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nobel.arts
A repost from last Summer now that it’s the season of plein air painting! Here’s a quick guide highlighting all the essentials you need to take your watercolor station outdoors for the Summer. Happy painting!

Find us at your favourite local art store!

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Une publication de l'été dernier parce que c'est la saison de la peinture en pl ein air! Voici un guide rapide qui met en évidence tous les matériels essentiels dont vous avez besoin pour emmener votre station d'aquarelle à l'extérieur pour l'été. Bonne peinture!

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nobel.arts
Here are some of the key differences between animal and synthetic hair paintbrushes! Knowing the hair type of your paintbrushes can help you in various ways - from saving money, increasing the longevity of your brushes and improving how you paint!

Find us at your favourite local art store!

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Voici quelques-unes des principales différences entre les pinceaux en poils d'animaux et en poils synthétiques! Connaître le type de poil de vos pinceaux peut vous aider de différentes manières: économiser de l'argent, augmenter la longévité de vos pinceaux et améliorer votre façon de peindre!

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nobel.arts
There are tons of studio tools and accessories available for artists out there, especially when it comes to watercolor! We’ve selected a small number of our tools we found are the most helpful to watercolorists, that are simple to use and affordable!

Find us at your favourite local art store!

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Il existe une multitude d'outils et d'accessoires de studio disponibles pour les artistes, surtout quand il s'agit de l’aquarelle! Nous avons sélectionné un petit nombre de nos outils que nous avons trouvés les plus utiles pour peinturer avec l’aquarelle, qui sont simples à utiliser et abordables!

Trrouvez-nous dans votre magasin d'art local préféré!
nobel.arts
There are so many paintbrushes to choose from whether it be through hair or shape type! We’ve put together this short reel explaining all the different shapes and their uses!

Find us at your favourite local art store!

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Il y a tellement beaucoup de pinceaux parmi lesquels choisir, que ce soit à travers les poils ou de forme! Nous avons rassemblé cette courte reel expliquant toutes les différentes formes et leurs utilisations!

Trouvez-nous dans votre magasin d'art local préféré!
nobel.arts
With decades of experience in the field, one of our specialties lies in traditional Asian art supplies and practices! Given it’s Asian Heritage Month, we thought we’d shed some light on some of these little-known practices that have a rich history and tradition.

Our inksticks & ink stones can be found at @deserres and @thepaintspot !

Find us at your favourite local art store!

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Avec des décennies d'expérience dans le domaine, l'une de nos spécialités réside dans les matériels et pratiques d'art traditionnel asiatique! Étant donné que c'est le Mois du patrimoine asiatique, nous avons pensé de mettre un focus sur certaines de ces pratiques peu connues qui ont une histoire et une tradition riches.

Nos bâtons d'encre & pierres à encre peuvent se trouver chez @deserres et @thepaintspot !

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nobel.arts
Here are some materials you can look for when purchasing art supplies that are a little more gentle on the planet! These have become more and more accessible within art products, and make for pretty durable art supplies!

Find us at your favourite local art store!

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Voici quelques matériaux que vous pouvez chercher lors de ton achat de matériels d'art qui sont un peu plus bonnes pour la planète! Ceux-ci sont devenus de plus en plus accessibles dans les produits d'art et constituent des fournitures d'art assez durables!

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nobel.arts
1. Animated, watercolor on cotton rag, 2022
2. Abstract Self Portrait, acrylic on canvas, 24” x 30”, 2022
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We are happy to present the work of Darcy Danielle Espiritu for this week’s contemporary artist feature!
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Darcy Danielle Espiritu is a visual artist and an aspiring creator from Montreal, Canada who is inclined specifically in painting and drawing.
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Her medium of choice are watercolor, oil, graphite, and ink; the favorite being watercolors.
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As an artist, she is innately intuitive, consistently using her emotions, moods as her muse to create her pieces.
She mainly focuses on portraits and human figures where she likes to add a dramatic and abstract flare with each of her brush strokes or paint splatters to portray a work of self-expression, a piece of herself to her audience.
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Simultaneously, she is inspired by the organic beauty in simplistic yet elegant chaos -- which sound contradicting. Yet from a single stroke of a line to patterns from only created by nature, there is beauty and chaos coexisting side by side, or even as a part of one another.

Darcy’s creations are fluid expressions of the paint medium she works with; full of movement and colour! Please check out her practice at @darcydsesp!
nobel.arts
We thought we’d debunk a common mistake we see made by artists. There is a way to easily and efficiently clean your blending stumps that doesn’t involve unraveling it, putting it through a sharpener, taking a cutting knife to it, or erasing it!

Find us at your favourite local art store!

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Nous pensions démystifier une erreur courante commise par les artistes. Il existe un moyen de nettoyer facilement et efficacement vos tortillions qui n'impliquent pas de les démêler, de les passer dans un aiguiseur, de prendre un couteau ou de les effacer!

Trouvez-nous dans votre magasin d'art local préféré!
nobel.arts
The artworld is full of incredible stories! There are several heartwarming stories and documentation of artists and their pets. Oftentimes these are of the artist’s closest relationships that even sometimes make an impact on the works they produce! Keep reading for a deep dive into some of those cases!
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Stay creative and find us at your favourite local art store!
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Le monde de l'art est plein d'histoires incroyables!Il y a plusieurs histoires réconfortantes et de la documentation sur les artistes et leurs animaux. Souvent, ce sont les relations les plus proches de l'artiste qui ont même parfois un impact sur les œuvres qu'ils produisent! Continuez à lire pour une plongée profonde dans certains de ces cas!
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Restez créatif et trouvez-nous dans votre magasin d'art local préféré!
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nobel.arts
Manufacturing art supplies for several generations has given us unique insight into material practices and qualities in art materials! Here are some of the most common misuses we’ve seen when it comes to painting supplies and practices. We hope you’ll learned something new from us!

