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Drybrushing - there's a brush down!


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Can someone give me some advice on drybrushing.  Here's the problem: i alternate between two brushes. I try to alternate so one is clean while one is drying.  I've made the mistake more than a few times where i think the brush was dry and it isn't one i get that fat streak of paint that looks terrible or the really nasty splotchiness that occurs. I wash after each paint (unless lightening the color).

 

Solution:  are you using a lot of brushes that you rotate? Are you simply reusing brush without washing it?  Do you wait until done with the project to get the pigment out? 

 

Tell me what I'm missing here.  

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Just now, R2ED said:

Can someone give me some advice on drybrushing.  Here's the problem: i alternate between two brushes. I try to alternate so one is clean while one is drying.  I've made the mistake more than a few times where i think the brush was dry and it isn't one i get that fat streak of paint that looks terrible or the really nasty splotchiness that occurs. I wash after each paint (unless lightening the color).

 

Solution:  are you using a lot of brushes that you rotate? Are you simply reusing brush without washing it?  Do you wait until done with the project to get the pigment out? 

 

Tell me what I'm missing here.  

 

Drybrushing doesn't mean you let the brush dry...

 

It means you put very little paint on the brush, wipe the excess off on a paper towel and then use it to stroke the mini with it.

It will apply the ( little bit of paint) on the raised surfaces of a mini.

You can reload the brush and then wipe it off again like the first time.

 

DO use an older brush. It will kill your brush pretty quickly.

Keep the good expensive brushes for detailing.

 

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You do not need to use more than one brush for drybrushing.  It is important to wipe the brush on a paper towel until VERY little paint is coming off.  Streaking is caused by having too much paint left on the brush, not because the paint is wet.  In fact, if the paint gets too dry, it is difficult to get a smooth appearance and the paint may not adhere well.

  The Reaper Basic Skills Learn to Paint Kit which has a good overview of drybrushibg says the brush should be rinsed and reloaded with paint "every few minutes".  

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17 minutes ago, ferret said:

Streaking is caused by having too much paint left on the brush, not because the paint is wet

 

From my understanding of the problem description, it's streaking because the brush is wet still from the water, not due to the water from the paint (though the water from the wet brush can get into the paint, I admit) or from having too much paint on the brush.

 

@R2ED do you keep a paper towel near your rinse water (a different one from the one you wipe paint off on)? If you aren't already doing it, after rinsing wipe the brush a few times on the paper towel to get any excess water off (I usually do 4 passes, one with each side of the brush touching the towel). I usually don't have any problem with streaking after this, I rinse between colors and when I need to refresh/run out of paint. I do let it sit and dry afterwards while I shake up the next bottle of paint that I am going to use.

 

If you want to go with the multiple brush approach, look into getting some cheap brushes. Hit up the make-up section in the dollar store, and buy a few of the smallest ones there. They have bigger sizes too if you want to drybrush a bigger project.

Edited by ManvsMini
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2 hours ago, R2ED said:

Like... ever? 


Wait I think I've misunderstood what you mean when you wrote that you wash the brushes... I was thinking that you washed the brushes with soap ::P:.
Follow what @ManvsMini wrote, that's the right way to dry-brush... well... that's the same I do when I dry-brush.
If you need some advice there is a channel on YouTube from "Artis Opus" it is full of videos on dry-brushing. (You do not need "Artis Opus" brushes, some cheap make-up brushes will do the work and spare you a lot of money!)

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Artist's opus... that guy.  He's the Bob Ross of mini painters.  "Just do this," "it's so easy to highlight like this," "I'll just dab a little here and instantly happy trees." Okay, so that last one was a stretch.  I've got a weird weakness with drybrushing.  Most of my style follows close to dr Faust.  

 

I'm give it another try @ManvsMini and @Cicciopiu.  I do have a separate shop towel (more absorbant) and i lay into it with the brush.  I currently use these cheapo makeup brushes that are nice and soft-firm.  I'll find a model to really give me some good dry brushing texture...

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If you just get into dry brushing, I'd say the type of brush is not too important. Just make sure it it old and/or cheap, because it WILL suffer. Don't invest into these new boutique dry brushes just now. Any old synthetic brush will do, a cheap make up brush is also perfect (and will continue to be a very good choice! Once you got it down you can go and buy one of those artis opus or army painter master brushes...

 

I dry brush it like this:

  • I rinse my brush to get all the conditioner out (yes, I also use conditioner on my dry brushes, don't ask). :blush:
  • I dry the brush on a paper towel. This is important, you want your brush to not have any water in it, because it will lead to streaking. Since my dry brushes are old and cheap, I can be a bit rough in this step. You don't have to be, but you have to get rid of all the water. No need to use something like a hair dryer though, it doesn't have to be absolutely, physically dry.
  • I load the tip of the brush with paint. This paint comes straight out of the bottle/pot, you don't want to thin it. Neither on your palette nor with water that is left in the bristles of the brush.
  • I wipe off all the paint until almost no streaks are visible any more. I use newspaper, lots of others prefer paper towels. There is still enough paint left in the brush, even if you can't see it.
  • I brush over the minis very lightly. It's better to repeat this process longer  than do use more force, because this will lead to a chalky look.
  • For highlights I change to a lighter color and use lighter brush strokes. Often I don't rinse my brush in between, i find this results in better transitions.
  • Whenever I do rinse the brush I make sure that no water remains in the bristles (paper towel is enough for this).

Well, so basically what ManvsMini wrote ::):

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Artists

When I rinse out a drybrush and want to use it again before it has dried naturally, I don't just dab it on a paper towel. I fold over some paper towel and press the brush head between it with my fingers. I just keep moving  to dry spots on the paper towel and pressing between my fingers until the paper towel stays dry when I pinch. You should be able to see/feel whether or not there's moisture on the towel pretty easily. Those big fluffy makeup brushes will definitely take a few presses to get dry! 

I don't stress if just a little bit of colour is coming off on the towel when I do the finger presses. It's the nature of thick brushes and flat brushes, and if it's just a little faint colour it shouldn't affect the next thing you paint. I do clean them thoroughly with brush cleaner at the end of the session, and then I do the thing of pressing the brush between the paper towel specifically to check if I got all the paint out.

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