Tuesday, September 1, 2020

The term "dry-brushing" may seem an oxymoron; since Day 1, we've been dipping our brushes into paint, then running the bristles across a substrate -- the point being, to layer the substrate with paint!

But somewhere along the way, someone discovered or developed the technique of dry-brushing.  For anyone like me, who likes to overdo everything when it comes to paint, this might seem a hard technique to master. 

But a little practice works magic!  And the results of dry brushing with stencils are rewarding -- especially for me, since I love to find ways of achieving new looks with my stencils.

The first step is to put out a little paint.  Dry-brushing requires very little!

Second, pick a brush and crumble some scrap paper enough to make a textured surface for practice --

Above:  the brush on the right has been just slightly loaded with paint.  After loading just the tips of the bristles with paint, the next step is to lightly brush the bristles over the textured surface.

After my practice time, I decided the brush that works best for me is a brush with very stiff bristles.  So that's the kind of brush I've used in all the following photos.

Above, part of my 9" x 12" stencil Blooming Where Planted has been masking-taped to a substrate.  Especially with this technique, I find it very helpful to secure the stencil in some way.  Dry brushing across the texture of a stencil will make the stencil want to move, unless it's held firmly in place.  

Below is a similar shot, this time, with my 9" x 12" stencil Prayer Flags being put to work.

In the close-up below, you can see that, on this particular piece, I've dry- brushed all the way down the length of the stencil.  (The splashes of green paint were applied earlier and were dry before I started dry brushing.)

Below are two shots of this stretched canvas, showing what the surface looks like, now that the stencil has been lifted.


The dry-brushing technique can also be employed in at least one other way:

The next photo below shows a stretched canvas that I have developed by using my 9" x 12" Longwood Florals Stencil with modeling paste.  First I had spread the modeling paste thru the stencil with a credit card.  

Then I'd immediately placed the stencil into a basin of water so that I could clean it later -- something that I do whenever using a 3-dimensional medium like modeling paste.

After the modeling paste had dried, this is what I had --

Below is a close-up of the same canvas, as I have just barely started to apply paint --

Below: a shot of the canvas after several colors have been brushed across its raised surface --

Like today's earlier project -- using the dry brush technique thru stencils -- the 3-dimensional piece above is still being developed.  With a wet brush, I'll be adding several layers of translucent paints in several colors that will correspond with the colors now laid down.

More examples of dry-brushing across raised surfaces:

Above:  a stretched canvas developed with modeling paste and Mimosa Stencil (9" x 12") as well as Mimosa 6 Stencil (6" x 6".)

Above:  a close-up detail.

Above:  another close-up detail.

I'm ending today's post with a warning -- it's really easy (at least, for me) to load too much paint onto your brush when first trying this technique!  Below is a shot of what happens when the brush is over-loaded with paint.  In this case, the stencil used was my 6" x 6" Webbed Medallion --

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