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Dry brushing painting video tutorial: Portrait of Charlotte

Dry brushing painting

Dry brush portrait with black colored crayon


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Click on image to purchase print

Here is the latest time lapse video I made on using a dry brushing technique to paint portraits.

Dry brushing is a technique that allows you to make paintings that look like drawings in less time. In this video I also used a black coloured pencil as I wanted to introduce some lines and fine details for the patterns in my drawing.
For dry brushing you need a few stiff brushes to paint details and one or two soft round brushes for shading. 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 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 brushing painting, a portrait painting video tutorial: Portrait of Charlotte




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{ 9 comments… add one }

  • ahfong May 21, 2015, 1:32 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. I am 72 years and learning a lot from your demonstrations and love all your paintings

  • Max February 15, 2013, 2:50 pm

    thank you so much! i know now :)

  • Max February 12, 2013, 2:49 am

    great video, but i can’t eraser on my draw..why? thx for attention

    • Sandrine Pelissier February 12, 2013, 9:15 am

      Thanks Max :), with this technique you can only erase very light areas, it will not work if there is too much paint.

  • Hybrid J August 25, 2012, 10:28 pm

    Hi Sandrine,

    Such wonderful and generous place to visit. Full of hands on lessons! Well Done!

    And thank you for the encouraging comment you left on my blog re my papercut. I’m really grateful for your positive respond. It helps me to continue with my creative pursuit.

    To answer you questions:

    I use basic craft knife. It is of EXCEL brand (made in USA) and am using #11 blade. I’m not sure if you could find it in Canada, but the EXCEL brand is very similar to another brand of craft knife from the states (i.e. X-Acto).

    The “precision” of the cut is really about having a detail fine drawing to start, cut slowly with heaps of patience. Change the blade as soon as it starts to drag on the paper. To give you an idea, I’ve used about 10 blades for the cut you commented on.

    Hope the above help and feel free to email me with more questions. I’ll be happy to answer them as much as I can.

    Hybrid J(amie) :)

    • Sandrine Pelissier August 26, 2012, 9:49 pm

      Thanks Jamie!
      I was just re-visiting your blog today, love the bones/skull paper cuts too.
      I might try this technique for a small postcard but I don’t think I would have the patience to make bigger pieces like you do.
      Thanks for commenting :-)

  • Katherine August 21, 2012, 2:13 pm

    Thank you SO much for posting this! I’ve been experimenting with dry brushing as well, using the technique on charcoal and graphite so far. Please share as much as you can about it, you do incredible things with your portraits! Do you think dry brushing is appropriate for live figure drawing too? I’ve been wondering about that. I just started going to a weekly figure drawing group.

    • Sandrine Pelissier August 22, 2012, 8:32 am

      Thanks Katherine !, I thought about using this technique for life drawing too but I don’t think I would have enough time to do so during the class as our longest poses are about 20 minutes. This portrait took me about 2 hours to paint. I might use my drawings from class as a base though, transfer them on Bristol paper and work on them with the dry brushing technique. Let me know if you give it a try .

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