In your efforts to loosen up your paintings by using such brush alternatives as old credit cards, you may be suffering from "brush withdrawal".  Here are some ideas to help you through the transition:

#1.  Pick a catchy name for your credit card:  I used an expired AAA (American Automobile Assn.) card and though of renaming it my Amazing Art Applicator or my Almost Abstract Art card.  You could name your old VISA card something like: Very Important Smooth Applicator.   The sky is the limit here (not just the top of the painting).


#2.  Make some credit card brushes:  Here are a couple of those little cards that you get from places like Blick; I found these in my wallet when I located my old AAA card.  A small saw cut in the end of a 5/16"  by 12" long piece of hardwood dowel did the trick.  Some super glue to hold it in place and voila: a card brush that looks semi professional and a new meaning to "flick your BIC"-- now it is "flick your BLICK" when you apply the paint.  Here is the front side of the cards:


Now look at the back side of the cards.  I wonder if you lost these out painting and someone put them in the mailbox, if they actually would get returned to Blick.  I also wonder what Blick would think of this: "Good Advertising" or maybe "How dare you!"



#3.  Buy some paint shapers that look like brushes, or make your own script brush substitute:  Here are some different color ("colour" for the Kiwis) shapers; they kind of work like palette knives, but the silicone rubber tips make them much more flexible and they work more like a brush.   The bottom object is a bald (lost its hair) #1 DaVinci brush, and I drilled the end out with a 1/16" drill to shove party toothpicks into the ferrule.   These are pretty cool to paint with, AND, YOU DON'T HAVE TO CLEAN THEM, JUST TOSS THEM!  Be careful not to put the end with the paint on it in your mouth, it really gives you weird looking teeth.


#4.  Just learn how to use your palette knives a little better:  That's my plan!  Comments very welcome.   Stu

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Comment by Stuart J. Gourlay on September 7, 2014 at 18:57
Thanks Olivia. I'll look for one of these next time that I'm in a craft store. Stu
Comment by Olivia O'Carra on September 7, 2014 at 8:01

here is another for your collection Stu. I use a long pin. Its actually sold in a craft shop as a doll's needle for sewing in eyes on a doll's face. 

Comment by Stuart J. Gourlay on October 5, 2013 at 18:00
Dorian, I occasionally will use scalpel blades in a craft knife, but no, surgical instruments won't wrk for art. Stu
Comment by Dorian Aronson on October 5, 2013 at 17:53

Very good Stu!  I am wondering if you have ever used any of your surgical instruments?

I see that we both could open up an art supply store!

Leaving town for a few days, a tropical storm here. See you later...........smiles : )) 

Comment by Stuart J. Gourlay on September 9, 2013 at 2:52

Me too, Donna.  My only caveat with the credit card for paint application is that for outdoor painting usually you have no place to set it down and things can get a little messy unless you compulsively wipe the paint off with a peper towel or rag right after you finish using it for awhile; when I have set it down on my palette, it regularly gets into paint piles.  I think I need to invent a credit card holder to go on my pochade box--hmmm...maybe some velcro on one corner---but, that could be a little messy too--or, maybe a stick on magnet!!  Wow! Maybe I could patent all this!  But again, probably not.   Better to just keep painting!!!  Stu

Comment by Donna Spears Lauzon on September 9, 2013 at 2:31

Credit card = awesome ! Once in awhile I even use it for buying art supplies. :)

Comment by Stuart J. Gourlay on September 9, 2013 at 2:30

Thanks Carolyn.   Do try the credit card; it really comes out well.  And that one inch Escoda brush for this--incredible!   I do like the silicone tipped tools, but I really have limited exsperience with them.    Stu

Comment by Carolyn Brunsdon on September 8, 2013 at 4:38

Stu, I had you figured for a dry wit; seems I'm right on! I do have a couple of those decorative art rubber tipped tools, packed away in CA. Also recently purchased RR's workshop where the credit card trick was used. Haven't been able to view it yet but will. Curious now for sure. Thanks for the light, and maybe even beneficial moment! :)

Comment by Stuart J. Gourlay on September 8, 2013 at 2:32

Thanks Donna.  Actually this was about 80% tongue in cheek stuff.  Actually my right index finger is my number one brush alternative, and I see Johannes doing that in his videos all the time.   By the way, my stick mounted cards don't really work too well.   Stu

Comment by Donna Spears Lauzon on September 8, 2013 at 2:20

Great ideas Stu ..don't forget our own fingers and thumbs !


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