Somov treated his paintbrushes with great care. His nephew, Evgenii Mikhailov, testifies to that fact in his memoirs: Somov jealously guarded his brushes and only gave them to someone else for cleaning if he had to rush somewhere. K.A. [Somov] took extraordinary care and time to clean his brushes himself, in the palm of his hand, with Kazan soap and water. If, after cleaning, the hairs did not lay as they should, he would correct them with his mouth.
E.S. Mikhailov memoirs, p. 497