Practice: Motive 3 of Ranson’s 7 Vignettes for brush practice

I have discovered the hog brush! I am well on the way to become a master of the shrubbery.

(Oh, had I known that it would come this…
– So what do you do in your free time?
– I paint shrubs. Its great. I have a brush that extra special nice for it.)

Here is the result of my brush practice of the third vignette in Ransons book Watercolours, along with the brushes I used.

Brush practice 5, motive 3
Brush practice no3. The hog brush is the one at the bottom of the picture.

After having laid on the first wash with the hake the image looked absolutely flat and boring. Bleak. Anaemic.

But then I grabbed the hog brush I had laying around, and it turned out to be great to put in tufts of grass with, and darker areas for the shrubs. I felt like cheating since I wasn’t practicing with the hake, but then again, I do this for fun, so I didn’t let that bother me too much. It was very easy to use the hog brush with precision. One gets good texture for grasses and underbush that needs filling out and darkening, and runs less risk of ruining the painting at the very end with the big hake brush. The big strokes and potential mistakes are OK in the beginning for me, not in the end, it hampers me if I get too nervous.

The reason I had the hog brush laying around was because in the materials section Ranons had explained that it can be good for softening up areas. But gently to not damage the paper –  the hog hairs are so rough. Hog brushes are mostly used for oil paintings.

What I learned:
– No need for panic in the middle. It gets better in the last layers where one can put darker colours in.
– The hog brush is useful for putting in tufts of grass and darkening existing areas in the final layers.


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