To put washes down on the paper when working with ink usually means the use of brushes. On the other hand, we can use the brush for what we call brush drawings.
The Chinese and the Japanese still use brushes as drawing and writing implements. The brush is also still used in these cultures for ceremonial purposes. Brushes are very versatile, and they are usually made of sable. Sable hair is very consistent and doesn't lose its tension in the mark making process, springing back to its shape and form and remaining very firm when pressure is exerted. It is essentially a brush that keeps its body and can be relied upon for consistency when you are working with it. Sable brushes are expensive to buy, so it is wise to look after them. Never leave them standing in ink or water for any length of time and always clean them after use in the appropriate solution; for the inks we are using that solution would be water. Make sure you dry them and that you store them carefully so as not to damage the bristles. If you cannot afford sable brushes there are other less expensive alternatives. These brushes are usually made from ox hair, squirrel hair or some form of synthetic material. I would also suggest that you try any brushes you already have, just to see what effects you can create with them. Brushes that we have tired of and put to one side can often be very useful for mark making.
Between pages 172 and 176 we look at examples of mark making with three different types of brush: an Oriental brush, a flat head brush; and a round head brush, which is a Western version of the Oriental brush.
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