November 2017 Artist of the Month

Michael Shane Neal is one of the most highly sought after (and best dressed) portrait artists in North America. Among the many modern luminaries who have sat for him are Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, actor Morgan Freeman, and world-renowned portraitist Everett Raymond Kinstler.

For over 10 years, Shane has been using Silver Brush® Grand Prix® filberts because of “their versatility, resilience and control.” He prefers to use them when trying to encapsulate the essence of a subject while capturing the “variety of personalities that one encounters.” Shane uses a “fairly broad stroke” that he considers to be “painterly” and aspires to use confident bravura strokes in all of his works.

Currently, Shane is painting a “number of judicial portraits as well as an American ambassador, several businessmen and some private portraits.” He credits his ability to connect with clients through his “intense interest in individuals, curiosity about what makes them who they are, and sensitivity to their desires.”

Despite the many influential and famous clients he has worked with, Shane says that his favorite pieces are the ones he has done of his children. However, he also “particularly enjoyed the experience of painting Sandra Day O’Connor,” not only because he found her to be “uniquely brilliant and personable,” but also because she is such an important figure to American history.

To those who wish to follow in his footsteps, Shane says this:

“First and foremost, always remember that the quality of your work is the most important element to your success. Focusing on growing as an artist and creating the very best work you can is the starting point. Being willing to start slowly and pricing your work modestly in order to engage as many new clients as possible is also important. The more work that is on display, the more work it will bring you in the future. Finally, stay positive. Some doors will open, others will close. Sometimes receiving a ‘no’ might be better thought of as ‘not now.’ If it is your dream to be a full-time artist, to quote Winston Churchill, ‘Never, never, never give up!’”

For many years Silver Brush Ltd has produced two artist brush sets to Shane’s specification. These sets serve the basic needs of students and artists seeking the right selection for portrait painting. The MSN-010 Bravura Basic 10 piece set is the perfect starter set for the serious student. As folks advance they have the choice of Shane’s complete 35 piece MSN-350 Bravura Pro set.

Learn more about Shane’s process:
Shane is a featured speaker at The Portrait Society of America’s conference.
Find out more about his presentation:

October 2017 International Featured Artist of the Month

Bobbi Dunlop is a Canadian oil painter from Calgary who is inspired by the old masters and uses Silver Brushes® almost exclusively. “My favorite series is the Grand Prix®,” she says, “…they stand up to everyday use and with the care I give them, they last endlessly. I never throw them away!”

The idea of truly looking and seeing beauty is what she feels defines her as an artist. “I have forever been drawn to the simple things in life…the roundness of an apple or pear; the gesture of a figure in space… These are the things I savor and which drive my work.”

Recently, Bobbi’s favorite art supply store, Sunnyside Art Supply in Calgary, started carrying Grand Prix® brushes and she couldn’t be happier. “Now my students will have the opportunity to enjoy these brushes, too” says Bobbi, who averages approximately 40 weekly students in addition to teaching workshops throughout the year.

When she isn’t teaching classes, Bobbi enjoys painting en plein air with friends where the beauty of the Canadian countryside inspires her strokes. On a recent excursion, a curious black bear strolled right through the scene she was painting and after observing her for a moment, continued on its way with “berries on his mind.”

When asked if she has any advice for artists who want to make a career out of their talent, Bobbi replied, “Do this for yourself and not with the expectation of fame and fortune. Always be a student. Understand that your personal growth is the goal and must be the measure of your success.”

Bobbi’s artwork can be found hanging in the Bluerock Gallery in Black Diamond and at Art Country Canada in Bragg Creek in Alberta.

For more information, please visit:

September 2017 Featured Artist of the Month

Chantel Barber is an accomplished artist who discovered her passion for art at a very young age. “The first drawings I did as a child were of people,” she says, “When I began painting, I couldn’t wait to try portraiture.”

Starting at the age of 12, Chantel was mentored by many professional oil painters. Throughout her life she took art classes and  in college. As she tried to develop a style that she liked, another student introduced acrylic paint to her but she felt acrylics were generally used for abstract paintings and her love lay with portraiture.

