I’ve recently found that a big round brush is a fabulous tool for gesture sketching. It simply won’t allow for needless details. The brush point however, is versatile enough to go back into forms to provide corrections and accents. Working exclusively with a big round brush would have felt really uncomfortable for me, just one year ago.
Because, July 9 marked my first Watercolor Wednesday and my year long journey with watercolor, In that time, I’ve only really used a few watercolor brushes. But I’m finding that I’m most comfortable now, working only with this big guy for my small watercolor gesture paintings.
The image above and the Watercolor Wednesday painting in yesterday’s post are examples of these gesture sketches. If you haven’t already tried this minimal touch, I encourage you to give it a go. All you have to lose is a little time and a couple of sheets of paper. I always use both sides:) Sketches that don’t work make fine additions to the collage bag. The less successful sketches have also taught me volumes about becoming comfortable with loose watercolor.
The benefits of my watercolor experiments in general, have seeped into all of my work. I’m more free and generally more confident. I’ve new ideas and loftier goals.
So, I will continue to push my watercolor experiences. I have no plans to give up Watercolor Wednesdays, am I’m enjoying them a heck of a lot more. Thank you for your encouragement this past year. You’ll helped renew my enthusiasm for experimentation and helped me feel free with “less as decidedly more“.
A post I missed ! That large brush certainly works wonders Elena ! I’ve enjoyed looking over some of your Watercolour Wednesday series again . What an inspiration . Really . Your work amongst so many makes me want to try more often and give it all a go on a more regular basis . Trouble is I can get easily distracted by my camera 🙂
OH, I know, Poppy! Every day I fight myself-improve oils and stay focused, or play with watercolor?:) In the end, one medium informs the other, so it’s all good. Thanks so much:)
Reblogged this on Sound Art Creator and commented:
Sometimes, the simple way is the best. Carry one big brush, and go for it! I imagine backpacking in the mountains, painting a high waterfall in the clouds. Simple tools can make the best paintings.
I so agree. Thank you!
Awesome! Congratulations Elena 😀 Your water colour painting are so surreal and beautiful!!
Did you paint his dreadlocks with the large brush?
Absolutely Jill! The secret is a big round brush with a nice point.
I love the details you bring to your work and I have always been in awe of the confidence of your talented brush strokes! If ever I were to take up any brush my collage collection would be enormous in no time!
Not to worry Patti, my collage bag is fairy substantial;) Thank you!
Very lively. I like big brush too. But it was difficult to use it the first times because of the excess of water! But, Big brush avoids to fiddling! My favorite are n°14 & 18 system3 daler-rowney. 😉
Thank you! I think I’ll get a 14 and 18!
Thanks Elena for keeping sharing your creative work, it makes this world a better place for us
That means a lot. Thank you Marcelo. And may I say the same about your work.
A fantastic gesture.
It is such a pleasure to follow your Watercolour Wednesdays. I’m glad there is more coming!
Thank you Karen!
Love it Elena! You capture so much with simple brushstrokes. And I agree so much about the brush, a big brush can be incredibly versatile if it has a good point and a nice fat body to carry paint.
Ah the prize brushes:) I’m sure you have a favorite too Anna. Thank you!
I’ll have to give this a try!
Do, you’ll have fun:)
Am I reading that right? A 12? that is a mighty big brush! I would need a very large surface for a brush that big to work for what I do!!! I look forward to many more Watercolor Wednesdays. Cheers 🙂
It’s not right for all work, I know what you mean. But for gesture sketches, it seems to do the trick:) Thank you!
This is great!!
Thanks for the tip and nice figure painting too!
Thank you Kevin!
Another great sketch. When I look at your work it never usually crosses my mind how you did it. I really enjoyed reading this post, and I think it’s amazing that you can bring something with so much subtlety to life with one big brush.
Thanks so much Richard.
Amazing! Wish I had this gift! Have you heard of Pintos Palette? I like to go there and pretend I can paint. It’s always fun and relaxing! You have a beautiful gift – thanks for sharing <3.
I will have to check it out. Thank you Angela. I think every one can make art. It just takes a lot of practice and enthusiasm to continue to progress. And I agree, fun and relaxing:)
Congratulations:) I hope your skills/confidence with your work continues to grow with your sketches and practice with fresh ideas.
I hope so. Thanks much for your support Allyson Marie.
Very nice painting, dear Elena. You are very talented. I am so happy for that share with us your experiences with watercolor. Thank you so much for this.
I hope you have a wonderful day! Big hugs, much love, Stefania! 🙂
Wonderful day to you too Stefania. Thank you!
I note your comment ‘I’m more free and generally more confident’. I think you probably have to have confidence in your artistic ability in order to become free. It seems that working in most creative media a lack of confidence leads to a feeling of insecurity and a tightening of style, which often chokes expression.
Quite so. That’s why I made many, many little paintings. Something eventually has to work:)
Very nice painting – illustrates exactly what you referred too. How interesting w/the big brush and good information to know. I’ve been trying to figure out a way that I can illustrate far off figures on a beach scene, but unfortunately with OPs, a brush isn’t possible unless I mix them with a medium and then there is the chance of the OP peeling. I’ve never painted with watercolor before, maybe one day I will give it a try – seems like such a free medium to experiment with.
It very free it we let it be:) I understand how a brush is a problem for you medium. But you manage to work wonders with fingers. Thanks Mary.
love your watercolor world
Thanks so much Katleen.
Oh how I love the hair!
I couldn’t agree more with the big brush. My favorite too. Perfect for fat rich strokes as well as fine details. Your post made me feel less guilty for all my other brushes!
Looking forward to many many many more “watercolor Wednesdays” from you, Elena!
Glad you agree Marina. Thanks very much:)
Just one year? Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience. I absolutely agree less is more!
So nice! The colors are great and there is just enough detail right where it’s needed. I have just begun working with watercolor again and your watercolor Wednesdays are inspiring. Yesterday I was trying to figure out what art materials to take on vacation and couldn’t decide which brushes I wanted. I think I’ll just take the big one!
Thanks so much for your comment! Yes, do take the big brush and enjoy every minute!