Words by Erin, Digital Design Media Manager.
Yep, REALLY transform them. We don’t use that word lightly. Because, using a good brush (or more importantly, the right brush for your job) can take your work from ho-hum to ah-mazing. Our expert watercolourist, Angela demonstrates:
BRUSH: Flat Wash Brush
FOR: Large petals and backgrounds
INSTEAD OF: A small, round brush
“The one I always use for the large, loose work that I love the most is a flat wash brush. I generally flip between a one-inch and a two-inch brush [depending on the width of the petals I need and the size of the artwork].” These help her create gestural, expressive marks and get a lot of water and ink onto the page.
With a smaller brush you can ‘paint in’ leaves and flowers but it won’t give you that same effortless flourish. This is one of the hallmarks of watercolour blooms, and the reason many clients gravitate towards them.
BRUSH: Tapered Round Brush
INSTEAD OF: A small, thin brush
“Then I will have a no.12 round Jasart synthetic brush, which I love as it’s big enough to make a beautiful, loose stroke but has a super fine tip so I can get the detail I want, too.” Start with light pressure on the tip of the brush and apply more pressure to splay the brush and achieve a wider stroke as you move down the leaf. Release the pressure again as you get to the bottom.
TIP: the key to this is to ensure your brush has a ‘true’ point at the tip.
Again, leaves can be painted in but it’s that one-stroke simplicity that will make your work look mighty professional.
BRUSH: Small Round Brush
FOR: Stamen and veins
INSTEAD OF: Medium-sized round brush
“The last would be a no.4 round Jasart brush, which I would use for any really fine details like the stamen of a flower or veins in the leaves.”
It’s that contrast between soft, wide strokes and thin, precise ones that will add impact to your watercolours.
TIP: Ange’s pet hate is to see brushes sitting upside down in the water jar. “It ruins them. The tip will curl and make painting difficult.” Good to know!
Want to learn more from Ange? Watch her wield her magic wands and share a host of other tips in our online course, Watercolour Florals For Textile Design.