Recent Questions

Question: I have a question. What is the name of the brush you call the bunny brush,
I have looked for it by that name and cannot find it anywhere.

Darrell’s Answer: It’s also called a blender brush, soft-hair mop or hake brush.

Question: I would also like to know where you buy your badger brushes?
I can only find the fan badger brushes but not the other ones you use.

More questions and answers by clicking to the rest of the article

Darrell’s Answer: I generally get my badger brushes from either Winsor Newton
or Lowel Cornell. I like their’s the best. But Valerie has a great set of synthetics.

Question: You said store the brushes flat. I store mine upright in a rack we made.
I also dry them that way, will that hurt them? It hasn’t yet but its only been two years.

Darrell’s Answer: At two years, I wouldn’t worry. The risk of upright storage is oils
and solvents dripping down into the metal ferrule
and destroying the glue that holds the brushes together.

Question: How do you paint a thatched roof?

Darrell’s Answer: I generally put a thick layer of a dark to mid-light gray for where
the roof is to lie. Make sure its a thick looking roof. Than using a liner brush I paint
in the top layer of straw, as well as the visible ends and side edges of the roof.
I also use the color of the paintings’ light for highlighting the roof.

Question: I use baby oil to help keep my bristles soft on my paint brushes.
Is it necessary to run the brush through paint thinner prior to using them
the next time I go to paint. Alot of times, my brushes are dry before using them.
( in other words the baby oil is dry on the bristles). Is it still necessary to run the brush
through the thinner prior to using my brushes?

Darrell’s Answer: If the brush is dry, then use it as is.
If you find the baby oil is still in the brush,
what I like to do is take a soft absorbant paper towel, like Viva, and dry my brush.
I’ll first beat them in my waste basket across the refrigerator rack I’ve placed in it.
Then I’ll use the paper towel to make sure I’ve gotten the final bit of baby oil out of it.
I do not use thinner to clean my brushes.

Question: Funny you should write about how to clean paint stains out of your clothes, Darrell.
This has already happened to me. I had on a really nice Christmas green sweater and was
moving my painting to another easel to dry and I got Titanium White mixed with a little
Prussian Blue on the underneath of my sleeve. I didn’t know it right away either but the only thing
I could think of to do was take a paper towel dipped in odorless thinner and soaked the area
and rubbed, rubbed, rubbed. Immediately afterward I sprayed the area with Shout stain remover
soaking it with it. I let it sit overnight and laundered it the next morning. My beautiful green sweater
was restored and saved! While the thinner may be totally unsuitable for some clothing it worked
great on my delicate sweater. Just wanted to share this with you and thank you for your wife’s
thoughts on using the Oxy-clean.

Darrell’s Answer: Your quite welcomed. The main thing is acting right away when you’ve
discovered paint on your clothing. Waiting or not inspecting your clothes at the end of a
painting session allows the paint to dry rendering them virtually impossible to clean.
This tip is for cleaning oil paints out of clothing. Anyone with experience removing acrylic
paints from clothes? This past week, Darlene in Florida, shared with me that she uses
alcohol to remove acrylic paints. What’s your secret?

Question: Tackled another one of your lessons, this one on the bushes and grasses DVD.
I really enjoy doing these and I found doing bushes a little tough. I made mud on the right side
doing the bushes and had to scrape off the paint and start over. I still wasn’t happy with
what I did do. Maybe because I thought my foliage color wasn’t dark enough.
Was tough seeing them on the grass. I will have to practice more on bushes and the technique
of applying them to the canvas.
My brush doesn’t behave like yours does. I used the 2 inch brush but found it difficult to put it
on the canvas and bend it until the boot bristles touched the canvas. Mine did not look like yours.
Do you think my water moves too much?
I’m never sure just how much paint to mix up and maybe that is most of my trouble.
Not enough paint on the brush although doing the highlighting on them was a tad easier for me
so not sure why I am having so much difficulty with the ugly mix on the canvas.
Maybe you have a couple of ideas what I may be doing wrong?


Darrell’s Answer: Hi Ann. Thanks for the question and thanks for the photo. That really helps
in trying to understand what may be going on. First, let me say we all make mud. I was just in
Florida for a week teaching and right there in front of everyone, I did it. I made mud.
I’ve made ten thousands of great bushes, but right in front of everyone I blew it.
Like you, I scraped off the mud and just redid the bushes. In looking at your photos,
I do not think its the darkness of the underpainting that is your problem.
I do not see the nice lattice formations for bushes that I like to see.
I believe you may not have thinned down your paints enough.
We can have a lot of paint on our brushes, but it its not ‘wetter’
than what’s on the canvas, it will not ‘stick’.
Remember, thin paints stick to thick paints.
Also, you may be more comfortable using the 1″ brush than the 2″ brush.
It wasn’t until after I mastered the 1″ that I could develop good control with the 2″.
Question: Darrell.when you pause for a day or two from painting a wet on wet painting
how do you start again with a wet on wet surface since the paint is now dry
Darrell’s Answer: Wet the area with a clear oil painting medium (Very thin. If too wet, wipe excess off with a paper towel). Then paint as your normally would. Remember all color will be dry, so there will be no blending. So if you’re doing reflections in a lake and you want the lake color to blend with what you’re doing, you’ll need to put a light coat of the lake color down, then add your new items. But if no blending is required, simply wet n paint.