Friday, August 22, 2014

Three Brushes

Hey all! 
I've posted before about changing it up with brushes. I know it's daunting to stand in an aisle of brushes, each sold upwards of five dollars (or fifty!) and not having a clue of which you really need. 

As a rule of thumb, Round brushes are the staple of watercolor. So as I read Romans 11 and became enthralled with this passage... 
But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. (Romans 11:16-24 ESV)
I decided to paint an olive shoot... or three... with three brushes to compare how each one behaves differently. One is round, and the other two are round off-shoots, if you will. 

Check it out:

My observations

Chinese Brushes are intended to be used in their fullness--no outlining and filling in, but rather using the body of the brush to play up line quality. Press down to make the brushstroke wider or hold it vertically to use its tip for a finer line. It's tricky. And that's why Chinese painting is in a league of its own. I don't do it justice. And until now, I've been pretty intimidated by it. But I find myself pulling my Chinese brushes more and more. Their somewhat unpredictable quality and body just can't be imitated by a Sable brush. {Sorry no number size on these.}

Paul Riley is a watercolor artist I admire very much. His florals have lead me to give Liner Brushes a shot. Again, as a painter who loves to exploit the uniqueness of each tool over controlling it to bend to my will, this type of brush is a joy to work with! As its name suggests, it creates fine lines, but unlike a round brush, its long hairs steal more of the painter's control. I love that. A circle will hardly look like a circle with this brush. Sooner or later, the hairs will bend and buckle to create an interesting, crooked line. 

And the bread and butter of watercolor painting--Round Brushes--offer easy shape-making and filling-in. It's what novice painters use as they cope with the inherent loss of control in watercolor painting, and what accomplished painters use to lay down shapes and create controlled details. 

Was that helpful? Want to see a particular brush used and reviewed here? Shoot me a quick comment! 

Keep painting, 
A (AKA another wild olive shoot)

PS- Find other posts like this by hitting the "Painting" tab.
PSS- It's the last day of the 5-Star Sale! Custom Portraits are 50% off today only over at the shop.