Find us at your favourite local art store!

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La fabrication de matériels d'art depuis plusieurs générations nous a donné un aperçu unique des pratiques matérielles et des qualités des matériaux d'art! Voici quelques-unes des erreurs les plus courantes que nous avons constatées en matière de fournitures et de pratiques de peinture. Nous espérons que vous apprendrez quelque chose de nouveau en cela!

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nobel.arts
Labels often don’t tell the whole story and when it comes to art supplies, it’s important to know exactly what ingredients go into them given the physical and hands-on nature of painting. Knowing your inks can help you work better with them and ensure your safety over the long haul!​​​​​​​​
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FInd us at your favourite local art store!​​​​​​​​
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Souvent, les étiquettes ne racontent pas toute l'histoire et lorsqu'il s'agit de matériels d'art, il est important de savoir exactement quels ingrédients les composants étant donné la nature physique et pratique de la peinture. Connaître votre encre peut vous aider à mieux les utiliser et à assurer votre sécurité à long terme!​​​​​​​​
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Trouvez-nous dans votre magasin d'art local préféré!​​​​​​​​
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nobel.arts
1. Mid Autumn Tangle, oil on canvas, 40” x 60”
2. Promise of Light, oil on canvas, 36” x 48”
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We are pleased to present the work of Mark Tworow for this week’s contemporary artist feature!

Mark Tworow is an artist living in Smithers, British Columbia. He paints landscapes, abstracts, and still life's, and his paintings are known for their strong formal structure and lush painterly colors.
He has held several major solo exhibitions showcasing works which are now held in private collections both here in Canada, England, the U.S., and in New Zealand. Tworow graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Alberta College of Art in the 1990s. After living in Smithers for 19 years he spent a year in New Zealand, returning to Smithers in August of 2010.
Tworow's paintings show his passion for nature. His works depict a wide variety of natural settings, and he draws much of his inspiration from the majestic mountains, sparkling lakes and noble forests in and around Smithers.
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Mark’s practice, in his own words:
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Kazimir Malevich, a pioneer of geometric abstraction said "Colour is the essence of painting which the subject always killed" and I suppose I partly agree. I've always thought that the most interesting paintings live somewhere between the pure abstract and realism, and this is where I try to paint. Here the viewer is asked to participate in the painting, filling in the details. As a painter this frees me up to play with colour and form, and to try and capture the emotional essence of a scene.
Mark’s paintings are bursting with life and colour, evoking the raw natural beauty of the landscapes he paints! Please check out his practice at @marktworow !


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Découvrez nos produits, nos conseils artistiques, nos artistes vedettes et même l'histoire de l'art!

 

The Magic of a Ceramic Palette
The Magic of a Ceramic Palette
Nobel Ceramic Rectangular Palette and Stackable Porcelaine Palette with Lid

Palettes are an intermediary element used by the artist in the creation process. A ceramic palette possesses many key properties that make it a superior option to plastic in well palettes. Here is a brief look into the ceramic palette and why it’s a must-have!

Nobel Ceramic Flower-Style Palette

Properties:

Ceramic naturally has several qualities that make it an adequate material for watercolor artists, acrylic, tempera, gouache, and even some oil painters. Ceramic is a hydrophobic material, this means that more water will be retained within your panting medium and, in consequence, will stay wet for longer. Ceramic also ensures that the paint on the surface of your palette will not break into separate smaller pools, unlike with plastic surfaces. This makes it a lot easier to spread paint out on a larger surface area, as well as improve your overall mixing of colors.

Ceramic is a material with a hyper smooth surface. This will make your palette extremely easy to clean, scratch-proof, and stain-proof. Paint will not build up or leech into the material of the palette as is commonly found with plastic. A stain-proof surface will also ensure that you are not contaminating new color mixtures.

Nobel 21 Wells Ceramic Color Tray

About our ceramic palettes:

Our ceramic palettes come in different shapes and sizes, allowing you the option to choose the palette with the number of wells or mixing area and that suits your needs best! They are of professional quality, hand-glazed, and made with pure white porcelain. The porcelain in our palettes ensures the ultimate strength, durability, and quality.

Ceramic palettes can last you a lifetime. There is nothing wrong with having a few plastic palettes, but having a few ceramic ones is a must!

https://www.fcart.ca/shop/ceramic-porcelain-palettes/79?page=1&limit=120&sort_by=category_order&sort_order=asc

Aquaflex Brush Series
Aquaflex Brush Series
A collection of Nobel Aquaflex short-handled brushes

The Nobel Aquaflex series is one of our classics. Created in 1996 in Montreal, this series has been an artist favorite ever since and has contributed to the accessibility of quality art materials across Canada ever since. This brush comes in a short-handled brown synthetic Taklon hair that is perfectly suited for water-based practices such as watercolor, as well as a long-handled golden synthetic Taklon hair that makes it better suited for oil and acrylic painting. In this article, we’ll be overviewing the short-handle series.

The full collection of Nobel Aquaflex Short-handle Brushes

Overview:

This brush has a soft and flexible brush point with the capability to retain a tremendous amount of water and paint comparable to that of sable hair. This brush series also boasts an assortment of brush shapes in vast sizes; something for every practice! The short-handled series comes in the following shapes: Angular, Bright, Dagger, Fan, Filbert, Round, Bent Liner, and Long Liner in sizes as small as 20/0 to as big as 16.

