Paintbrush Care, Techniques, and Q&As with Trekell Art Supplies

artist paint brushes and panels

Best Paintbrush Care Methods

Brian Trekell and Courtney Bridges from Trekell Art Supplies talk with me about paintbrush care, brush techniques, and how to choose the best artist paint brushes! In our conversation, we cover a ton of ground. Everything from how Trekell Art Supplies got started, what inspired Brian Trekell to get into the paintbrush making business, a bunch of technical questions you sent in for Trekell Art Supplies, some history behind paint brush making, and so much more!

It’s a ton of information but I know artists like you will appreciate the detailed explanations. Make sure to check out the special offer Trekell has made available for the Savvy Painter audience and the YouTube video of artist William Whitaker explaining his approach to brush care, you can find both in the resources section at the end of this post.

An obsession with paint brushes.

Have you ever wondered how successful art suppliers like Trekell got their start? Are they just a faceless corporation or is there a heart somewhere behind the name? I had the privilege of sitting down with Brian Trekell and Courtney Bridges from Trekell Art Supplies. Brian founded Trekell over 30 years ago after spending time backpacking through Japan where he was first inspired by the art of brushmaking. Soon after, he traveled to Bechhofen, Germany, to fine-tune his skills. Now, Trekell is an established name in art. Brian continues to lead the organization with a relentless focus on delivering high-quality products to artists like you. I hope you are inspired by Trekell’s humble beginnings as much as I am.

Paintbrush care really does make a difference.

As an artist, chances are you’ve picked up some bad habits when it comes to pain brush care over the course of your career. Brian and Courtney from Trekell Art Supplies are here to help remedy some of those bad habits and answer questions from the Savvy Painter community that will help you get more life out of your paint brushes.

In our conversation, Brian and Courtney cover topics like which solution you should keep your brushes in, if using conditioner is a good idea, alternatives to rinsing the paint out on your hand, and much more.

Don’t leave brush care all up to trial and error, get the best advice right from the supplier!

Beyond Paintbrushes.

While focusing on one specific product can lead to a lot of success, Trekell has taken the path of expanding their product line to bring their dedication and experience to other areas in the art world. In my conversation with Brian Trekell and Courtney Bridges, I got to hear their passion for working with other suppliers like Gamblin to bring creativity and high-quality products to a larger network of artists.

Find out about Trekell’s offerings including panels, frames, primers, varnishes, and much more. I’m excited for you to get to know Brian and Courtney and their unique approach to offering as many tools to the art community as possible.

Maintaining a robust relationship with artists.

As you take the time to listen to Brian and Courtney explain their methodology and approach at Trekell Art Supplies, I hope you come to glimpse their passion for truly serving the art community. Through their partnership with the Savvy Painter podcast and hearing stories of how they’ve incorporated artists input throughout their history, I am confident that they care about their products and the people who use them. Trekell offers a number of professional grade sets, kits, and packages designed by the Trekell Pro Team which is made up of artists like you! From their partnership with William Whitaker to their efforts creating the Trekell Pro Team, they’ve taken the time to show that they are invested in the success of artists.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:25] I introduce my guests, Brian Trekell & Courtney Bridges.
  • [3:30] Why did Brian go into the paint brush business? Where did the name come from?
  • [8:00] How are acrylic paintbrushes created differently than oil brushes?
  • [9:30] Who should use which paintbrushes? Does it matter?
  • [12:30] How to care for your pain brush between uses?
  • [17:30] Why is wood used over other materials as the handle for paintbrushes?
  • [21:30] Why did Trekell switch the color for their Legion handles?
  • [22:30] Why do paint brushes splay, even after they are properly cared for?
  • [24:30] How are the quill mops are made?
  • [25:30] Advantages of brushes made by glue versus crimped paintbrushes
  • [27:00] Why does Trekell make some shapes and not others in different types of paint brush?
  • [30:00] Why is it so difficult to create a synthetic version of the natural mongoose brush?
  • [32:00] Is there really a difference between acrylic paintbrushes and oil paintbrushes – can I use either brush for acrylic or oil painting?
  • [38:00] Any recommendations on how to use paint brushes to soften edges when wet-on-wet painting?
  • [39:30] Do I need to seal the wood on the backside of the panel to prevent possible cracking?
  • [40:30] Courtney talks about Trekell’s coffin-shaped panels.
  • [42:00] How do you decide which is the best wood to use for your wood panels?
  • [44:30] What made you decide to start offering aluminum panels?
  • [46:00] How do you create the wood floating panels?
  • [48:00] Why did Trekell start expanding their product line from just paint brushes?
  • [50:00] How to do you measure spring in a paint brush?
  • [52:00] Should I try to make brushes with the hair of my animals? Does Trekell use animal hair?
  • [54:00] What is the most versatile paint brush? Which brush line is the most popular?
  • [55:30] If you could make a brush exclusively for a deceased artist and a living artist, who would you choose?
  • [56:00] Who was the first person to officially join the Trekell Pro Team?
  • [57:30] What should I use to clean my brushes before I’m ready to paint?
  • [1:02:00] What brushes would be best for me to use, using water mixable oil paints?

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

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