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Dry brushing for mixed media portraits

If like me you like drawing as well as painting, you might be interested in trying out the dry brush technique. Basically a way to draw with brushes.

This technique works well in mixed media paintings and is quite easy to learn.

You will need:

  • Winsor and Newton water mixable oil paint (I am using the watermixable oil paint because I find it dryer for this technique and it makes the rushes easier to clean as well)
  • A few stiff brushes
  • A few soft brushes
  • Clean rags
  • Erasers
  • Acrylic paint
  • Indian ink
  • Dipping pen and ink

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The dry brush technique consist in painting on paper or canvas with a very dry brush that holds very little paint. So you can start by spreading a bit of paint on a piece of canvas that you will use as a palette:

 

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Then you can rub brushes against that “palette” and use them to draw on the canvas

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My palette

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You can use soft brushes for light areas and smaller stiff brushes for details.

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Small stiff brush on details

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Amazingly you can erase very thin layers of oil paint.

Here is a video that shows a time lapse of the whole painting process:

When I was done with the portraits I started working on the background:

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I used a simple pattern on the sweater with fluid acrylic

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And a dipping pen and India Ink

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I added patterns on the background with fluid acrylics and markers

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The last step was to apply a layer of varnish to the painting.

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Slice of Life III- Sisters

 

Dry brushing for mixed media portraits
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