U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: I see spots......

Re: I see spots......

On Sun, 20 May 2007, Ender100@aol.com wrote:
I use the brush for spotting Platinum/Palladium prints.

Can you folks recommend a really good brush for this?   I don't mind paying
for quality.   If I need a virgin wombat fur brush, that is fine.   I want one
that will hold a good, fine point, thus cutting down the time required for
this, one of my favorite pastimes.

Also, while I think   of it, is there something I should do regarding the
care and feeding of such a brush to keep a good fine point?
Mark, While I was in art school 60 million years ago studying watercolor, the acme of fine brushes , pinnacle, ne plus ultra, was "Winsor Newton Series 7." And you just picked the size you wanted... it was rrrrushian sable. The idea was that it made a point, held a point, and sprang back after getting mushed. Since then, all kinds of synthetics have arrived, and I suspect some of them are just as good, but none has the cachet.

Still, in photography a *spotting* brush is a different animal, that is, you want a different shape. Instead of the long and slender form of the WN series 7, the spotting brush does come to a good point, but is quite short overall, so you can make little stabs without the thing doubling back on itself (and making a big blob on your print) -- with enough plumpness in the body to reservoir the solution, but still making a fine point for tiny dots.

I haven't bought any of these for 20 years, so again everything may be different, but at that time the best, most useful, sensible, workable spotting brush was Isabey Repique #6229 Kolinsky (which I think is the name of the mink) made in France. I used a # 2, or that's what I grabbed just now... I'd say start with a #2 and ... look at the #1 & #3, maybe one of them would be better for your tasks.

As for care and feeding, the absolute no no with any good brush is NEVER EVER let it stand in water on its point. While it's still in use, swish to rinse & lay on its side; when done for the day you can gently tap the brush on a bit of mild cake soap, then cup your hand and work brush back & forth gently a few times in your palm to wash out whatever residue may remain in the roots, then final good rinse, blot gently with paper towel & lay on its side, or when it's dry stand in a campbell's soup can with your other brushes on the wooden end.

It should last as long as you do.

A very useful piece of equipment, however, is a kind of wire coil that arcs over a little water container. The coil will hold any number of brush handles shoved into them at any height you want, so the brush can be suspended in water without standing on the point. These used to be common items in art supply stores. Very handy for all kinds of functions, but I still wouldn't leave the brush in water when the session is over. Treat as above & lay it down to sleep.


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