What is dry brush painting?
Dry brush painting is a technique that can be used in both water based media such as acrylics, inks, and watercolors as well as oil based paint. It produces a coating that is uneven and scratchy looking. Usually, a paint or ink in a fairly viscous state is used and taken up in the brush and most of the paint is wiped off the brush before painting. It is essential the painting brush be dry from water or solvents before applying the paint.
This technique can be used to great effect on absorbant surfaces such as paper or primed support. This technique is useful for painting details on minitures as well as painting 3D sculpture when an even coat is necessary and spraying is not an option.
Dry brushed distressed paint
This is a robot sculpture i made from scrap meterials with a rust patina. I used the technique of dry brushing
to create a distressed paint finish over the rust to give the sculpture and old worn look. To view more photos just check out my Etsy listing
for this robot.
One of the nice things about dry brushing is that it is poosible to use a combination of many colors due to the fact that the paint cannot run or bleed. Take for instance this spearmint green miniature triptych. It uses several shades of green and white to create a bright and peaceful composition to brighten any room.
Touching up Errors
Dry brushing lends itself well to touching uip mistakes on a painting or sculpture. If you normally apply paint by sprayer or airbrush, you will more than likely have at least one or two areas to touch up. The benefit of dry brushing is that you are applying only a little bit of paint at a time and you reduce the chances of creating an unsightly run or dripping.
Another area where a slight touch up might be needed is in stamping. Take the example from the blog “mel stampz” where the artist uses a small dry brush to fill in the voides left by the stamp shown in the photo.
Iridescent metal shield with dry brush accents
This wall mounted metal shield
has an iridescent blue basecoat had a dry brushed gold accent paint to bring warmth to the color scheme. Metallic paints are the most interesting paints to use the dry brushing technique.