View Full Version : How to paint fine/thin branches.

01-10-2012, 07:43 PM
May I ask a basic question here?. I never seem to be able to paint a fine line as in a very fine branch, vine or stem. Would some one(or more) tell be what brush, hints etc. that would help. Thank you .

01-10-2012, 07:58 PM
If it is in the midground or background, don't paint individual thin branches at all (look to see how they blur together).

If it is in the foreground, choose carefully which thin branches to paint. Some use the straight edge of the bristles. Some use a thin brush. Some scrape. Some use a something like a credit card .

01-10-2012, 08:03 PM

I have been struggling with that for sometime, and keep trying new things to see which works best. As for brushes...riggers usually work best....and always drag out from the larger branch. I tend to use very watered paint...and a light hand, not that it always works. :o Also have used toothpicks to good advantage, if the paint is at just the right stage...with the sky dry and the branches still wet.

I have also painted the sky OVER a sort of charcoal color, and then scratched out my branches thru' the drying sky...that way if the branch is too big, you can just gently brush the sky back over it. :crossfingers:

Hope this helps, at least a bit. Other more experienced artists may have better ways.

01-10-2012, 09:27 PM
Thanks, I am off to the garage to practice.

01-11-2012, 08:54 AM
I don't do branches but have been putting some lines in my landscapes for geological surfaces. I have two methods. One is using a watercolour pencil (I'm actually using Daler Rowney Graphitones lately). So I can draw it on and then with a very fine wet brush darken the line with water. Alternatively, I do something like Susan - create a large dark area and then go back over with paint until only a small line is visible. Yes, sometimes scratching through paint too. I've always liked scratching through paint to get a thin line - while the paint is still wet I use a rubber-ended shaper tool to make my line.


01-12-2012, 12:16 AM
I find using a dagger/angle brush with the paint thinned with water to an inky consistancy I get a great fine line. Takes some practice, but definately the right amt of paint/water and the right brush will do.

01-12-2012, 01:35 PM
I too use a rigger brush, and thin paint, but additionally I'll purposely let the brush lift a bit of the canvas here and there, especially on thin branches.

I may do this with 2 colors, a light then a dark, if you will, and again lift the brush from the canvas in spots. You'll have to play with it to get the feel, but on really thin branches I like the effect.

Another thing is to use one of the colors (if using 2 colors) that is close in value/hue to the background. The thing I'm trying to get at here is that I ALMOST want parts of the thin branches to disappear into the background.

And the rigger brush is best (for me) for all of this -as the lines needs to be thin.

01-12-2012, 04:09 PM
definitely use thinned down paint, then paint from the base up. the way the branches grow. Hope this helps

01-12-2012, 04:25 PM
Got a piece of canvas board and tried some of this suggestions. Thanks.
For loobyteacher, looked at your site, love the Bassett.

01-13-2012, 12:19 AM
Thanks, he was from a photo in the W/C library as well. That is one thing I really like about this site, there are some great photos! Plus everyone is so nice and willing to help one another.