Blog

Portrait painting tutorial and video for dry brush painting technique

Dry brush for portraits a step by step painting tutorial by Sandrine Pelissier
Drawing / Dry brushing / Painting technique / Step by step demonstrations

Portrait painting tutorial and video for dry brush painting technique

I recently started to experiment with dry brushing, it is a technique that allows you to make paintings that look like drawing in a fraction of the time. This technique is particularly efficient to make soft edged shading.

Portrait painting tutorial and video for dry brush painting technique

For dry brushing you need a few stiff brushes to paint details and one or two soft round brushes for shading.

I am a Blick Art Materials affiliate and I receive a small compensation for sales. That does not effect in any way the cost of the purchaser’s order but it helps me keeping the content of this blog free.

Winsor & Newton Artisan Water Mixable Oil Colors, 337 Lamp Black, 200 ml

Economical, genuine oil colors clean up with soap and water. Use with 5 non-hazardous mediums allows all the traditional oil painting techniques and styles. Tubes and sets.

dry brushing portraits

Paint brushes for dry brushing

What works well for me is to spread a small quantity of oil paint on a piece of cardboard, then rub my brush on this paint, and dry if a bit on a paper towel before painting on the paper.

I am a Blick Art Materials affiliate and I receive a small compensation for sales. That does not effect in any way the cost of the purchaser’s order but it helps me keeping the content of this blog free.

 


Canson XL Recycled Bristol Pads

The only recycled bristol on the market, these pads are designed to appeal to students, with superior construction and heavier weight covers. 96 lb (260 gsm) weight.

dry brushing portrait painting tutorial

Taking paint from the cardboard and drying the brush on the paper towel

dry brush painting supplies

I find it surprising but you can quite easily erase the paint on the paper with a kneaded or regular eraser, this is very convenient when adding highlights to your portrait.

Dry brush painting

The finished painting

I used watercolor paper with a very fine texture, you can also use bristol paper.

Comments (11)

  1. Aino Shperber

    Wow you are good!! 😮

    1. Thanks Aino!

  2. Carol

    When the piece is completed, how long does it take the paint to dry? And then, do you do anything else with it? Sealant?

    1. There is so little paint on the paper with the dry brush technique that it is almost dry right away. I didn’t apply any sealant but I guess you could.

  3. Hi Sandrine,
    Are you working directly onto the watercolour paper or have you sealed it somehow?
    Thanks,
    Lori

    1. Hi Lori, I am working directly on the paper.
      Sandrine

  4. Tom

    How do you keep the paper from absorbing the paint and drying. I can’t lighten with a kneaded eraser because the paint drys so quick.

    1. Hello Tom, you want the paint to be really dry so it kinds of sits on the paper, that’s how you can remove it with an eraser. An eraser will work only for the light to medium areas, not on the dark areas.

  5. […] Dry brush painting […]

  6. Thank you, Sandrine. This is something I will definitely try.

    1. Thanks Leslie, let me know how it works for you 🙂

Leave your thought here

Your email address will not be published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.