Qualities:

What makes this brush so incredible is its ability to match the properties of sable hair. The filaments of the Taklon are designed to be thick in body and tapper off to a thin tip. This makes it so that the overall shape of the brush retains the thick belly and tapered end that is so characteristic of sable hair brushes! The hairs of the brush are also placed to have a little separation between them making it so that they can hold greater quantities of paint and water.

The short-handled brush measures 5.5", making it better suited for smaller-scale water-based mediums. A black lacquered finish keeps the wooden handle of the brush from deteriorating and rotting. The ferrule of the brush is nickel-plated to offer the ultimate strength and durability against corrosion and rust. The double crimping will ensure the brush head won’t come loose or shed hairs and the hairs of this brush also extend far into the ferrule with an adhesive, which will further keep the bristles firmly secured and endure seepage of paint and water better than your standard brush.

Taklon hair:

#0–4 Fan-shaped Nobel Aquaflex Brushes

Taklon is a type of synthetic polyester fiber. Its novelty comes in its ability to be fabricated to mimic any kind of animal hair. The filament can be made thick and coarse like that of hog hair or thin and fine to resemble sable hair. In the case of the Aquaflex brush, the filaments are constructed to the finest quality to take on the functionality of sable hair. These bristles are a highly durable material that resists friction and damage caused by consistent use against painting surfaces. They are reliable brushes that can withstand persistent and excessive use, scrubbing, and wear over time.

Animal hair tends to have more of a coarse and uneven surface, which can lead the brushes to accumulate particles, paint, chemicals, and bacteria far easier than Taklon. Taklon does not have the same irregularities that you’ll find with natural animal hair, making it easier to clean and maintain! Taklon is also a more eco-friendly, hygienic, allergy-free, and cruelty-free option to natural hair.

The brown synthetic Taklon of the short-handled series has a softer feel in comparison to its long-handled counterpart, making it better suited for delicate watercolor applications and greater water retention capabilities. You’ll find they are exceptionally well suited for blending and creating soft textures.

The Experience:

We put this short-handled series to the test using both watercolor and oil paint applications and here are our findings!

Watercolor application using a #3/8 bright-shaped Aquaflex brush:

Nobel Aquaflex Brush in size 3/8 with a bright tip
Retention and fluidity test using a #3/8 bright-shaped Aquaflex Brush

This brush's strength lies in its ability to retain a considerable amount of paint! These curves were painted using one charge and you’ll see that the brush fades the paint out gradually as you apply it. Given the softness of these brushes, curves and linework will appear more soft and rounded than structured or angular.

Blending test using a #3/8 bright-shaped Aquaflex Brush

The brush’s ability to blend out colors and achieve smooth opaque to transparent transitions is remarkable. This was achieved with one charge and by dipping the brush into the water with further paint applications.

Texture test using a #3/8 bright-shaped Aquaflex Brush

You’ll be able to create a diverse range of textures with this brush. From vibrantly fluid brushstrokes to choppy dry-brush marks, this brush can help you achieve a range of subtle, soft, and dynamic textures.

Oil paint application using a #10 filbert-shaped Aquaflex brush:

Nobel Aquaflex Brush in size 10 with a bright tip
Retention and fluidity test using a #8 filbert-shaped Aquaflex Brush

This brush can also retain greater quantities of oil paint with one charge. The application is consistent and will fade out gradually as you are painting. Going over your application can help soften and smooth out the inconsistencies.

Coverage test using a #8 filbert-shaped Aquaflex Brush

Semi-opaque coverage was achieved with this brush across a 3" patch. You can achieve a higher opacity on a smaller surface area or by using a larger brush size.

Blending and dry brush test using a #8 filbert-shaped Aquaflex Brush

In dry brush applications, this brush will perform soft and even blends of dry brush. It is possible to apply an opaque coat of paint and blend it out to a large surface area of a transparent dry brush application.

Texture test using a #8 filbert-shaped Aquaflex Brush

This brush will apply a low thickness of paint. This is the brush for you if you are trying to achieve a delicate, faint, and subtle texture!

A collection of Nobel short handle brushes

Conclusion:

The Aquaflex Brush Series is a high-quality brush offered at an affordable price point! This brush is perfect for blending and achieving equal parts opaque and transparent applications of color! This is a go-to brush if you are working with watercolor, however, its versatile usability and strength make it a staple for artists working in all media.

https://www.fcart.ca/product/aquaflex-synthetic-brushes-fan-angular-bright-filbert-round-liner-misc-aq-169-series-/125?cs=true&cst=custom

A Guide to Painting Surfaces
A Guide to Painting Surfaces
Nobel Flat Bristle Decorator’s Brush

Painting surfaces come in a variety of forms that is not limited to your everyday cotton canvas. Depending on your method of painting, you may or may not be working with the right surface!

There are some general rules you must consider and apply when preparing your surface for painting in order to guarantee your work will sustain itself for a long period of time!

Priming your surface:

Your surface must always be primed with a ground. The ground is the layer that will separate your paint from the material or fabric of your painting surface. This is what will prevent your painting from future deterioration and decay, as the underlying surface is of an organic material that can be prone to rot if it comes in contact with your paint. Grounds are highly versatile and durable — every surface will call for a different kind of ground. Make sure you have at least three layers of a ground on your surface if you are applying one yourself. Watch out for paint that looks like it’s absorbing into the surface material— this probably means you do not have a thick enough layer of ground! Your paint should always rest right on top of the ground. For the smoothest painting surface, you can give your primed ground a quick sanding to even out irregularities.

