Thursday, January 18, 2018

Dry brush

Those of you who have seen my full length tutorials know that I often start with a midtone when I'm painting clouds. It can either become the shadow part or the bottom layer for the highlights. Then I slowly build up the highlights until I get them just right. With 'Tidal Pool' I took a different approach.
Tidal Pool, oil on panel, 35.4 x 47.2"
I started by painting the blue of the sky covering the entire surface. Waited a day til it was dry. Painted the midtone, a soft purple-like grey. Waited another day. So far so good.
Normally I would've painted a rather thin layer of Titanium White and a hint of Vermillion Red on top of this layer and repeated that in the next few days, up to the right shade of white.

This time I thought I'd try something else. The color mix was the same: Titanium White and a hint of Vermillion Red. The difference: no medium, just pure paint. With a number 30 spalter I bristled the dry paint on top of the bottom layer.The combination of the rough brush and the dry paint worked very well to create a cloud like surface.

I shot the below picture close to the painted surface. Especially on the edges of the highlights it clearly shows the hair-like structure that you get when using this dry brush technique. I left a small zone of the underpainting purple uncovered, to prevent the hard edges that will immediately turn your cloud into an isolated lump. Now it nicely dissolves into the blue sky.


  1. What a nice tip!!!!
    Thank you!!!

  2. Je suis très admirative de votre travail spectaculaire ! Je viens de la Belgique.. vous êtes un modèle pour moi merci !