Chantel chose to mesh her knowledge of oil techniques and her desire to use acrylics for portrait work in a style that has become distinctly her own. “I am definitely best known for my specific approach to acrylic as I work in more of an alla prima style, rather than washes and glazes,” she says, “I love using the Grand Prix® Hog Hair Bristle Filberts for the majority of my brushwork. They give me superior control over paint application and I can create a variety of edges with their flexibility. The Renaissance Red Sable Cat’s Tongue brushes are perfect for adding smaller details when needed.”

When asked what inspires her work, Chantel says, “So much of what I see on a daily basis inspires me: Light, shadows, colors, sounds, but I am especially drawn to the human spirit; I long to capture it on canvas though portrait and figure work.”

One of the newest paintings in Chantel’s collection is also her favorite because she feels it embodies who was as a child. Named “The Dreamer Next Door,” this portrait won in the Master Class category of May’s Art Muse Contest and holds a special place in her heart.

Chantel operates an art business called “Chantel’s Originals” in Memphis, Tennessee, teaches 6-9 workshops each year but she also offers online courses. She recommends Silver Brush to all of her students.

In addition, Chantel is the National Coordinator of the State Ambassador program for the Portrait Society of America, President of Artists’ Link in Memphis, and a member of The Chestnut Group and the National Oil Painters’ Society.

Follow Chantel online and sign up for her blog posts:

August 2017 Featured Artist of the Month

Terry Strickland’s work is a combination of technical mastery and
depth of content. While the paintings are highly realistic, they’re also
thought provoking in their concepts and imbued with imagination
and poignancy.
What inspires your work? When I am in the throes of a life
situation, as I’m experiencing it and mulling it over, visual imagery
will percolate to the surface of my mind. I will make note of it in a
sketchbook. If these images persist they will eventually become
paintings. The process of designing and making the painting helps
me understand the experience. During the process, my personal
narrative is somehow transformed into a universal human story.
They are common themes like beauty, love, life and death, and are experienced regardless of
race, gender or income bracket. Viewers look at the work and think, ”I know how he/she feels”
and connect with the subject in the painting.

It’s magical and irresistible to me, this communication without words. We are born image-
makers and image lovers and have a cross-cultural need to share our ideas and stories. Call it
motivation or inspiration, but really I’m just doing what comes naturally.

How long have you been using Silver Brushes? About 15 years,
ever since I got serious about oil painting

What is your favorite series to paint with? That is a tough
question because I use different series at different stages and for
different textures. I probably use Ruby Satin’s and Bristlon’s the
most. For soft smooth blending like in a face I’ve been converted to
the Renaissance cat’s tongue. For scratchy surface textures I like the
natural bristles of the Grand Prix. Sometimes, I paint with a fan
brush, not to smooth but to paint loosely, laying on textured paint.
I’m a big fan of the Bristlon long filberts when I want a looser paint
application, too.

About how many students do you have per year? I’ve taught about 65-70 students this past
year. I have an ongoing class of 16 students, many of whom stay with me all year, but some
rotate out and new ones come in. I teach several workshops and do demos as well.

Would you recommend Silver Brushes to your students or the public in general? Yes, I do
it all the time. My students are converts once they see me using the brushes. I talk about the
brushes online as well.

How do you take care of your brushes after a painting session and how do you store
I’m a very lazy brush cleaner so I have a super simple method. After the painting session
I rinse them in odorless mineral spirits, wipe with a paper towel and then rinse an orderless
solvent. I wipe them off and lay them flat on a clean paper towel. The cleaner I use has a brush
conditioner in it and if there is any oil paint left in the brush it will not dry. Before using the
brush the next time I will rinse it in OMS to remove the solvent. I never use soap and water and
my Silver Brushes last for years. Between uses I stand them handle side down in large jars.

Do you have any advice for artists who want to make a career out of their passion? Artists
need to learn how to run a small business, learn about marketing, keep honing your skills.
Never stop mastering your craft. There is always something new to learn.

See more of Terry’s work:
View Terry on Alabama TedTalk: TEDx talk
Sign up for Terry’s Art newsletter






July 2017 Featured Artist of the Month

Cinnamon Cooney, The Art Sherpa is our July Featured Artist of the Month

The Art Sherpa, Cinnamon Cooney, has been painting for many years and first started
using Silver Brushes in 1998 when her mother introduced her to the Ruby Satin® series.

