A question that often comes up in your messages. Here are 3 cleaning methods applicable to watercolour, acrylic and oil brushes.
How Do I Clean My Artist’s Brushes?
I am often asked what is the best way to clean artist’s brushes?
In reality, there is not a single way but different ways that adapt to the type of brushes selected: the technique used, the frequency of use, the time spent on cleaning.
In this text, I share with you 3 cleanings that correspond to 3 qualities of brushes frequently used in watercolour, acrylic and oil.
CLEANING | Brushes For Watercolour Painting
Cleaning watercolour brush is very easy!
- Use clear water and black or red soap.
- While using the palm of your hand, gently wipe the tip from back to front.
- Squeeze the water out of the hair and reshape the tip with your finger. Allow the brush to dry in a vertical upside down position.
- I use the same method for the brushes used to gouache and ink.
GOOD TO KNOW: In this article, my liquid black soap has changed its container. I put it in a bottle with a dosing pump. Always keep the black soap away from the sun and light by storing it in a cupboard or drawer.
CLEANING | Brushes For Acrylic Paint
Cleaning acrylic brush is very different!
Clean the brush after each use of acrylic paint. If you don’t, paint residues will harden at the base of the ferrule and make hair brittle over time.
- I recommend using synthetic fibre rather than natural ones as they are more resistant to acrylic paint and are easier to clean.
- First take a cloth or cleaning roll paper and wipe off any excess fresh paint from your brush; this will make the washing process quicker and easier.
- Rinse the brush thoroughly with clear water and black soap (or Master’ soap) in your palm or with a silicone sponge or cleaning mat.
- Squeeze the water out of the hair and reshape the tip.
- Allow the brush to dry in a vertical upside down position.
CLEANING | Brushes For Oil Painting
Cleaning oil brushes need some products!
- Start by wiping the brush with a cloth or paper towel. Make sure to clean the entire brush up to the ferrule. The oil cleans the oil : safflower, Olive oils or walnut oils and linseed oils work perfectly for a first cleaning.
- Then wash thoroughly with soap or mineral spirits (preferably odourless).
- To clean it thoroughly, you can use Murphys, Dawn, Fairy, Chelsea oil soap or ecological alternatives such as I love Art or Sennelier brush cleaner, which are much more pleasant to use than white spirit. Thinners made from citrus essence gently clean brushes and respect the air in the studio and therefore the artist’s bronchial tubes.
- Don’t forget to reshape the brush with your fingers once the brush has been cleaned.
These products are currently available at GreatArt Online or in the art supply shop in London Shoreditch..
Content provided by Amylee Paris
The passion of Amylee Paris, painter, consultant and author is to share her paintings between galleries, art collectors and her community. Beyond her pictorial skills and her several eBooks available online, Amylee is also recognized as one of the most influential francophone artist-entrepreneurs. She helps beginners or professional artists to optimize their artistic activity.
Follow GreatArt on: