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It is very important to keep your brushes clean to preserve them. As you know, brushes are expensive!

  • Make sure you clean your brushes after every session at the easel. There are professional brush cleaners you can buy at your local art supply store.
  • Never leave fast-drying mediums in your brushes!
  • If you use sable brushes, remember that they have natural oils which need to be replaced.    Mink oil (commonly used to waterproof shoes) is a good medium for preservation.   After cleaning, dip the brush in the oil and gently wipe out excess.
  • Bristles break easily.   Avoid "scrubbing" color onto your canvas with fine brushes.   If you need to cover a large area, choose a larger brush or find a brush which is older or can be easily replaced.


Define the kind of painting you wish to create.

  • If your painting is to be bold and heavy textured, you will probably want to use a canvas with a heavier tooth to better hold the paint as it is applied.
  • For a finer applications and glazing techniques, choose a smoother support. Numerous fine cottons and linens are available from which to choose.  In your search you may find supports such as Masonite, wood, parachute silk, or even the thin metal "skin" of an airplane on which to paint.
  • Thin, smooth applications will demand the more time consuming process of creating a background color layer for your work.
  • If you are preparing your panel from Masonite or wood, make sure you apply gesso to both sides of the material to keep it from warping.
  • If you use canvas as your ground, you may wish to view our instruction page on how to stretch a canvas
  • If you are a beginning artist, don't choose an expensive canvas. Like most other artists, your first works may end up under the bed or in the closet.   You may wish to purchase a canvas tablet for those first experimental brush strokes.


Keeping colors from becoming "muddy" is a problem for beginning artists.   Here are some tips to keep your painting looking fresh.

  • Keep the brush your are using clean and dry.   With a soft rag, gently wipe the bristles before dipping into new colors.
  • Mix each of the colors you are going to use in advance.   If more color is needed, take the time to mix thesame hue.    Avoid "dabbling" in the colors. Before you begin, take some time to better understand the color wheel, color mixing, and the use of complements in your painting.
  • Avoid overworking your painting.   If you need to correct an area and it is still wet,  take a clean rag and wipe it back to the canvas.
  • Use medium sparingly.
  • Avoid using umbers and blacks.   Try complements of the same basic colors you are using in your painting.
  • Use more wet on dry and glazing techniques.
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DVD Cover
"Rocks and Sea" DVD

Learn to paint rocks with this
58 minute video workshop.
DVD or Download.

DVD Cover
"The Protector" DVD

A colorful 89 minute video workshop, in close-up detail.
DVD or Download.

DVD Cover
"The Wild Sea" DVD

Learn to paint the sea with this 53 minute video workshop .
DVD or Download.

CD Cover
"The Breaking Wave" CD

The basic wave, 30 page e-book workshop for computer.
CD or Download.

Glacial Lake Missoula
"Glacial Lake Missoula"

See it on Nova Megafloods Website. Geologic commission. 

My back yard

A photo gallery of Oregon coast mushrooms 

Wonder Street

...for more information on
brush care and clean-up
Oil painting video workshop to paint seascapes and ocean waves. Byron Pickering art, oil painting instruction builds confidence to master color, motion, and depth in seascape painting