This was a super fun week of making our own brushes. The goal was to create brushes that will reflect hand movements and gestures. I used both high flow paint and india ink.
My five brushes consisted of strands of cotton string, soft fabric netting, wheat threads with the seed side up, evergreen, looped raffia, and netting on a string from a produce bag. I also made a q-tip brush and a chenille pipe cleaner brush ithe the tips bent which aren’t pictured.
Brush made fromQ-tips bundled together. No doubt I liked having some control over this – A different quality with more solid lines. The short marks at the bottom are interesting where it created a little dip at the beginning of the mark. I felt I could be more angular in the marks than with some of the more delicate brushes.
I loved making the brushes, it was a relaxing and fun to imagine what might happen with each one. I know I will continue with this experimentation. I found the raffia, evergreen and wheat seeds to have very delicate but dense textural lines. The soft netting had the most solid line and most mass- I really like the round swoosh shapes. I loved the pipe cleaner for it’s wonky unpredictability and the q-tips created multiple lines with a wonderful looseness. The cotton string created some interesting marks with a kind of fling motion and I liked the fact it could make a longer mark without reloading. It’s interesting to not that the shape of these brushes actually influenced the gesture of my hand. Kind of like prompting a response.
I’ve posted some works in progress where I tried to incorporate the marks made with these new tools.
Dyptich with overall dimension 32″ x 25″ On this I used evergreen for the horizontal black marks and raffia for the round shape. I also used q-tips at the bottom center with some dabs from the same brush. I didn’t care for the effect so I painted over it. I think these marks work well in combination of my love of texture.
Another 25″x32″ dyptich work in progress. I used raffia for the black marks and pipe cleaner for the white squiggles in the background. I like having a tool that will allow me to make larger marks. I sense the more I play with these tools the more I will be able to be “expressive” through them. The larger marks seem very freeing. I like the mark at the top. Not sure it’s in good combination with the oval at the bottom but some of this has to do with composition and value. I wish I had an entire library of high flow and liquid paint and the brushes for each color as these handmade brushes are not so easy to clean.