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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Technique Tuesday - What's in a Brush

Long or Short Handles
So if you're just getting started in fine art painting,
you might wonder,
what type of brushes should I buy?
Long or short handles?

I spent years as a decorative painter 
and I only used short handled brushes. 
Usually I was painting close up work sometimes doing specific strokes to achieve a desired effect.
As a fine art painter, I'm not doing specific strokes, necessarily,
but trying to achieve a specific look with my strokes.
The difference is, you need to back up often
 to see what you are creating. 
With a longer handle brush, your painting gets looser
and it forces you to back up from your painting.
You should be holding your brush as far back on the handle
as you can and still have a little control.
It's not a pencil.
You don't write a painting. 
This takes practice.
It feels kind of odd at first,
but you need to stick with it because it will bear fruit.
You also will want to practice using all the surfaces and edges on your brush to see what you get.
Set up a simple still life
(is there such a thing)
an apple and a pear.
Look again,
Squint some more.
Now, don't paint the apple or the pear,
paint the shapes you see as you squint 
in all the various colors you see.
The apple and the pear will emerge as you paint.
Step back.
Paintings are meant to be viewed 6 feet away,
so step back and you will see where you have it and 
you'll know where to work next.
If you think your work is too tight,
remember to back up on the brush
and take a few steps back.
I still have to remind myself to do both of those things.
I give away a painting every month, 
so you'll want to get signed up if you haven't already.

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Ghent, Kentucky, United States
I'm a nature artist and I love to paint old barns, rivers and lakes, trees and fence rows and flowers. I work almost daily. You can purchase paintings by contacting me at and there is also a tab across the top of my blog for available paintings and one for small paintings with buy now buttons. You can also purchase through my Etsy shop using the name of Fine Nature Art. . Thank you so much for stopping by.