Nothing aids the fall transition like a new hobby. As cooler weather sets in and we retreat indoors, a fun project is a must. So this year, we’re expanding our artistic horizon by learning to paint.
But we’ve got to walk before we run. First up, how to use the flat brush.
Loading the brush
The trick here is not to overload your brush, but to get enough that your strokes aren’t thin and streaky.
For water colours, put a pea-sized amount of paint onto your palette and add a few drops of water. Mix them together, adding more liquid until you create a watery consistency. Soak the flat side of your brush into the mixture and allow excess paint to drip off before turning to your watercolour paper.
For acrylics, begin dragging the flat side of your brush back and forth through a dime-sized amount of paint. Work any clumps off of your brush in this manner, before putting your brush to canvas.
Mastering the strokes
Get a feel for the paint on your brush. Begin by dragging the flat side along your canvas or paper, creating a thick band of colour. Try this several times until you get a nice, clean line that you’re comfortable repeating.
Next, load the thin side of the brush with paint and work on creating a thin line. Once you’ve mastered this, practice twisting the brush mid-stroke, creating a thin-wide-thin line or a wide-thin-wide line.
Finally, work on making a blunt line by pressing the tip of your loaded brush against the canvas. Don’t add too much force; you want only the tips of the bristles to make an impression.
Now, put it all together! Practice mixing brush strokes to create patterns.
Mastered the basics? For more advanced brush techniques, check out