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Monday, October 31, 2005

Watercolor brushes revisited

Today I did a tutorial on watercolor brushes. When I started gathering brushes together to take to class, once again I was aghast at how many I have--and how few of them I actually use. I've already written a blog about too many brushes, but today I showed my class a lot of the less common ones that are fun to play with. Like a dagger striper that can paint an entire leafless tree and all the branches and twigs with one load of color. The mop that creates cloud-like forms as you swirl it around the paper. The angle brush that fits up into the eaves of a gable on a roof. You can have a great time playing with different brushes and might find one that works well for an unusual technique, but you don't really need them. At most, you might use a hake or mottler to dampen your paper for wet-into-wet painting, a 3/4"-1" wide one-stroke (oxhair)and/or a #12-14 sable round for washes, #4-6 sable round for details and a #4 rigger or script brush for fine lines. Don't waste your money on craft brushes and don't try to get by with old, wrecked brushes, particularly if they've been used with other media. There's no harm in sneaking in a "fun brush" now and then to see what you can do with it.

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