View Full Version : Questions

05-14-2002, 02:35 AM
I painted today, after several months of procrastinating.

I'll try to remember the questions I had while painting.

What do you use for the finest details? (I resorted to using the tip of a metal skewer!)

How do you decide what texture to use for a plain coloured background, what (kind of & direction) brushstrokes do you use, why do you use a variation in colour &/or tone, how do you decide about all that?

What do you use for fine edges, eg the side of a face against hair, or clothing against hair - any fine edges - how do you keep them true, what brush or other tool do you use?

Does it bother you if others can see your brushstrokes, on what should be a smooth surface? (eg flesh)

I expect I have further questions, but that shall do for now.

05-14-2002, 08:00 AM
For fine details I use whatever works. (A skewer, eh? Hmmm.) They make fine tipped brushes for that. I actually like the smaller flats (or brights), over the rounds, because I get better control. But, that's just me.

The background depends on what I'm trying to do with it.

For fine edges, see fine details above, with the addition of a fan brush, for blending.

I don't mind brush strokes at all. In fact, they are part of my style. I feel that painting is as much about the paint as the subject matter, and I like to show the process, so I don't blend my strokes. You may feel differently about the matter.

Hope this helps.

05-14-2002, 08:17 AM
Thank-you for replying, blkros, I'm going to have to find some real fine brushes - can you recommend a type/brand?

05-14-2002, 09:06 AM
I like Grumbacher, or Windsor-Newton, and Liquitex isn't too bad, either.

05-14-2002, 11:54 AM
the answers to your questions will vary greatly depending on your subject matter or style.

05-14-2002, 12:35 PM
I dont want to step out of line here...but darlin' it sounds to me like you are fussing too much about this and that, just paint. I have found myself in same position and yes, I then procrastinate forever! I call it exercise.....paint, paint, paint.....you will work out most of your own dilemmas, not that we all don't need suggestions, that helps to deliver the outcome we want. I think most MASTERPIECES come about this way, don't you.

Excited to see the outcome, enjoy!

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are amnipotent. -unknown-;) ;)

05-14-2002, 08:51 PM
I agree with ikre8t in that you should paint and not worry so much about the tools, once you've done it for a while and get the feel of it. When I took my first painting class in college, (many years ago) I was told what brushes and what paints I needed. Someone trying to work it out on their own, like zynnya, needs a little help to wade through the choices.

Now zynnya, paint, dammit!:D

05-14-2002, 10:29 PM
Thank-you all for your replies.

I see orchidlover6 is a master of brevity. :-)

Got a grin out of ikre8t's post, how perceptive of him.

Okay, okay, I'll paint.

05-15-2002, 05:03 PM
To these:What do you use for fine edges, eg the side of a face against hair, or clothing against hair - any fine edges - how do you keep them true, what brush or other tool do you use?

I use a very #0 or #1 brush that is firm and won't break form with acrylic paint on it. You can get these by Loewll cheaply at the craft stores.

Does it bother you if others can see your brushstrokes, on what should be a smooth surface? (eg flesh)
I learned here how to blend colors and clean strokes by cross hatching the area and it works. The tutorials here are great. Alos the projects help me to learn new techniques and now my work is selling!

05-16-2002, 02:56 AM
Thank-you Terry.

I've been to your web site, via your profile, & took a look at your art (congratulations on the sales, by the way). My favourite was The Tropics of Naples. :-)

05-16-2002, 11:31 AM
Hi Zynnya.....well let's see....I have some really teeny tiny brushes that I use for the really fine work. I've also resorted to using side of a business card for straight or curved lines, etc. But then again...I don't do much fine work.

I hardly ever have to worry about keeping edges true since my style is to leave a black border around just about everything...makes that pretty easy :)

And my backgrounds....well that is usually my favorite part of a painting and I hardly ever have a plan for it. I just start painting and see what develops.

I'm a REALLY big believer in experimenting.....I'm always looking for something new to try. Some things I like, and some I don't, however the process has helped me enourmously. I think it's just getting over that fear (or whatever you want to call it) of trying something different.

Just start painting and see what develops!

Can't wait to see you post some of your work!

05-16-2002, 04:57 PM
Being a very new painter myself, I am having fun trying everything and just letting my paintings develop themselves. I find myself using brushes, implements, sponges whatever gives a good effect. If my painting when finished results in a mood or emotion when looking at it I am happy.....

I have a very high stressed day job and painting is my outlet, all these wasted years of creativity has made me want to paint every spare moment I have and the relaxation from it is a treasure worth more than money......Just enjoy yourself and your style will develop, follow your instinct.

I think I am rambling, but comes from the passion of finding creativity within.

Go for it!

05-17-2002, 04:19 AM
Thank-you ladies, I enjoyed your posts.

I like your black borders, KarenU, & love your style.

I haven't finished the painting I started this week yet, I've worked on it on two days so far.

It was hard for me to work out what to paint, there is so much to paint, & I was trying to work out what I really wanted to do.

Sometimes when I see art I love online I save it to a folder on my hard drive which I've entitled "Art Ideas", for future inspiration, & to just enjoy viewing it.

So I'll probably try a variety of styles, before I maybe find "my own style" - or maybe there'll be more than one, we'll see. :-)

Thank-you for the encouragement.:)

05-17-2002, 09:55 PM
Hi zynnya,

If using acrylic, there will be some thickness to the painted surface unless you use a medium to smooth-out and make glazes with the paint. If you really like the absence of brushstrokes test different mediums with your paint on one single board, paper or canvas. Try several layers in one spot, single layers on others.

To achieve hard edges, naturally a small, very small brush will do the trick. However, the smaller you work to begin with, the smaller the brush you'll require. To get even harder, truer edges, try working a bit larger to start out and it will be easier to make edges whatever size the brush. Also, a magnifying glass really helps when doing very fine detail, along with taking the very smallest brush and removing some of the hairs. I have often had to use brushes with just a couple of hairs to do very tight architectural renderings and faces on tiny illustrations.

Another way to get very fine detail is to paint with watercolor or casein instead of acrylic, and the smallest rapidiograph pen or calligraphy nib.


05-18-2002, 03:37 AM
Thank-you Diane, for the helpful suggestions.

That's a clever photographic portrait of you on your web site, through the frame.

05-20-2002, 10:37 AM
I have found when I have difficulty resolving a painting it has more to do with being unsure of color. I found that making a quick small monochrome painted sketch to study the values really helped me see my subject. I also make a palette card (I take a scrap piece of mat board, illustration board, etc, and coated it with gesso tinted the same as my support, and make color swatches) being careful to record what I used to blend the colors. Together, they pushed me over that hump and allowed me to confidently complete the painting.

As per fine details, a smaller brush yes, but it isn't a necessity. I have seen more experienced painters using 3/4 to 1 1/2 inch brushes and getting tremendous detail. Practice with your tools is the best teacher. I found that I did better, irregardless of brush (or whatever tool) when I thinned the paint with medium and medium-water blend. Just water made it too transparent, with medium it is more translucent. I also found an under-painting helped. Then the finer details were refinements, not individual subjects.

Good luck