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Non-Brush Applications & Textures

There are many ways to apply paint or modify a paint application without using a brush--let your imagination be your guide.  Usually you don't want to overdo textural applications, because it can get "busy" looking very quickly.

Click on images to enlarge.

Blotting tissue.JPG

Matboard edges.JPG

Blotting tissue
 You can crumple up a tissue and blot wet paint off a sky to creat clouds.  You need to do this quickly, before the paint has a chance to dry.

Matboard edges
You can use matboard or cardboard edges to "stamp" lines onto your paper.   Make a big puddle of fairly dense color, put the edge of the matboard into the puddle, then stamp onto paper.

Paint Spatters .JPG


Paint Spatters
You can spatter paint, either by shaking a round brush loaded with paint (big spatters) or by flicking (with your thumb) a toothbrush loaded with paint.

Be careful, the spatter can go everywhere, so make sure you cover areas of your painting (with old matboard or cardboard) where you don't want the spatter to go.

After spattering paint, you can modify the result with a brush with clear water or blot with tissue  to soften the effect 

It can be fun to experiment with salting your wet paint...once the paint is dry, remove the salt.  You can get some interesting textural effects.  

Note:  Salt may cause long-term moisture problems on paper, perhaps even resulting in mildew, so this application is best reserved for short-term art, like greeting cards, etc.

Scratches on paint (2).JPG

Sponge dragged on paper.JPG

Scratches on paint (2)
Some brushes come with a plastic "scratching" edge on the handle tip.  Or you can use something like a plastic picnic knife.   Apply your paint first, and then let it sit for a minute or two, then gently scratch some texture into the damp paint.   It takes time to figure out exactly how long to wait...if you scratch too soon, the scratch tends to disapper right after you make it.

Sponge dragged on paper
Dip a dry natural sponge into a puddle of paint, then drag on the paper.  




 Dip a dry natural sponge into a puddle of paint, then stamp onto the paper.  You can modify the effect with a brush of clear water or by blotting with tissue (or even spraying with water).

The sponge stamp can give a nice texture to flowers, foliage or bushes.   

You can spray water onto applied wet paint to get a interesting textural effect. In this example, the paint was almost dry when I sprayed the water.


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                    Copyright 2006-2012   by Julie A. Eastman.  All rights reserved.