Justyn Warner via Unsplash

Determining your surface’s support:

Surfaces can be worked on in many different formats. Fabric material can be painted on loose or stretched. You can stretch your fabric onto wooden stretcher bars or onto a board. We recommend stretching your fabric before you paint, as unstretched canvas can be more prone to cracking and chipping. Harder surfaces like wood or paper can also be painted on flat, but for increased strength and to avoid warping, you are best to have your surface sit flat on a frame.

Most of these materials will come pre-stretched and primed if bought from an art store, but it’s good practice to know what materials you’re working with!

Nobel Bevel Edge Convexo Canvas

Cotton canvas:

Cotton canvas is by far the most widely used, available, and affordable material to use! It is made of 100% lightweight cotton that is highly versatile and holds paint really well. It is an easy-to-stretch material and its flexibility allows for a really springy surface to optimize paint application. It can be stretched tighter than linen without risk of causing stress or warping to its frame. Its flexibility, however, doesn’t make it well-suited for large paintings. A heavy-grade cotton weight can compensate for this and add more strength to your material!

To prepare your cotton canvas, use an acrylic gesso painted onto canvas stretched on wooden stretcher bars or onto a board. Canvases you find in-store will h typically be double or triple primed with a white acrylic gesso.

Use cotton canvas if you are working on small to medium-sized works and if you are just starting out!

Nobel 100% Linen Canvas — Gallery

Linen:

Linen is considered the golden standard amongst painters. It is a highly durable and strong material made from a 100% linen weave. It allows for the stiffest fabric paint surface and the smoothest paint application. Linen is the priciest paint surface but it is highly regarded for its ability to sustain paintings years into the future and avoiding the slack and decay that you will more readily find with cotton canvas.

Preparing and priming linen is a more involved process than all of the other painting surfaces. Linen must be stretched and when doing so, you don’t want to pull it anywhere near as tight as you would with cotton canvas, as the sizing you will place onto it will tighten into a drum-like surface. Once stretched, you will need to size your linen with animal skin glue. This material typically comes in the form of a powder and its preparation is similar to that of preparing gelatin. You will brush it on the linen wet, ensuring it seeps into the fabric. Once the sized surface is dry it should feel very rigid and drum-like. You are then ready to prime it! Prime it with an oil ground applied in two layers and typically left to dry for a period of two weeks. Sand down your primed surface to ensure a smooth surface for your brushes — linen can be quite abrasive if not! Linen is ideal for larger surfaces and oil painting!

The sizing is what gives this material its strength and rigidity. The size will ensure your painting does not crack or warp when exposed to different levels of humidity and temperature. An oil ground is also a necessity as it will adapt well to oil paint and nicely fuse into the sizing and linen fibers. Acrylic gesso will not adhere to the sizing or linen in this case. These are both organic materials that will live and breathe with your painting as it ages!

Use linen if you are working on medium to large scale works and if you are looking to get more advanced with your painting!

Nobel Burlap Stretched Canvas

Burlap:

Burlap is a heavy-weight natural fiber that is ideal for thick paint applications and acrylic paint. Use burlap if you want to achieve an interesting texture or effect to your works, or if you work in a thick impasto style! Burlap is pretty resistant to water, so for ease of use, you can wet your surface before taking your brush to it for a smoother result. Painting on it dry will emphasize it’s rough and textured quality.

Stretch your burlap onto a wooden frame like you would with cotton canvas. You can opt for a clear gesso when priming it to keep the natural color of the burlap. Make sure you dampen its surface with a water-soaked sponge before applying your ground to help the gesso absorb into the fiber of the burlap.

Use this if you are looking for an interesting effect and material to experiment with!

Den Thrustin via Unsplash

Wood Panel:

Opt for a wood panel that comes with a hardwood surface to avoid warping and to provide the stiffest and most consistent painting surface. With this in mind, its surface will be less absorbent than you will find with fabric surfaces, allowing for more paint coverage but at a rate where your paint will glide a bit more across the surface. Wood panel is ideal for acrylic and oil painting

Prime your surface with a clear or white acrylic gesso and make sure you have plenty of layers built up as wood can heavily absorb your paint if you don’t!

Use this if you want to work with a more detailed and precise paint application or in thicker, rougher brushstrokes!

Nobel Gallery Wooden Cradleboard, Gesso Primed

Masonite:

Masonite is similar in functionality to wood panel, except that it is composed of wood particles and glue that are compressed together under high pressure. Masonite is a preferred painting surface to wood in some cases as it is a cheaper alternative and offers more durability. Its composition eliminates any risk of cracking or splitting that you may find occurs with the organic and veined surface of wood panels.

Masonite is most ideal for the delicate medium of tempera, but it also works well with oil and acrylic painting. Prime masonite with an acrylic gesso if working with acrylic or oil paint, and with a chalk gesso if working with tempera.

Use masonite if you are working with a delicate medium like tempera and for a more guaranteed durability.

Nobel Watercolor Paper Pad

Paper:

Paper provides a smooth and stiff painting surface that is ideal for small-scale works or studies. It is more tolerable and best suited for watercolor, ink, and tempera. It is not a surface that should be worked large as it is a fragile and unstable painting surface that can be prone to warping and breaking. A heavyweight paper starting at 200 gsm should always be used for enhanced strength and use.

If working with oil and acrylic paint, prime the front and back of your surface with acrylic gesso. You can also opt to stretch the paper over a wood panel if you want to work larger and increase the strength of your surface. Prime both sides of your paper with a gelatine solution when working with tempera. Paper used for watercolor or ink does not need to be primed.

