I pray you had an amazing Christmas, and got to spend some quality time with your loved ones!
I just loaded the technique sheet for the Woodland Trees on the techniques page!
Happy New Years!
Just finished Doc's Woodland trees that go with the Santa's and Snowmen. Pictures are on my home page. I will be working on Sarah Snow, the large Companion to this set. I will post some pictures of the painting process as I go, stay tuned! Have to get a little baking out of the way first! Praying you have an amazing Christmas with your friends and family! These were done all with Doc Holliday Acrylics
_Finish Outlining: Look at your piece and determine if there are any areas that can be outlined either in the same color or a shade darker or complimenting color to clean up and give your piece a tight finished look. Using a liner brush loaded with thinned color, and carefully outline entire areas or just tidy up loose or wobbly edges.
I just imbedded the Cerakanvas Online Magazine Holliday Edition on my Technique page. My snowmen and Santa's are featured in the publication with free step by step instructions for all 6 pieces. Just click on the magazine icon and it will open and you can flip through the pages. The article is on page 28-41. (check out page 25 too, it's a sneak peek of my Wolfe Vase which will be featured in March.) Hope you enjoy!
You may find that the pros and cons listed below are not consistent with your experience, however, keep in mind that this is what I have found to be true based on my personal experiences painting and from years of teaching hundreds of different individuals with varying skill level both techniques.
Results: When applied correctly, texture is all over fuzzy and even, and can even be almost solid if desired by applying more coats. Colors tend to be more “muted” or dull. This can be a pro or a con, depending on the effect you are after. Some people use a larger back and forth brushing motion while others prefer short quick strokes like a scrubbing motion, this can change the results.
Results: When applied correctly the texture achieved varies with the detail and typically takes on more of a solid appearance with the majority of shading in the deeper crevices. The brush strokes themselves leave behind texture that enhances the technique. Colors tend to be richer and brighter. Contrast is sharper which can be a pro or con, depending on desired results.
In my opinion, Wet Brushing is much quicker, more versatile, and produces a nicer finish on most pieces than Dry Brushing. I find I get better results with Wet Brushing in almost every setting. I might choose to Dry Brush if I had a “cutesy” piece that had mostly smooth or slightly bumpy texture (snowman or stuffed animal fur) and I wanted to achieve an all over even fuzzy texture. Even still, I would still debate if another approach to the piece using wet brushing would work because of the time it would save. I may also choose to Dry Brush if I am using a stencil or want that “stenciled” look without breaking out my airbrush. With that being said, I know there are many talented painters out there that get amazing professional results with Dry Brushing, again, I am speaking from my experience.
Like anything it is important to learn the proper technique and practice to improve your skill before you will see consistent results. When you do it correctly it is very easy. When you are not doing it correctly you will become very frustrated and likely discard it all together. I had a choir teacher that engrained this quote in my head “practice does not make perfect…it only makes permanent”. I learned that if you continue to practice something the wrong way, you’ll permanently do it the wrong way, thus creating bad habits that are hard to break. In my years of helping people Wet Brush, the people I have run across that don’t like wet brushing have usually been doing it wrong and or have dry brushed so long that they are combining to two techniques while learning and not getting either positive result. If you find yourself in this boat, I challenge you to hang in there and stay tuned. I will be posting a “how to” on both techniques and following that up with a short video tutorial. Although I use Wet Brushing 80-90% of the time, I still believe it’s very important to learn how to do both to be a well-rounded painter.
To be continued...
Part 3: How to Dry Brush
Part 4: How to Wet Brush
Will be posted soon.
These two techniques share the same concept, however the methods and results are very different and this can be confusing.
The Concept behind both is this: Typically, a lighter shade is applied over a darker shade in a way that maneuvers the brush over the crevices allowing the darker shade to show through partially or completely which accentuates the detail and provides contrast & depth.
If you have been using one technique for a long time, it can often be difficult to successfully master the other because habit and muscle memory can take over, which leaves us trying to mix the two methods and therefore gives us poor results. This frustration can often cause us to stop attempting to learn or make us doubt that the technique even works at all. I can assure you, both techniques work when done correctly. Even though I am a firm believer in Wet Brushing the majority of the time, and I'll tell you why below, I still believe that there are certain situations that are appropriate for dry brushing and it's good to know how to do both.
