Your brush should only be lightly touching the surface at the “tail” of the stroke. As you can see, it looks like a comma.
(Do you have any idea how hard it is to film yourself painting?) Anyway, now that you’ve practiced the comma stroke and are a master of it, what do you do with it?
You could paint a border like I did on my chalkboard side table. This was done with the #1 liner.
Can you spot them in this painted border on a two tiered table? The scroll work is just lengthened comma strokes with a #4 filbert.
This dresser design has a few straight lines and “s” strokes, but it is mostly made of comma strokes. See them?
Me: So, Donna, do you think this stroke is doable for you?
Donna: “Totally doable, MMS! In fact, I ran out and grabbed some paint today from Walmart to give it a whirl. Here are my first two practice sheets done on black construction paper.
I used a #2 I had on hand, and I was totally stunned how thick the stroke became with such a small brush! I’ll be purchasing some smaller ones next time I’m in town.”
Me: Yeah, I prefer a really tiny brush unless I need to cover a larger area. I feel like I have more control and it looks sharper.
Donna: “I’m not brand new to hand brushing. I’ve done some hand typography when going to graphic design college and we practiced on sheet after sheet of newspaper. I’ve also taken some tole painting courses waaaay back. But honestly, it’s about learning how much to load the brush, the right consistency for a smooth flow, and then from there it’s allowing the brush to do the work. I need a ton of practice to ‘get it back’ but after awhile it becomes a little addictive. 🙂
I didn’t pick up any floating medium which I wish I had. The paint got thick on me from the get go and I diluted the paint with water constantly. With the right sized brush, a nice fluid consistency and possibly a smoother surface, what you see here would probably be greatly improved.”
Me: The construction paper probably soaked up the paint as well and made it so the brush didn’t “flow” as well.
Donna: “When I was ready to get abit fancier, what helped me was to ink sketch the general shape I was after, knowing the thick strokes were on the outsides of the pen lines. I looked at these pics of MMS’s for the general shapes.
Great first lesson MMS! I’m off to practice for the week before you get fancier on us. :)”
Can you believe this girl? Great job, Donna.
I’m also going to share a paint mixing tip with you. I’ve shared this before, but it was when I had about 20 followers, so I thought it was worth repeating. If you like a soft, antique look to your work, mix your colors with a dab of burnt umber. I do this with almost every color I work with. You can see the difference in the pictures below.