Use paper if you are working small-scale with water-based mediums or if you are looking to create quick small studies in acrylic and oil paint.

Jade Stephens via Unsplash

Conclusion:

These are a peek into the kind of painting surfaces available to artists nowadays! They all have different properties, uses, and incorporate differently to every kind of method of painting. We hope you are able to experiment and find one that best suits your practice!

Nobel Twilight Brush Series
Nobel Twilight Brush Series
Nobel Twilight brush with a round tip

The Nobel Twilight brush is a professional-grade artist brush that offers fantastic resilience, strength, and control. This is an incredibly versatile brush that can be used for any kind of painting practice with its strength lying in acrylic and oil paint use. This is a great paintbrush to add to your repertoire if you are looking for a long-lasting, durable brush that you can rely on across your practice.

A collection of round-tipped Nobel Twilight Brushes

Overview:

This brush has a sleek and smooth brush point with the capability to retain a tremendous amount of water and paint for the ultimate control, precision, and a fluid paint application. The series comes in the following shapes: Bright and Round, and ranges in sizes of 1 to 12.

The Qualities:

This brush’s strength lies in its robustness and ability to adapt to any kind of practice. Its outstanding quality lies in its interlocking hair technology, which makes the filaments of the hairs curl inward towards the center of the brush. One of the biggest troubles painters experience with their brushes is damage to the bristles and the tip losing its shape over time. The interlocked hairs of this brush ensures it will maintain its shape for long periods of time, resist fraying and hairs splitting for a continual smooth and even paint application.

This brush has a handle measuring 10", making it better suited for acrylic and oil mediums. Its dark brown lacquered finish keeps the wooden handle from deteriorating and rotting. The ferrule of the brush is nickel-plated with a gold-colored finish to offer the ultimate strength and durability against corrosion and splitting. The double crimping will ensure the brush head won’t come loose or shed hairs and the hairs of this brush also extend far into the ferrule, which will further keep the bristles firmly secured and endure seepage of paint and water better than your standard brush.

A collection of bright-tipped Nobel Twilight Brushes

Interlon Hair:

Nobel Twilight brushes features Interlon hair which is a type of synthetic nylon hair that makes for a pretty remarkable durability and quality. This type of hair can adapt to all kinds of mediums, can perform thick or thin paint applications and experimentations with oil glazes and fluid acrylic paint. The Interlon hair pairs with the interlocking curvature of the hair filaments which makes each brush maintain a memory shape. The filaments of the brush will always remain curved towards the center of the brush, which is exactly what gives the brush a stiffness and strength comparable to hog bristles, but with a more precise and smoother paint application. The hairs of the brush are composed of three hair thicknesses and cuticles to replicate animal hair. This is an incredible quality to have because this means these brushes can retain paint and water at a rate comparable to pricier sable hair brushes, for example.

It is important to properly care for and maintain these brushes so they can live up to their long-lasting and robust reputation! It is in good practice to reshape the bristles of your brush after cleaning. If ever you find the brushes are losing their shape, dip the hairs of the brush into hot water to activate the memory shape of the filaments to return the brush to its original shape.

The Experience:

We put this series to the test using both watercolor and oil paint applications and here are our findings!

Oil paint:

Coverage test using a #10 bright-shaped Twilight Brush

We found these brushes performed the best when it came to coverage. We were able to apply an opaque one-layer coating of an ultramarine blue across a 5" shape with one charge. This is truly an incredible feat for a synthetic brush!

Retention and fluidity test using a #10 bright-shaped Twilight Brush

While this brush retains a lot of paint, when it comes to painting single-stroke straight lines and surfaces, you may find you will need to go over the area another time, but there is no need to recharge the brush for this!

In terms of fluidity, the brush was able to perform controlled strokes that applied even and crisp curves with one charge.

Texture test using a #10 bright-shaped Twilight Brush

This brush faired surprisingly well when applying texture! With one layer we were able to achieve a low-to-medium thickness of paint. Make sure you recharge in between applications to achieve a superior thickness!

Watercolor:

Retention test using a #10 round-shaped Twilight Brush

We found the best application of these brushes in watercolor had to do with their ability to retain water and paint. We were able to paint dozens of lines and shapes with just one charge!

Fluidity and texture test using a #10 round-shaped Twilight Brush

Fluidity was also another strong point for these brushes. You will find the same crisp, and even curves achieved as with oil paint with a bit of natural variance in curvature and blend.

If you’re thinking about incorporating texture or dry-brush into your watercolor works, it would be best to wipe off some excess paint or test out your application before taking it to your work given this brush retains such a tremendous amount of paint!

Coverage test using a #10 round-shaped Twilight Brush

Compared to its coverage with oil paint, this brush achieved less coverage with one charge and appeared more semi-opaque in nature. This just means you may need to recharge the brush more often or apply a more translucent layer of paint!

Blending test using a #10 round-shaped Twilight Brush

We found the blending capabilities of this brush to be fair. Given these brushes offer such precision in mark-making, you will need to apply more strokes to even out the lines and you only need to keep adding water to your brush to create gradual blends and translucencies in color.

Nobel Twilight Brush in size 12 with a round tip

Conclusion:

The Nobel Twilight brush series is one of our most reliable and trusted brushes! It really offers unbeatable quality, durability, and superior usage across all mediums. This brush is perfect for those who want the strength of hog bristles, with a more structured, smooth, and controlled paint application.

