This was a question I have been asked a few times, especially when a learner wants to be able to paint something specific like hair for example. Learners can get very hung up about techniques and how to learn them. Techniques need to be thought of as ways to apply or remove paint to create a visual effect, that is all they really are. Some techniques are extremely simple although at first glance you may not be able to tell how the painter achieved the effect. Some techniques are more complex and require more of a knowledge of materials.
By looking after your brushes they will last a lot longer. Good brushes are fairly expensive so it makes sense to get into good habits and look after them. Follow these dos and don’ts to look after your brushes:
Don’t let paint dry on the brush
Particularly acrylic paint, which is so fast drying. This can happen very quickly, the paint on the outside layer starts drying out, particularly on the ferrule (the segment of the brush that connects the bristles to the handle). Once paint dries on the ferrule it tends to stop the flexibility of the bristles.
Don’t overload the brush with paint
You should try to avoid this for the same reason as the one above, if you overload the brush with paint it will cover the ferrule. Paint can be hard to remove once partially dry from the join where the ferrule and bristles meet. Once dry paint builds up in this join the brush becomes less flexible.