Twilight in Old San Juan: Using a Series 7 Brush for the First Time

My dad has a nice collection of Series 7 brushes from years ago. I borrowed a #5 last weekend, and have been excited to use it. This morning I got up early before the kids woke up and put in about an hour or so. It’s been interesting testing it and comparing it to my Escoda Prado synthetic brushes. The Series 7 #5 is about the same size as my Prado #8, which I love, but behaves very differently. It’s softer, more expressive, and holds a lot more water and pigment. The Prado is firm by comparison, and easy to control for a more limited range of strokes and marks. I used both in my further progress on the Old San Juan painting, though I am sure, based on what I used them for, you can’t tell which brush I used where. This painting isn’t really set up for expressive strokes. To paint more like John Singer Sargent, the Series 7, or a similarly expressive brush, would be essential. For this, I have found it to be a little too soft. I am looking forward to putting the brush to a serious test in a new painting soon. I am very excited to be able to work with it.

For now, here is some further progress on the main building. The windows have been an interesting challenge. The wood is worn and of various colors, even within the same window, so getting that down in such a small space has been difficult, but necessary, so the image doesn’t seem flat and the scene retains the feeling of the fantastic and of competing spatial identities I wanted to convey when I started. There’s still a lot of work left in this, even in the woodwork. It was nice to get one of the window air conditioners in to see how that would work out. I am looking forward to putting in the mess of power lines and birds, though I will probably have to wait another session or two before I get there.

Thanks for reading.

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