Nobel Twilight Series - Professional Quality Synthetic Brush, Round|Bright - Long Handle (NB 8110 Series) | FC ART

Nobel GOLD Brush Series
Nobel GOLD Brush Series
Nobel GOLD Brush in size 2 with a round tip

The Nobel GOLD brush series offers a luxurious, high-quality brush that is sure to enhance your creative process performance. This brush is perfect for watercolor and tempera practices and will surely exceed your expectations as no other brush has!

Overview:

The Nobel GOLD brush series was meticulously crafted by craftsmen with more than 20 years of experience in the art of brush making. This is a luxury brush and one that you really feel and see the difference with when compared to other brushes. The series comes in the following shapes: Filbert, Bright, Round, Angular, Liner, Dagger, Comb & Fan, and ranges in sizes of 10/0 to 12.

Nobel Gold Brush in size 2/10 with a liner tip

The Qualities:

One of its most innovative features can be experienced through its ergonomic triangular grip handle. This handle provides the ultimate comfort and functionality, as it sits the brush perfectly into the grip of your hand. This is great when taking into account long painting sessions. The handle will also help steady your hand and allow you to have even more precision and accuracy when it comes to working with fine detail. The sable hair of these paintbrushes also allows the brushes to retain a fine point, further optimizing precise paint applications. Overall, these brushes will enhance your workflow greater than traditional brush handles.

This brush is lightweight with a handle measuring 6", making it perfect for the scale of water-based mediums. The ferrule of the brush is made from seamless brass with a 24k gold plating, which offers the ultimate strength and durability against corrosion and splitting. The double crimped ferrule will ensure the brush head won’t come loose or shed hairs.

Nobel Gold brush in size 0 with a fan tip

Sable Hair:

Nobel GOLD brushes are composed of the finest red sable hair, which is a hair proven to have the greatest water retention capabilities. This is extremely important, as you’ll want your brush to retain an adequate amount of paint and appropriately lay it down on the canvas. Sable bristles have the advantage of being suitable for most artists because they are softer than hog bristles, which means they have incredible absorption capabilities and make for some of the most flexible and elastic brushes out there. They work well with oil paint in this respect as the hair allows for smoother applications of paint compared to hog bristles; perfect for shading and blending.

Sable hair plumps up to retain liquid when dipped in paint. For watercolor, this type of hair spreads paint thinly and evenly, making it superior for shading, building up layers, and controlling your paint application. Sable brushes, when properly cared for, will maintain their shape and texture for years.

The Experience:

These brushes have been put to the test over extended periods of time and their durability has proven to be outstanding. Thinner brushes tend to lose their shape rather quickly and one has to be extra careful with the proper maintenance of these brushes. Nobel GOLD brushes not only maintain their shape, but they do not shed or lose their length!

A collection of round-tipped Nobel Gold Brushes

NOBEL GOLD: Premium Bright Sable Brush - Ergonomic Short Handle (|NB 338B Series) | FC ART

Conclusion:

The Nobel GOLD Brush series is a game-changer when it comes to finding the highest quality brush built for comfort. This is an incredibly unique brush series in terms of its properties and design, making it well worth the investment!

Nobel GOLD (MERIT) brush in size 3/8 with a dagger tip

If you are looking for a worthy affordable alternative to this brush series, look to its sister series Nobel GOLD (MERIT)! This series boasts all the same properties, with exception of it sporting a nickel-plated seamless brass ferrule and golden synthetic hair.

NOBEL GOLD MERIT: Golden Synthetic Brushes, Fan|Angular|Bright|Filbert|Round|Comb - Short Ergonomic Handle (NB 336 Series) | FC ART

Comet Brush Series
Comet Brush Series
Nobel Comet Brush in size 12 with a round tip

The Nobel Comet Brush Series offers exceptional quality and versatility. Specifically, this is the perfect brush for water-based mediums such as watercolor, acrylic, and tempera. You’d be surprised by the wonders and features of this series!

Overview:

The Comet Brush Series was fully conceptualized to meet the highest quality standards for the artist that is focused in water-based mediums. The series comes in the following shapes: Filbert, Flat, Round, Angular, Deerfoot, Dagger, Comb & Fan, and ranges in sizes of 20/0 to 12. It won’t be hard to find the one that suits you best.

This brush is lightweight, with a handle measuring 5", making it perfect for the scale of water-based mediums. The hairs of the brush are firmly fixed into the nickel-plated ferrule of the brush, which means these brushes will not shed or corrode one bit!

Nobel Comet Brushes in angeled and flat shaped tips

Qualities:

The brush has exceptional water retention capabilities, this ensures that the brush retains an impressive amount of paint with one charge and therefore controls the flow of the paint, the thickness, and the transparency. This series is perfect for working with fine detail; offering brushes of all types of shapes and sizes down to 20/0. We suggest picking up a shape that you are not familiar with yet, as these brushes come in shapes unique to other brush series.

Taklon Hair:

Taklon is an impressive feat when it comes to synthetic hair. Taklon is a type of synthetic fiber derived from polyester that was designed to mimic the characteristics of sable hair. What makes it so special is that its material creates space in between the filaments that allow it to retain a similar amount of liquid to a natural hair. Taklon is also a more eco-friendly, hygienic, allergy-free, and a cruelty-free option to natural hair. Taklon also does not have the irregularities that you’ll find with natural hair, making it easier to clean and maintain!

