Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Painting Fine Details with Big Brushes

It's possible to paint details that are much smaller than the brush itself. The subject is a snow pile in a parking lot.

Snow Pile "Everest", gouache, 5 x 8 inches.
Using relatively big brushes can add verve and speed to your paintings. My goal when I'm painting fast is to convey as much truthful information as I can in the time available.

(Link to video on YouTube) In this video, I show how you can capture a lot of detail with relatively big brushes.

If you're experimenting with a new medium, it's helpful to do an abstract painting exercise, and try out wet and dry passages, drybrush, gradations, etc. I did this with a flat brush.


Timothy Bollenbaugh said...

Perfect timing (re: my confusing email. And, thanks for your kindness).

Your end image, of the texture and gradation. When I look at something like that, without intent, I begin searching out patterns alluding to subjects I like or have studied. Sort of like pareidolia, what's been on my mind, not in the image.

James Gurney said...

Hey, Timothy, no worries. Yeah, I just did the last exercise off the top of my head, goofing around. It doesn't represent anything, just trying a variety of textures.

Loretta said...

Glad to see you survived your skate board adventures of yesterday.........it took me a few hours of pondering to figure that one out......good work.

Your fearlessness of painting inspires me daily. Thanks for being so kind.

Pierre Fontaine said...

I really appreciate the exercise portion of the video. Your videos are always entertaining and informative but a targeted demonstration really helps expand the concepts you are discussing.

I'll be traveling solo to the Rochester area in a month to bring my daughter home from college. I'm bringing my paint kit and plan on spending some time during my rest breaks to work on similar quick paintings to my sketchbook.

Thank as always for the inspiration!

Deborah said...

Jim, do you use use a rag of any kind to dab or mop your brushes on? It seems like you use a pretty juicy brush most of the time. I'm wondering if I waste a lot of paint this way.

markmors said...

A spot of paint here, a line there, not knowing what is coming. Then I see a crack in the pavement and a parking lot! Wonderful to watch you work.

When you put color into a a scene that is not necessarily there, what guides you in that decision?

MinZ said...

Thank you for the masterful demo! Is the Terra Rosa paint you used Watercolor or Gouache? From the tube you held up in video at 2min in, looks like Ultramarine and Terra Rosa are both watercolor. I was looking to buy Terra Rosa but couldn't find it (also didn't see it from https://mgraham.com/artists-colors/gouache/). Would Alizarin or Burnt Amber be similar to Terra Rosa? How is its lightfastness? Thanks!

James Gurney said...

MinZ I checked and you're right, those tubes are watercolor, not gouache, though the two kinds of paint are very similar: just pigment and gum arabic binder, these days without a lot of opacifier.