Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cosmetic Brushes versus Artist Brushes

There seems to be a new trend cropping up in finding good cosmetic brushes -- shop at an art supply store.  It is true that one can find superior quality cosmetic brushes in the art stores, because many art brushes are made by the same manufacturers who make cosmetic brushes.  For example, FM Brush Company, Inc., Dynasty's parent company, also creates the brushes for Beauty Strokes.  Since brushes of this high quality hair type and fine use are similar to manufacture, it only makes sense.  So the question is, can one interchange the brushes?

Paint Brush or Cosmetic Brush?
Cosmetic brushes are often made with goat hair, soft black mops that hold light pigment and mica powders for easy application.  There are plenty of filbert shaped contour brushes and foundation brushes as well, often made from synthetics or even Kolinsky sable hair.  The brushes will likely have very different handles than what is sold in the art stores, but the tufts will be very similar, if not the same in shapes and hair quality. Sizes will vary in each.  Large mops and small filberts work well for cosmetics, as well as some very different shapes and ovals for foundations, blending, etc.  Artists have different needs for their applications, so the size differences make sense based on the type of art.

Large Mop Dynasty Brush
Whether the brushes are completely interchangeable is up to each individual.  Applying makeup is another art in itself and each artist needs to choose what works best for him or her; however, it is good to have options whether you're shopping at an art supply store or at the cosmetic counter. 

Keep Painting, 

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

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Artist Spotlight: Cynthia Mosser

Swirl Egg, orange/blue, 16" x 11"
Melon Pop, 48" x 48"
Portland, Oregon artist Cynthia Mosser has been a long time creative, knowing at an early age that drawing and painting was her first love.  She took classes in whatever creative outlet she could, testing ceramics and photography along the way.  Once she reached college, the practical side came into play with a major in art history and minor in biology, yet these aspects play heavily into Cynthia's work now.  A few years at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn rounded out Cynthia's formal training before she delved into mixed media work on her own.  

It was her desire to combine the natural, physical depth of mediums with the organic shapes in nature that drew her to take a class in mixed media.  Encaustic has been around for centuries, but bringing the medium into her own work and defining her playful, colorful style with visual and physical depth meant taking her art to a new level.
Swirl Egg, red, 28" x 18"

In Cynthia's practice, she makes her own gesso, the traditional gesso with marble dust and rabbit skin glue.  After it has dried, she draws on the surface with india ink pens and paints using small 20/0 rounds and acrylic paints.  Leaving spaces, Cynthia layers on encaustic medium, a hot wax medium, with natural hair flat bristle brushes.  The encaustics soak down into unpainted areas and coat the acrylics.  Layers later, the painting has evolved depth of it's own.  Using natural bristle brushes with encaustics is ideal, as they lay the medium down smoothly on the surface without brush marks and require little maintenance between painting sessions.  
Sugar Sky, 48" x 48"

Cynthia also works alternatively in gouache, using similar brushes as she does with the acrylic layers in her mixed media work -- very small synthetic rounds.  These rounds hold a large amount of paint for their size and keep a sharp point for detailing. 

It has been said that Cynthia's work is the answer to Portland's rainy days.  Although I don't know Portland, I can say that her whimsical, moving works drew me in and I look forward to seeing them in person.  The Augen Gallery in Portland will unveil a show of Cynthia's work in July, but to see more of her stuff, check out her online gallery and blog.

Keep Painting, 

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

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Paint Brush Highlights: Interboro

Interboro.  Long handled, fine white natural bristles with long natural flags built with interlock construction in a seamless nickel plated ferrule.  Ideal for heavy bodied paints, oils, acrylics and alkyds.  It comes in rounds, filberts, flats, brights, fans and the angle wave, which is perfect for the texture in landscapes that Joe Gyurcsak mentioned in the last post.  

I have found the Interboro to be stiffer than the Beau Blanc, yet just as springy, so it moves and pushes the paint on the surface quite well.  These brushes are also quite good at mixing paint and holding their shape and sharp edges.  The handle is a smooth glossy finish with a comfortable feel for long painting sessions.  

If you're using Interboro for your fine art, let us know.  We would love to feature your work on our blog!

Keep Painting, 

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

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Artist Spotlight: Joe Gyurcsak

Sunlit Still Life, 12" x 12", acrylic on panel
“My paintings express a sense of light, atmosphere and mood; they transcend the techniques that were employed to create them, and breathe the very light and atmosphere they were painted in. I like to capture the fleeting moments of life; the sublime manifestations of light and color, their aesthetic influences on the subject.” ~Joe Gyurcsak

Vizcaya, 11" x 14", acrylic on panel
New Jersey artist, Joe Gyurcsak is an active plein air and studio artist with gallery representation, ongoing demonstrations and workshops around the country and a full time job as the Resident artist, Brand manager, Art Education and Technical Director for Utrecht Art Supplies.  His work is all art all the time, so Joe knows art materials well, and it has paid off in his own painting career.

A few years back Joe switched from working in oils to acrylics, finding the medium more suitable for his evolving style-- laying the paint on quickly and somewhat sporadically.  Even in the plein air work Joe does, the fast drying time of acrylic paints don't impede Joe; if anything, they encourage him to make the strokes he intends and move quickly.  In painting with acrylics, Joe advises artists to use stiff synthetic brushes as they move paint well.  For most of his work, Joe uses flats and filberts in rather large sizes because they offer broad open strokes.  As he layers the paint refining the passages, he allows each layer to hold some of its own color and substance to show through. 

Across the Stream, 12" x 12", acrylic on panel
Recently, Joe tested some Dynasty wave brushes and found that they were perfect for his technique, giving him the ability to lay down different amounts of paint in the same stroke.  "They are great for uneven distribution of paint and unique application of paint because of the way they are cut.  [Ideal] for using with acrylic and landscape painting for varied texture," he explains.  With acrylics an artist doesn't have time to mix the paint with a palette knife creating the exact hues.  "Mixing is best," Joe says, "when it is done with the brushes themselves during the painting, which then also gives the work a liveliness of color and irregular brushstroke." 

Joe will be doing demonstrations and workshops around the country this year on his switch to acrylics and painting still life.  He will be at the Bethlehem Palette Club on May 4th doing a workshop on still life painting. 
Wading, 14" x 18", acrylic on panel

For a better understanding of plein air work and walk through an online demo with Joe, tune in to Utrecht's own website:  Painting a Plein Air Still Life.

To see more of Joe's work in person, visit one of his two galleris, The William Ris Gallery in Stone Harbor, New Jersey or the Eisele Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Keep Painting, 

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