Nobel Comet Brush in a comb-shaped tip

Taklon is trusted and used by the aerospace industry! These brushes are used on aerospace projects for fine-dusting, squeezing into tight spaces, and fine-detailed applications. The synthetic Taklon bristles of the brush are soft and flexible, but not fragile. They have just the right amount of stiffness to absorb paint and the right amount of springiness to seamlessly apply it on the canvas as you wish. These bristles are a highly durable material that resists friction and damage caused by consistent use against painting surfaces! Taking this into account and combined with their softness, these brushes are also perfect for blending!

Nobel Comet fan brush

Conclusion:

The Comet Brush Series offers incredible value and versatility to every type of artist. Having a few of them in your brush collection is a must! After all, this series is used by the aerospace industry…which can only re-confirm how great they are!

Nobel COMET Golden Synthetic Brushes - Short Handle (NB 177 Series) | FC ART

Connoisseur Brush Series
Connoisseur Brush Series
FC ART Connoisseur Hog Hair Bristle Brushes

A good painter recognizes a quality brush almost instantaneously. Experience develops this sense for reliable materials. A good brush is quite irresistible; its unique feel is noticed as soon as it’s picked up. The Connoisseur brush series stands tall and offers long-lasting, reliable, and incredible performance.

Qualities of a good brush:

Using good quality natural hog bristle makes a huge difference in the process of painting. The bristles easily pick up paint and mediums and uniformly lays them down onto the desired surface. It is also important that your brush not shed bristles whilst in the process of painting or cleaning. Lastly, the brush should last a long time and endure lots of painting use!

Overview of the Connoisseur series:

The Connoisseur brush offers all of these qualities, and then some. This series is a professional-grade brush made of 100% unbleached hog bristle and is ideal for acrylic or oil painting due to its superior paint retention.

These brushes are more absorbent than synthetic filament, which allows the paint to flow evenly onto the bristle tufts, resulting in smooth, even strokes. They are a go-to for realistic painting!

FC ART Connoisseur Round Hog Hair Bristle Brush

The build of the brush is beautifully done. The handle has weight to it and it's finished with a gorgeous Prussian blue tone. The handle of the brush is also quite long, making it suitable to paint up close and from afar.

Conclusion:

If properly taken care of these brushes should easily last a long time retaining their natural shape and cuticle, which is essential for achieving the very best painting results. The Connoisseur brush series is a must-have for any painter!

Connoisseur Series: Filbert Brush with Long Handle - Professional Quality (CN 755FI Series) | FC ART

Must-have Items to Paint Outdoors!
Must-have Items to Paint Outdoors!
Photo by Cristina Gottardi via Unsplash

Outdoor painting is a refreshing and unique experience! The colors and vibrancy of light change every second as the sun moves through the day. Painting outdoors is a great way to practice your precision of linework and color tonality, while painting at your own pace. We want to share with you these must-have items for you to have a perfect day painting!

French Easel

FC ART French Easel

French easels are affordable, compact, and incredibly useful! You can fit all of the necessary materials for painting inside a compartment in the easel and carry your canvas on it as well. The easel also comes with a great rectangular wood palette.

The legs are retractable and have spikes at their ends to easily anchor into the ground. A French easel is also very transportable and allows you to carry it around like a briefcase!

Connoisseur Hog Bristle Brushes & Palette Knife

FC ART Connoisseur Hog Hair Bristle Brushes

Although there are many types of brushes available, we recommend using the Connoisseur Hog Bristle Brushes for your outdoor painting endeavors! Hog bristle brushes pick up much more paint than any other type of brush and are most suitable for painting sessions that last a few hours.

These brushes will help you get a finished look on a painting that you will have limited time to work on. They also come in all the shapes necessary to approach any painting style you would like to try! Don’t forget your palette knife to mix colors!

Brush Cleaner with Air Tight Lid

FC ART Stainless Brush Washer with Air-Tight Lid

A brush cleaner is a must-have for any artist that wants to properly maintain their brushes. A brush cleaner truly makes a difference in the way that it removes most of the paint residue from your bristles. We would suggest using a large one while you’re working in your studio and a more compact one with a, most importantly, air-tight lid that will be perfect to bring outside! Whether you are carrying water or mineral spirits in your brush cleaner, the important thing is to keep it sealed and safe!

Disposal palette

FC ART Disposable Palette in Grey

A disposable palette is made up of many sheets that have a special plastic coating on them that keeps them from absorbing paint, mediums, or water! They are especially perfect for outdoor painting as they are meant for quick painting sessions where the sheet can be torn off and thrown out at the end of the day. No clean-up is required when using these and they are easily transportable.

Viewfinder

FC ART Sketch Viewfinder

Having a viewfinder in your toolbox is key when painting from life! A viewfinder helps you form the composition of your work and accurately capture the proportions of your subject matter. Using its grid, you can easily translate the subject in front of you to your canvas in your preliminary sketch. This is especially useful considering the shorter painting sessions you’ll have when painting outdoors!

Paint

FC ART NOBEL Oil Colors, Series 1,2,3 — Professional Quality

Paint is an obvious material here. What we want to touch on precisely with this material is the color selection and type of tube that you bring. You can challenge yourself by limiting yourself to painting with primary colors and white only! This can help you practice your color mixing skills.

Find creative ways to have fun and learn new techniques!

Accessories

Make sure to bring a bag for your trash, a water bottle to stay hydrated & snacks to keep your energy levels high!

Bring a few rags or paper towels to clean and dry your brushes as well.

Always have these items at hand and make them part of your list!

With all of these elements, you are ensure to have a pleasant time whilst painting outdoors. Your next step will be picking a beautiful view for you to paint. Make sure that you check the weather before heading out and bring a camera to take some photos in case you need some extra time to finish your painting!