Keep in mind as I attempt to explain the differences and benefits below, I am speaking from my own painting and teaching experience in my area of the world. You may have been taught differently or exposed to a different method by the same name, but below I will share a brief summary here of the techniques as I use them. I will be explaining the methods using Non Fired Acrylic Paints, though they can both be used with other products.
Dry Brushing is done with dry stiff bristle brush, pouncing out as much color as possible on scratch paper, then applying to the piece by brushing against the grain in a swiping and or rubbing motion. The paint is applied to the raised texture and stays out of the crevice detail. You repeat the process several times building even fuzzy layer after layer until the desired coverage is achieved. You don't want to dip your brush in water. If you want to use a clean color, you usually use a clean dry brush, or you have to clean your brush and dry it repeatedly against a towel to remove moisture. "Moisture is not your friend".
Wet Brushing is done with damp soft taklon brush, loaded with water and paint, the brush is swiped against a scratch paper to work the color into the brush, and blotted on a paper towel to remove excess moisture. It is then applied to the piece by swiping the brush against grain, keeping the paint on the raised textured and out of the crevice detail. You load your brush often, "Moisture is your friend" (brush needs to stay moist, not dripping). The desired coverage is achieved almost immediately in one layer. You can clean your brush as often as needed and use immediately, no need to dry.
These are very brief summaries and are not intended to be "how to instructions" but just to show you the basic difference. In Summary, the difference Dry Brushing is done with dry stiff bristle brush applied in layers, vs. Wet Brushing is done with wet soft bristle brush applied in single layer.
(I will be posting a How to Dry Brush and How to Wet Brush in the near future and I will share with you the specific method for each technique that works successfully for me. I will also be sharing the pros and cons and how to know when to use which technique)
To be continued...
Part 2: Pros & Cons, which works best for what?
Part 3: How to Dry Brush
Part 4: How to Wet Brush
Will be posted soon.
Struggling with painting eyes? Go to my Techniques page and watch my eye lash demonstration. Get out your liner and Black acrylic paint and follow along!
Click here for Technique Page to Watch Video
_If you have a piece that looks bland and you can't quite put a finger on how to fix it, shade and or line the edges to get a crisp clean look, it's amazing what this can do. I never consider a piece finished without this step.
You can corner-load a brush with a deeper shade or complimentary shade and create a shaded border to an area, this adds depth.
You can then create a thin to medium wash (thin color with water on a tile) of an appropriate shade (black works fine in many cases) and load a fine liner with this wash and outline as many detail areas as possible. The line must be extremely thin, so it does not stand out. Say you are doing leaves and you used a medium green on the body of the leaf, you would corner load a darker shade of green around the edges and then outline with that same dark green, or even black if desired.
If you would like to see an example of detail lining, look at the deer stein in the Scenic Section of my Photo Gallery Page
_ For so long, the standard basecoat for dry brushing has been black or something very dark. However If you are Wet Brushing or Dry Brushing and your desired goal is a soft White or lighter shade, consider using a lighter base coat.
Let's just use the Doc Holliiday Lynx in my Photo Gallery as an example.
The log the Lynx is sitting on was base coated in black because I wanted a rich look with texture and depth. However, I wanted a softer finish for the animals and obviously the snow, so the rest of the pierce was base coated in White. Then, I antiqued with Black Translucent and wiped back. This still gives depth in the crevices and yet I don't have far to go with Wet Brushing to achieve the soft light shade desired for the finished outcome. Be sure to let the antiquing dry completely so you don't muddy your white brush while Wet Brushing.
You don't have to base coat a piece all one color, this combination gives interest and contrast. Consider this approach when you run in this situation in the future! Don't Forget to Click on the RSS Feed on the right of the page to get notified when a new tip is added here or a technique packet is added to the store.
I will share various tips for painting on this page, I hope you enjoy them! Please feel free to comment, it's also nice to hear from other painters! I will also be adding various technique packages to the online store and when I do I will post an update here to let you know a technique has been added. Check back soon tips !
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Happy Painting! Shelley
Ceramic Artist & Teacher
_I will share various tips for painting on this page, I hope you enjoy them! Please feel free to ask questions or comment, it's always nice to hear from other painters and I am happy to help any way I can! I will be adding various technique packages to the online store and when I do I will post an update here to let you know a technique has been added. Check back soon tips !
God Bless & Happy Painting!