Material painting – The sign of painting

The sign of pictorial matter, whatever it may be, has a part of the experiments of contemporary painters. To tell the truth, already in the early years of the twentieth century, impressionists first and then cubists, tried to "get out" from the canvas and images of classical iconography using colors more dense and pasty and imprinting in the color matter the expressive signs of their brushstrokes to give strength and personality to the work. A painting that at the time was branded as "raw", but that gave way to the evolution of art to our days, passing from color to the insertion of materials of different types. From the mixture of natural sands in the historical avant-garde to the spatula application of oil and acrylic paints, everything has moved towards a 3D vision of the image

The color production industry, which moves in the same steps as the demand of artists, has created especially in recent decades ready-to-use materials, with densities different from traditional techniques, to support this material trend of painting: Oil colors dense and pasty, with color dispersed microgranules, medium dough and acrylic mortars with different materials inside, from marble powder to small transparent plastic flakes and iron oxide powder.

To be able to "move" these colors so thick we must look for the most suitable tool!

In addition to the use of the steel spatula, which has been enriched with various shapes and sizes, the suitable brush remains the most natural and expressive extension of our way of making art, leaving in the pictorial matter traces of our thinking.

As with traditional techniques, the first major subdivision we have to make is the choice between natural brushes and synthetic fibre brushes.

The second division into macrogroups is the technique we want to work with, which changes the characteristics of choice based on whether a color is oil-based or water-based. Speaking of material painting this division is not decisive, since the focus is the pictorial sign, but it will be in the cleaning of brushes.

Common denominator is that the fibers of the brush are able to move the color and leave traces inside it, so we will talk about resistant and inflexible brushes, with hair or fibres of large diameter. They must maintain their shape and be tenacious to the point of moving matter.

Material painting: OIL or ACRYLIC?

The oil color is already a fat and pasty matter, which if not diluted with linseed oil or solvents such as turpentine, retains the pictorial trace of the brush on the surface during the application. The small ridges that form are the sign of the painting itself, shiny and vibrant and do not lower during the slow drying of the color.

The water-based acrylic color, on the contrary, tends to lower the natural relief of the mark during drying: for this reason it is mixed with medium and/ or mortars to make it more full-bodied, greatly slowing down the duration of drying. Alternatively, there are 3D colors on the market, often body, suitable for optimal rendering in material painting. The mediums that are mixed change density and appearance in color, from matt to glossy to the material with granules and flakes.

The traditional brushes in natural white bristle like the series 50 of Borciani and Bonazzi are ideal for the pictorial trace in the material: tenacious and with excellent shape, have a good absorbency of color and create the mark that moves the work. The white bristle is robust and large in diameter and leaves a clear and precise trace of each of its fibers.

Particular attention can be paid to the 55 series track, with a fan tip, which leaves a trace of parallel lines, without moving the underlying mass of color.

Different for hardness is instead the blonde bristle, which has excellent wear resistance from abrasion on porous funds, and has always been used for wall decoration, and greater elasticity, and therefore leaves lighter traces in the pictorial material.

Choosing to use synthetic yarn brushes you can choose between 2 different types:

- Series 830 UNICO OFF WHITE, brush with white bristle imitation fibre, robust and tenacious, has a good absorbency and marks the pictorial matter on the surface.

The sign is characterized by elastic fibers, leaving traces and ridges, perfectly moves the matter of the pasty oil.

Ideal for multi-shot processing, the OFF WHITE fibre is large and full in diameter. Cruelty free alternative to pork bristle.

The handle is balanced and ergonomic, comfortable for long work sessions, and does not stress the articulation of the hand and wrist.

- Dark red violet synthetics, in the 1,2,3,4 and 6 series, with traditional long handles for easel work or short handles for support work, are characterized by a precise and defined pictorial sign, almost an engraving in the material, with precise and precise lines. Very low absorbency color, leaves a clear trace and moves the matter with strength.

 The yarn is rigid and very tenacious, so much so as to characterize types of high-precision brushes, such as the 600 and 605 series for micropicture.  Ideal for evident traces both in acrylic mortars and in the relief details in oil painting.

- Series 810 Unico Silver is an excellent compromise of synthetic yarn that adds a large diameter of fiber, which gives tenacity and defined mark, to the hollow fiber, of high absorbency of medium and water, which occurs by suction from the tip of the brush. Excellent resistance to wear even on porous bottoms, with good colour absorption and consequent longer stretch, even in the presence of thick and pasty materials.

The mark is precise and defined in all color matter, ideal for 3D acrylic, mortars and mediums.

It is recommended being a hollow fiber a thorough cleaning and drying upside down in the Lavabrushes, to allow the cavity of the yarn to get rid of all traces of color.

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