Seurat & Pointillism
Seurat & Pointillism

Seurat and Pointillism

Georges Seurat: A Sunday on La Grande Jatte — 1884- Encyclopædia Britannica Detail

Georges Seurat pioneered the technique of pointillism making some of the worlds most captivating works of art in the process. This technique single handedly revolutionized several aspects in painting and art theory. Pointillism is a method that saw its beginnings at the end of the 19th century thanks to Paul Signac and Georges Seurat. This method focuses on the way that the paint is applied.

Seurat- The Seine and la Grande Jatte — Springtime 1888 Wikimedia Commons

These works are covered in fairly dense dots of different solid colors to create the illusion of shapes. Pointillism came to life as a reaction to the impressionist movement. However, contrary to impressionism, pointillism attempted to depict its subjects with a controlled and methodical approach.

Seurat would carefully and slowly place dots of different colors. The purpose is for the eyes to blend these colors when viewed at a distance. This illusion works just like pixels, the eye basically composes the image automatically, this effect works best at a certain distance.

Circus Sideshow 1887 Wikimedia Commons

One of the most impressive things about pointillism is the way in which it would use color theory. Looking at this portrait we can see mostly warm colored tones like : pink, red, orange and brown. Instead of using darker warm colors as shadows, Seurat utilized cool colors like: blue, green and purple. This being a smart choice because, when placed together, complementary colors can create the illusion of shadows.

TAKING A LOOK AT “A SUNDAY ON LA GRANDE JATTE” (1886)

Georges Seurat: A Sunday on La Grande Jatte — 1884- Encyclopædia Britannica D

This masterpiece was created from 1884 to 1886, in three stages. He created numerous sketches and studies as preparation.

The painting measures at a colossal 81" by 121".

It is part of the Art Institute of Chicago Permanent Collection.

Seurat, most probably, used round and bright brushes to paint. In the first layers of this piece, he used darker tones with longer strokes. Seurat built up the layers by approaching the painting with brighter colors and tones.

Georges Seurat: A Sunday on La Grande Jatte — 1884- Encyclopædia Britannica Detail

One important thing to note is the direction of stokes. We can see that the hat is made up of strokes that follow its circled shape. These greatly contribute to the illusions created by the painting.

The work has a border painted by the artist, which is a very uncommon and unique element. The message behind the piece is not certainly clear. However, it is theorized that it speaks on a social critique of the Parisian Bourgeoisie in a sardonic manner. It is also theorized that the bourgeois figures in this painting are gazing at the “Bathers in Asnières” who are figures in another painting of Seurat. The artists sees the latter as the future and better citizens of Paris.

Baigneurs a Asnieres-Seurat 1884 Wikimedia Commons

Thank you for reading

Analyzing Van Gogh
Analyzing Van Gogh
“A head and shoulders portrait of a thirty something man, with a red beard, facing to the left” Wiki Media Commons. 1889 Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh might be the best known painter of all time. His paintings have captivated the world for over a century. We will analyze the reasons for this in this chapter.

As a young adult, Van Gogh started a career as an art dealer. Unfortunately, finding little success, Van Gogh turned to painting. During his lifetime, he completed over 2000 works of art. He dedicated every breathing moment to painting. Van Gogh approached painting with very strong brushstrokes. Using large amounts of paint, he was painting with a method called “Impasto”. The impasto method allows for the artist to lay much more paint on the canvas than usual. In consequence, the artist can play with more nuances of light and add a more expressive look.

Van Gogh used color as a way to convey emotions and thoughts. He used color not to describe reality as he saw it, but as he thought it could be felt and experienced. Van Gogh experimented a lot with synthetic and natural pigments. He often sought out to find the most saturated tones for his paintings.

Wheatfield with Crows, 1890. Van Gogh Wiki Media Commons

Taking A Closer Look:

This incredible painting is one of the most celebrated works of art in history. It measures at 29" x 36" and it was created in 1889. Van Gogh painted The Starry Night during his 12-month stay at the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum.

“Starry Night” Vincent Van Gogh 1889 Wikimedia Commons

It is currently exhibited at the MOMA in New York.

In his letters written to his brother, Van Gogh talked about this work being a “study of the night”. He was looking for a way to represent the glowing sky at night. He was deliberately stylizing this painting more than usual.

“These are exaggerations from the point of view of arrangement, their lines are contorted like those of ancient woodcuts” (805, c. 20 September 1889).

Van Gogh was heavily influenced by traditional Japanese prints.

Unlike some of Van Gogh’s most famous landscapes, this piece was not done outdoors.

Van Gogh constructed this piece from a mixture of observations, his imagination and symbolism.

The church painted in the town is one with a steeple reminiscent of those in his native country of Netherlands, not France. His paintings appear to have movement within them thanks to the illusion created from the quick brushstrokes and the utilization of thick paint. He also most probably had designated brushes for specific colors to keep him momentum quick and his colors clean. The tree might appear to be black but it is actually made up of dark green and red. These two complimentary colors appear extremely dark when mixed and put next to one another. Every brush stroke that Van Gogh laid on the canvas was extremely precise. Because he did not use any medium, his colors always remained as saturated as possible and thus giving more vibrancy to the final look.

One can learn so much from Van Gogh. He was a very skilled painter that mastered the placement and utilization of color. His paintings are so strikingly beautiful that one can forget that Van Gogh hid messages in his works. He was a very subtle storyteller that transmitted messages trough objects, sceneries, colors etc. Analyzing Van Gogh is an extremely enriching experience as he was truly a complete painter.

Thank you for reading.