Thursday, June 27, 2013

Alvin & Company, Inc. joining us

We are proud to announce that Alvin & Company, Inc.  is now a distributor carrying our brushes, so that more retailers across the nation can supply artists with the highest quality brushes for their artwork.  Alvin is a wholesale distributor with principal offices in Connecticut.  Like other distributors, they do not sell directly to the consumer, but rather they purchase from key manufacturers around the country and world and offer those products to retailers.  The benefit to the retailer is that they save time and administrative work and costs being able to purchase from one place rather than making multiple orders.

Alvin started during WWII while Alvin Shoham was serving overseas in the military.  He was impressed with the quality and preceision of the tools manufactured in Germany and started sending writing and drafting instruments home to his brother, who then in turn sold them in the United States.  When Alvin returned stateside in 1950, the German vendor relationships continued and Alvin & Company, Inc. was established.  Alvin strives to serve the needs of the design and creative art retailer.  

You might recognize the name Alvin quite easily on some drafting supplies; they are known for the quality of their drafting tools, but they have reached into craft & hobby, graphic arts, fine arts, college bookstores, and stationers.  They also have several of their own brands, including Alvin, Heritage, Prestige and Blue Hills Studio that are sold nationwide including Puerto Rico and into Canada.

Alvin is already carrying our brushes in their 2013 catalogue and on their website; retailers will need an account to place orders on the B2B website.  

Thank you Alvin; we look forward to doing business with you!

Keep Painting, 

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

Friday, June 21, 2013

Artist Spotlight: Gregor Smukovič

Waxing gibbous, 35" x 30", 2013
"A painters job is to realize the image that is in his head with color palette and brushes.  So the brushes which work as the tip of the painter's mind have to be flawless to create the final wanted image."   -Gregor Smukovič

Slovenian artist and oil painter, Gregor Smukovič grew up drawing, always hoping to become a professional painter.  With family support, encouragement from teachers, and a dream to study at the Academy of Fine Art and Design in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Gregor persisted in creating a portfolio that received acceptance into the prestigious University.  Gregor is a recent graduate with a BFA degree in painting, but his work has been developing and evolving even in the past year, both his ubjects and atmosphere.
Female nude 8/10, 24" x 18", 2013

Gregor's longtime desire for painting realism stems deep in his appreciation for the great master artists.  His love of allegorical scenery, the details, brushstrokes and atmosphere are mirrored in his own work.  Gregor's own subjects are often chosen by quick ideas and studies grabbed in a moment, often during the night; models are mostly people he knows.   

Gregor believes in using good tools for his work, especially his brushes.  He came upon Dynasty Brushes in an art supply store during his first year at the Academy  in Ljubljana, Slovenia.  In order to test which brushes worked for him, he purchased a few different types and found Dynasty's quality to be the best for his own painting.  He explains, "I am really satisfied with quality of your brushes. I like that synthetic fibers on your brushes are harder than on brushes from other companies, and yet yours are very flexible to paint on hard classical prepared canvas. And what I love the most is that the old brushes that are really used, I can still use for blending."  Quite often, Gregor uses smaller brushes for larger works, finding that he has more control in working over the surface and maximizing the detail he is able to achieve.  

You can see the full range of brushes Gregor uses and his painting style in the time lapse video posted below.

To see more of Gregor's work log on to his website:

Keep Painting, 

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

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Paint Brush Highlights: Micron

The Micron brush line are affordable mini art brushes for the most detailed work.  These brushes pack a strong, supple yet tiny tuft into a comfortable handle, ideal for egg tempera work, casein, watercolor or gouache.  Would also work quite well for inking drawings or painting eggs.

Several importers market versions of these brushes,  but not all brushes are created equal…..The Golden Nylon we use in these brushes is carefully tapered, keeping in mind the fact that there is typically a small exposed hair length in these brushes.  If the taper is not controlled and blended carefully, you can end up with a brush that “looks good” new… but actually will not hold its shape.   

These brushes feature a variety of small sizes and types for multiple uses, where a tiny brush is needed.  They are made with Nickel plated seamless ferrules.  All the brushes use the same size handle, a specially made (made in house) three color lacquered “club” handle.   This is a substantial handle, that accommodates a tiny brush head.  So although the brush tips are tiny, the handles are not, so they are easy to hold.

I have yet to try some microns myself, so if you use them, give me a shout and let me know what you think.

To see all the sizes and shapes available, refer to our Micron page on the Dynasty website.

Keep Painting,

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

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Artist Spotlight: Jane Carr

"I was lucky to have had so many remarkable people take me under their wings. Over the course of more than sixty years, I think I have managed to become an artist. The road has been long and at times difficult, but the reward – that every day I do what I love – has made it all worthwhile." ~Jane Carr

Upstate New York landscape artist, Jane Carr has lived and worked as an artist her entire life.  She was already taking art lessons at the Baltimore Museum of Art by the age of ten, surrounded by the works of Matisse, Van Gogh and Cézanne and taking in the rich instruction of so many talented working artists.  Going on to study sculpture at the Philadelphia College of Art and then at Yale School of Art and Architecture, Jane found ongoing inspiration and mentorship through her instructors, studying under James Rosati, Louis Finklestein, Louis Kahn and Bernard Chaet among others.

Beaver Pond
Jane began working in egg tempera in high school.  Per Jane's request, her instructor found out about the medium and taught Jane.  Though she put it aside for the years in college and post graduate work, family life, and a few moves, Jane picked it up again in 1991 and found that the medium hadn't changed.  

Egg tempera is egg yolk mixed with pigment, a medium used for centuries because of it's brilliance and longevity.  Since egg tempera dries quickly, it lends itself to small strokes, like hatching, with smaller detail brushes.  
One can lay down larger areas with flats about 1/2" in size, but the good soft watercolor brushes, like the Kolinsky sable are ideal for the cross hatching.  Since the brushes don't get a lot of wear and tear with the medium, and because egg tempera is easy to wash out, good brushes should last a long time.  It is worth the investment, since higher quality hair moves and picks up the pigment more smoothly, resulting in a better working experience.

Toward Buckland
Jane says she paints in nothing but egg tempera, as the medium helps her capture the atmosphere of the landscape, a subject she has been working in for years.  She finds the landscape, the alteration of it with weather, farms and animals, gives her inspiration for her work, though she doesn't always stick to her reference photos.  She has lived in the Canadian arctic, and Devon, England, both with similar landscapes to that of central New York:  rolling hills, crisp weather and smaller populations.  While teaching in Canada, she also captured some Inuit indians in paint.  

With her full experience as an artist and instructor, Jane's work is highly sought and you can see more of her pieces on her website:, or follow the progress of the Stagecoach Run Art Festival, the Smithy Pioneer Gallery and the Cooperstown Art Association's Juried Regional Show.  

Keep Painting,

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