Sunday, May 6, 2012

My last few blog posts seem to revolve around finding your creative center through experimenting with paint so I thought that I'd expand on that and include playing with brushes.  How many of you purchase a new brush either online or at a show or store, take it home and then set it with your brushes to never do another thing with it?  Often we are intimidated by the look of the new brush and feel unsure as to what to do with them and often that fear is because we don't want to do the "wrong" thing with the brush.  We seriously need to get past that because brushes should be our friends not the enemy.  They are designed to help us get the job done and there does not exist the "brush police" to tell us how to use that brush.  We should feel free to be as creative with our brushes as we are with a design.  Brushes are fairly hardy items and can withstand a lot of abuse just make sure that you clean your brushes properly before storing them at any time but especially if you plan to use them in non-traditional ways.  My past few posts discussed trying something new on a piece of paper or card stock or something that you feel you can throw away if you hate the look of the piece, or something crazy might happen and you might find that you absolutely love the look of the new paper.  Well while you are allowing yourself the luxury of playing with paint throw in a new brush to try at the same time.  Use that brush in a nontraditional sort of way. 

I recently was asked by a customer if I have done any books using the Butterfly Brushes or if I had any educational information regarding them and I had to admit that I didn't have a lot although I do have a You Tube video showing me using the Angle Butterfly Brush.  You can view that by searching for Christy Hartman on You Tube.  Unfortunately there aren't a lot of publishing companies out there right now publishing books and book deals can be hard to come by but there isn't any reason why I can't give some information on this blog. 

Let me start with the Small Shader Butterfly Brush.   I use that brush to paint daisies/sunflowers as well as a variety of different wildflowers.  The brush seems to be just the right size for many of the techniques that I use, I'm sure that you can use other brushes and achieve the same result.  I painted this sunflower/daisy by turning the brush upside down, you can still double load the brush to achieve highlighting and shading at the same time and stroke in the petals of the flower starting at the tip of the petal on the chisel edge of the brush, flatten it as you move in toward the center.   I then tipped the brush up on the chisel edge and stippled the center of the flower to finish up the piece layering my brown tones.  You can easily add additional detail with this brush to add some shadows by washing paint out into the center of the petal.  It was quick and easy and took very little time and is certainly a "non traditional" use of this brush.

Do you have any wonderfully creative ideas to use your brushes in non-traditional ways. 

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