Today, Cinnamon utilizes her unique painting style and affinity for
Silver Brushes as “The 
Art Sherpa”on her YouTube channel to introduce beginner’s acrylic painting and techniques to artists around the world. Cinnamon’s YouTube channel has really taken flight. According to her metrics, she is “teaching in 250 countries, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day” and her videos have been viewed over 14 million times.
Her love for using Silver Brushes led to
collaboration and this summer, “The Art
brush line by Silver Brush Limited
is launching with 11 sets designed by
Cinnamon specifically for the techniques
she teaches on her channel. 
“I enjoy the
process of simplifying REALLY complex topics for brand new artists,” she says. And although topics range from sun-soaked landscapes to whimsical abstracts, Cinnamon admits that she “personally get(s) really happy whenever we touch on the subject of space.”With over 170,000 followers on her channel, Cinnamon has helped thousands of artists paint pictures based on her original designs. She hopes that with her guidance, artists will use the skills she teaches to gain confidence in their abilities and create something they will love.

When asked what inspires her work, she said, “My students are the inspiration for the work I
create. The stories they share with me and the things that are important to them find a way into
all the paintings…I am always looking to take any subject or style we are covering and find the
relatable human side of it. If April the Giraffe is having a baby, I look to create a painting where
it helps people express and celebrate their excitement.”

Keep an eye out for NEW “Art Sherpa” open stock and brush sets by Silver Brush Limited at art supply retailers nation wide and world wide. Don’t see them? Contact  your local art supply reseller to order, so you can join in the fun!

The Art Sherpa® series features 11 brush sets and 18 open stock
brushes. The “Goldilocks” brush is the bright size 10 Item#4002.

*Please ask for The Art Sherpa® sets and open stock brushes at your local art supply reseller

If you would like a FREE product guide sent to you, send your request to:

June 2017 Featured Artist of the Month

Kirk Miller has been painting his entire life and has always had a propensity for the arts. As a child, he drew and painted as naturally as he breathed without ever thinking of doing it for a living. “Everyone else knew I was going to be an artist-I thought I was going to be a cowboy,” he jokes. Over the years he has not only
worked as a painter, but also as a freelance illustrator, an Art Director at an engraving firm, an instructor and demonst
rator of art
techniques, and as an author of two art instruction books for Foster Publications.

Although his job has changed, one constant for the last 25 years has
been his use of Silver Brush Ltd brushes.
“Originally, I used
Silverstone® bristles and Renaissance® sables for oils, Ruby Satin®
for acrylic and oil and I have now included Bristlon® as an additional
favorite for all my painting,” says Kirk. “With the high quality and
selection of brushes that 
Silver Brush provides, I am able to choose a specific brush

for the necessary technique. “Kirk’s dedication to his craft is evident
in every piece of work he produces. The human form or portraits are
his favorite subjects and he believes that his role is not only to
capture someone’s likeness but also their character.  Although Kirk is
a full-time, successful artist, he still enjoys teaching art classes and
workshops out of his Folsom, Ca. studio where he shows artists of all
levels how to paint in oils.    

“It’s our firm conviction that anyone, regardless of age, can learn to
paint beautiful, professional-looking paintings in almost any style-
ranging from traditional to the most contemporary-in a minimum of
time,“ he states.

When asked if he recommends Silver Brush to his students, Kirk replied, “I have been selling Silver Brushes to the thousands of students I have taught over the past 25 years. Once my students understand the benefits from using a quality brush, they continue to purchase and use Silver Brushes over all other brands.”

Kirk’s work can be found all around the world in private, government and corporate collections. In addition, he has illustrated cover art, magazines, books, posters and murals and has conducted workshops and demonstrations throughout the U.S.

Learn more about Kirk Miller and his workshops :
See more of Kirk’s artwork on our gallery:

February 2017 Artist of the Month

Deb Watson is a self taught artist and loves to
paint and teach. In her words: I learn as much from teaching as my students, digging into different subjects and experimenting with watercolor techniques and colors.

As a child, I loved to draw, but was discouraged by my family from pursuing art. So I spent my adult life as a nurse – working long hours and raising a family. I painted whenever I could and slowly improved. When I began painting full time, I was surprised that my work was accepted in national juried exhibitions and won awards! For years, I entered tons of shows, winning many awards. My paintings were also featured in many national magazines and earned signature membership in some of the top national art groups. After experiencing kidney cancer, I’m not entering as many shows, just focusing on my painting. (And I’m healthy so far, thank goodness.) Now I’m giving others the support I wished I had, with on line watercolor lessons.Deb continues to teach regularly in my studio and at the York Art Association. I occasionally teach workshops, although I’m a homebody and limit my travel. I also have several how to paint watercolor books available.

