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Illustrated Craft Tutorial - Drybrushing on Wood

Before you start:

Drybrushing is one of many painting techniques and is easy to learn. It is very effective in shading or highlighting your painted items. Thus giving them a more realistic look. Color plays an important role in dry brushing. You may choose a light contrast for a dark color or a dark contrast for a light color. After practicing on a few pieces, you will discover which colors work best with each other.

Consider the item you are painting and what color it is. Important is to dry brush the item with a contrast color and yet the contrast color should also enhance the color of the item you are painting. For example, let us choose the color white. An obvious contrast would be a darker shade. Depending on what you are painting, a shade such as light brown, grey, blue look well on white. On the other hand the color black can only be shaded with a lighter color. You may choose grey or white.

When painting with other colors, you may choose lighter or darker shades. For example the color green can be shaded with a darker hue or a lighter hue depending on the effect you would like to create.

Important is to experiment. The more you practice, the more secure you will feel about shading and highlighting.

Not only can you dry brush wood but also plaster of Paris castings, paper maché boxes, and other painted items.



Drybrushing 1

1. The first step is to paint your wooden piece with your color of choice and let it thorougly dry. In this case, mix red and light brown to make a subtle shade of red for the maple leaf.

Drybrushing 2

2. Light brown was chosen to accent and shade the leaf. You need a stiff brush for the drybrushing step. Dip your paint brush slightly in the color and brush off the color again on a piece of paper towel or cardboard until the remaining color on the brush is “dry. On the example you see on the cardboard how the strokes should look when it is correct.

Drybrushing 3

3. You will start by brushing the paintprush over the edges of the leaf. Start always from the outside edge and brush it inward catching the edge each time you work your brush over the leaf. Make sure you also catch the corners and points as well.

Drybrushing 4

4. When you have the feeling that no more color is being seen, repeat step 2. Continue the same procedure all around the leaf until all the edges are shaded.

Drybrushing 5

5. The detail work inside the leaf is done the same way. Prepare your paintbrush like before and simply draw the lines with the paintbrush. The lines are soft and yet can be well seen. You may have to go over the lines a couple of times until the details can be more seen.

Drybrushing 6

6. The finished leaf looks more realistic and now can be used for further decorating.

Drybrushing 9

7. This leaf is painted orange. Red was chosen this time for the shading. Brown would also look nice on orange and maybe even green. Experiment to see what is more appealing.

Drybrushing 91

8. The same procedure as before gets used to create the details on the leaf.

Drybrushing 92

9. This leaf was painted light brown and accented with a darker shade of brown.

Drybrushing 93

10. A collection of autumn leaves.






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