Painting With Oils - Part Five

Untitled, ©Beth Cole - Oil on Canvas - 12 x 24

Untitled, ©Beth Cole - Oil on Canvas - 12 x 24

This is the fifth and final post in my sharing series about painting with oil. You can read the firstsecond,  third and fourth posts here.

Cleaning Your Brushes

Brushes are our tools. We need to take care of them so they will last and help us well with the work of our hands.

I have made so many brush care mistakes, ruining brushes for ignorance of what to do or how to care for them. I am probably still making mistakes, but this is what I do now to care for my brushes.

I use tissues to clean the brush in between color changes, sometimes I use a different brush for lights and darks. At the end of my painting day, I wipe as much paint as possible out of the brush with a tissue, then I swish it in odorless mineral spirits (I use Gamsol) to remove more paint.

Sometimes I will call it good there, knowing I will return in the morning to paint again. But when I want to thoroughly clean the brush I will head to the sink and use the Masters Brush Cleaner soap which I really like. I try to make sure the paint is removed near the ferrule of the brush so it can remain supple.

Some have recommended Murphy’s Oil Soap to clean brushes and that would probably work well, too.

After the brushes are clean, I lay them flat on a side table to dry. I used to place them upright in my brush holder, but I read that it is better to let them dry flat so the water doesn’t drain into the ferrule. I don’t know that this makes any difference but it’s what I’m doing for now.

Storing Your Paint

To help my paint last longer, I take the entire glass palette and store in my freezer. This works like a charm. The next day, I take out the palette and let it warm up a few minutes and the paint is as good as new.

I have heard you can also submerge your entire palette in water and then just pour off the water the next day and you’re good to go. I have not tried this.

I hope you have enjoyed this little oil painting journey we’ve been on. Thanks for traveling with me. I am now working on another series about painting after 50, here is the first post.  I want to encourage other late bloomers, I don't think I'm the only one who got a late start!

Thanks again for following along, my friend. Good day to you!

Soli Deo Gloria