In Deb’s own words: “I love your brushes – the quality and the cost. I just finished teaching my Monday watercolor class (10 students) and I let students try the new brushes so they can see how nice they are. I encourage them to buy and use them. Tomorrow I have another 21 students and I’ll be taking my new brushes for them, also. The combination of holding a lot of water (and color), keeping a killer point for better control, and being reasonably priced just can’t be beat. Keep up the good work, and thank you again”

Deb’s favorite brush? Black Velvet® in all shapes and sizes

Visit Deb’s website:

To see more of Deb Watson’s work:


November 2016 Featured Artist of the Month

Leslie Adams painting Lynne LoftisLeslie Adams, a Signature Status member of the Portrait Society of
America, is an internationally recognized artist who specializes in figurative art and portraiture. Her patrons include distinguished
members of private society as well as the corporate, academic, religious, cultural, and civic leaders of our day. Her works grace the
walls of institutions and museums throughout the world.

Leslie was awarded the William F. Draper Grand Prize by The Portrait Society of America 

Leslie Adam’s recommendation:

As a professional artist specializing in figurative art and portraiture, whose patrons include
many distinguished members of private society as well as the corporate, academic, religious,
cultural, civic and judicial leaders of our day; it is my responsibility to provide my clients with
works of the highest quality. Therefore, the quality of the materials I use to create each painting
is critical to the process of painting itself, inherent to the success of the image, and key to the
longevity of each of my client’s investments.
For these reasons, my choice for brushes is imperative and unwavering. Since I began painting
professionally, I have found the superb quality of the Renaissance Series by Silver Brush toLeslie Adams be
unsurpassed. Each brush is meticulously crafted with the highest
quality materials available. Whether applying broad glazes or focusing
on precise details, each brush in the Renaissance line, with its unique
characteristics, allow me to produce my desired results. Consequently, the Rounds and the Brights in the series are never far from reach and
are as essential to me as the popular, long handled Cat’s Tongue
brushes that I love.
I have used the Renaissance Series by Silver Brush the past two
decades of my career and I highly recommend them to all of my colleagues.
-Leslie Adams
See paintings by Leslie Adams in our gallery site:
See three videos featuring Leslie in our video library on this site
Watch Leslie describe how she uses her Silver Brushes:                                                             

Featured Artist of the Month

pagliaccio ponte-vecchio-florence

Robert Liberace strives to combine his
fascination with anatomy, art history and technique to produce work in a variety of
disciplines including drawing, watercolor, painting and sculpture. He has been
selected as a “Living Master” by the Art
Renewal Center and is a member of the American-China Oil Painting Artist’s League. In 2003 he received the Portrait Society of America’s Grand Prize Award. Rob teaches weekly classes at The Arl-1122-rliberace-figure-settomitillas-for-galleryrt League of Virginia and holds art and art
history workshops throughout the United States and abroad.  Please visit for more information
about upcoming events and his instructional dvds which cover various oil
painting and pencil drawing techniques. Rob received his BFA and MFA at George Washington University. He is represented  by the  John Pence
Gallery in San Francisco, the robert-liberace-2Legacy Gallery in Scottsdale, and the Principle Galleries in Alexandria, Virginia and Charleston,
South Carolina.
“Why these brushes?” “With their exceptional performance and
beautiful finish it is plain to see that Silver Brush has as much
regard for artistry and craftsmanship as the most demanding

r-liberace-front-coverSee more of Rob’s artwork on the Silver Brush Gallery:
and Robs website:

Featured Artist of the Month

Steve Mitchell is an artist working in South Carolina. He has served a variety of
cfbselfieommercial clientele over the past 30+ years as a graphic designer
and illustrator but has been transitioning back to fine art. His first
love has always been drawing and painting with a special emphasis
on watercolor. Steve says: “Regardless of the medium, I have a
passion for what I do and love sharing that passion with others in my
work and on my YouTube channel, The Mind of Watercolor.” the-blacksmith

This is what Steve has said about Silver’s
Black Velvet® watercolor brushes:  “Love, love, LOVE the new brushes. All I’ve come to expect from the Black Velvets.”