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Old 08-23-2009, 06:23 AM
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giancarlo80 giancarlo80 is offline
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Re: Oil painting very thin lines

Hold a ruler or a stick hold it down on the painting surface and with your left hand and with the paint brush in your right hand find a crook that will be comfortable enough to slide your brush from one end of the ruler to the end. Takes practice I only go from the left side of the painting surface to the right but I've seen artists go up and down as well. Not easy to do but when you "get it" you can do lines whenever and wherever you like. Use with any medium and the answer is practice, practice, practice. It's the way the pros' do it. The crook I speak of is between the middle finger the forfinger and the thumb. Try it with a pencil first just to get the feel of it and if you get good at it you can get it to look as good as a ruling pen.

Last edited by giancarlo80 : 08-23-2009 at 06:29 AM. Reason: checking spelling
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Old 09-12-2009, 11:00 AM
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DaveMak DaveMak is offline
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Re: Oil painting very thin lines

Mm-mm ...wonder if painting sailing rigging is where the name "rigger brush" came from.



Rigger brushes (sometimes called stripers) are intended for this exact purpose. They are round brushes that come to a point but are much longer than conventional round brushes. They are used for just such a purpose because they do two things:

~ The hold more pigment than regular round brushes.

~ The minimize any handshake that may occur.

I doubt that a ruling pen would be very effective with oil paints. To use a ruling pen the viscosity of the color needs to be quite thin... about the consistency of light cream or whole milk. Even watercolors need to be thinned down and sometimes have ox gall added to make them work well.
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Old 09-12-2009, 11:00 AM
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DaveMak DaveMak is offline
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Re: Oil painting very thin lines

Mm-mm ...wonder if painting sailing rigging is where the name "rigger brush" came from.



Rigger brushes (sometimes called stripers) are intended for this exact purpose. They are round brushes that come to a point but are much longer than conventional round brushes. They are used for just such a purpose because they do two things:

~ The hold more pigment than regular round brushes.

~ The minimize any handshake that may occur.

I doubt that a ruling pen would be very effective with oil paints. To use a ruling pen the viscosity of the color needs to be quite thin... about the consistency of light cream or whole milk. Even watercolors need to be thinned down and sometimes have ox gall added to make them work well.
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Old 09-15-2009, 03:50 PM
paintlandscape paintlandscape is offline
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Re: Oil painting very thin lines

Hi. Love to read a post I can help with. One way is a tip I read in a book by Tom Keating, the famous art forger. If it's an oil painting, apply some varnish to the area where you're going to paint the lines. Then, using a sable rigger loaded with tempera paint, draw your line into the wet varnish. In theory - and I stress in theory - the wet tempera paint will shrink from the varnish as it dries, leaving you with a thinly painted line. I suspect it might be an idea to practice this one before you try it. Keating maintained that this was how painters of sailing ships and the like managed to paint thin lines that stood for the rigging.
When I've been faced with a similar problem, painting a wire fence section of an old wooden gate in a landscape painting, I used his method but applied the tempera with a dip pen and a ruler. Seems to have worked. Hope this helps.


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Old 11-03-2011, 01:11 PM
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TrekkieKim TrekkieKim is offline
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Re: Oil painting very thin lines

I realize this is an old thread, but I have just dealt with the same issue on a sailboat painting and found a GREAT way to do it that I haven't seen mentioned.

I got some sewing thread and cut off a piece that was about 6 inches longer than the rigging line I need on the sailboat. I then laid that thread on my palette and painted some thinned white paint on the thread...very lightly.

I used this thread like a 'snap line' (and you want to snap it VERY gently)...and viola! I had a beautifully thin line that wasn't solid the entire length, but looked just right.

I hope this helps someone.
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:43 AM
Judy Warner Judy Warner is offline
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Re: Oil painting very thin lines

Thanks for the suggestion. I will try this for really fine lines. Right now I"m doing the frames around windows in house paintings, so am still looking for suggestions for that type of line. I'm wondering when/if I'll ever get good at this ---

Judy
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:42 AM
samanthasmith samanthasmith is offline
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Re: Oil painting very thin lines

Using a very thin brush and a lot of concentration can do the trick.
You can even try using different brushes depending upon the parts of the sailboats.
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:25 PM
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Re: Oil painting very thin lines

Why not just use an INK PEN?
Or COLORED PENCIL?
Why hassle yourself with all the above methods
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:41 PM
Aires Aires is offline
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Re: Oil painting very thin lines

Solvent oil based penscan be an option for very fine work on dry paint. The pens are avaible from Dick Blick and other art supply companies, come in many colors and in a variety of tip sizes. Be sure to search under solvent based oil paint pens. They are inexpensive and I found the finest size tip was the perfect answer for very delicate filagree work done in metallic silver against black. I could never have done repetitious filagree work with a brush and had it turn out well so it was well worth the price of an oil based pen. All it takes is a bit of practice to learn how much pressure to use to get an even flow of paint.
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:12 AM
Judy Warner Judy Warner is offline
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Re: Oil painting very thin lines

I am excited to check this out! Thank you. I'm still struggling with these lines. Judy
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