the quality of the brush. Preserving these flags by not trimming them creates a brush with more agility and fluid capacity, which is how brushes are cared for at Dynasty.
The shape of the bristles as they are bound together also effects the quality of the brush. Within Dynasty, the interlocking method creates the highest quality brushes using the natural curve of the bristles. As they dry from boiling, the bristles naturally curve to one side or the other. These curves are matched together to form the shape of the brush tip. In lower quality brushes, the curved imitation shape is made by starching the bristles and shaping by hand, which can lead to fraying and straggly bristles after use, a brush that no longer looks like the one that was purchased. However, the interlocking method creates a brush that stands true over the test of time and use, developing a sharp chiseled edge, keeping its shape for its lifetime.
Dynasty has a few series that use chunking bristles; Beau Blanc and Interboro being the most popular for professional artists, both are good with oil and acrylic paints. These brushes stand up well to heavy bodied use and solvent cleansers. The stiff bristle may leave a brush mark on the canvas, if that is your painting style, but it can also define strong edges and sharp details.
Dynasty harms no animals in the making of their brushes; these brushes along with any natural hair brushes from Dynasty are created from the by-products of other industries.
For more brush information, check out the Dynasty Brush website.