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Dry brushing techniques for portraits a video tutorial on ARTiful painting demos by Sandrine Pelissier

Dry brushing painting for portraits : A painting video tutorial

dry brushing painting

Dry brush portrait with black colored pencil and watercolor crayon

Click on image to purchase print

Click on image to purchase print


Dry brushing painting supplies

For this portrait I did use the dry brush painting technique and a bit of black colored crayon for adding a few lines and corrections.

Here are the brushes I used:

  • 1 big soft round brush for subtle shading
  • 3 sizes of smaller bristle oil brushes for details

brush painting techniques

 Then you will need:

  • A kneaded eraser that you can shape to pick up small areas
  • An eraser
  • Lamp black Oil paint (I used water-soluble oil paint because brushes are easier to wash but it is working very well for this technique as it is a bit dryer than regular oil paint)
  • A black colored pencil to add small details
  • Bristol or watercolor paper ( I like Bristol paper because it is very smooth, if you are using watercolor paper, take one that doesn’t have a rough texture as this would make it difficult for you to paint smaller details)

dry brush supplies


bristol paper fro dry brush technique



oil painting video




dry brush painting technique


Before painting, spread the oil paint on a piece of cardboard and rub your brush on this cardboard so it picks up only a bit of the paint, then I dry it on paper towel. Your brush should feel very dry and hold very little tiny quantities of paint. Try it on a spare piece of paper before painting so you make sure that you won’t paint any lines on your drawing, you want only a really subtle shade.


Start by painting the bigger shades area with the big soft brush then go progressively into darker and smaller details.

Here is the time lapse video of the making for this portrait, that will show you in what order I did paint that portrait.

Dry brush technique for portraits, video tutorial

Have you tried dry brush technique? What is you biggest challenge?

Dry brushing painting for portraits : A painting video tutorial
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