Carry One Big Brush

bboyfigure copy

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.brush

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“.

Published by elenacaravela

My world is a wonder of visual candy and foreboding shadow shapes vying every waking moment for my full attention.

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  1. 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 🙂

    1. 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:)

  2. 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!

  3. 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. 😉

  4. 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 🙂

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

    1. 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:)

  7. Congratulations:) I hope your skills/confidence with your work continues to grow with your sketches and practice with fresh ideas.

  8. 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! 🙂

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

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