Expressive Brushwork: Bring Your Marks to Life

Jen Dixon, Abstract and figurative artist, tutor.

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10 Lessons (30m)
    • 1. Introduction

      0:52
    • 2. Materials Needed

      0:28
    • 3. Get to Know: Round Brushes

      11:51
    • 4. Get to Know: Flat Brushes

      1:30
    • 5. Get to Know: Filbert Brushes

      1:13
    • 6. Get to Know: Rigger, Angle, and Fan Brushes

      2:18
    • 7. Project One: Simplified Bamboo

      3:14
    • 8. Project Two: Wild Grasses

      4:32
    • 9. Project Three: Loose Landscape

      3:21
    • 10. Final Advice and Thanks

      0:44
17 students are watching this class

Project Description

There are several, specific brush exercises leading up to three projects; I recommend you take the time to practice with each brush lesson to build control and confidence. The exercises involve round, flat, filbert, rigger, angle, and fan brushes. Practice with as many types as you have available. Also try comparing synthetic to natural bristle brushes, and different manufacturers if possible.

Project One: Simplified Bamboo
Bamboo is a classic ink subject and we'll take the control learned from handling round and rigger brushes to create a simplified painting.

Materials:

  • Round brush, capable of coming to a reasonable point when wet, in size 10 - 14.
  • Rigger brush
  • A4 or US Letter cartridge paper
  • Water
  • Paper towels
  • Indian Ink

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Project Two: Wild Grasses
Scrubby, coarse, and wild, we'll manipulate a variety of brushes to create a patch of expressive vegetation, first in tones of Indian Ink, and then in watercolour with Indian Ink.

Materials:

  • Variety of brushes
  • Spray bottle for water
  • A4 or US Letter cartridge paper
  • Water (for rinsing brushes)
  • Paper towels
  • Indian Ink
  • A few basic watercolours (reddish brown, deep blue, yellow, perhaps a green or two)

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Project Three: Loose Landscape
We'll go back to using only Indian Ink for this final project. 

Materials:

  • Variety of brushes
  • Spray bottle for water
  • A4 or US Letter cartridge paper
  • Water (for rinsing brushes)
  • Paper towels
  • Indian Ink

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