Brush Tips by Lyndelle Stonick
Beached Monlith 11x14” oil Lyndelle Stonick ©08
This is one of my favorite locations for painting a dramatic seascape. Its in Corona Del Mar. There are rock formations that resemble some you might find up along the Northern California coastline. To paint this scene, the challenge was to capture the rocks in a way that would emphasize their solid mass. I was particularly intrigued in capturing the drama of the light hitting this unique monolith. It looked so majestic, lying there like a sphinx, glowing in the afternoon sun. To do that I wanted to use a brush that would help me create structure and define edges.
When I select my brushes I look for good quality, genuine Chungking bristle brushes. I want the ferrule to feel full, so that the brush can take and hold a full Load of paint. I want the bristles to have body, without being stiff. They should “spring” back when stroked with a thumb pushing over them.
I often start drawing in my subject with the same brush I use later on when I work plein air, just to keep things simple and so I can work fast with out breaking the pace, I do really like to use Egbert’s, especially to start off with. They help keep me loose, and are great for doing the initial drawing and much more. You can also use a round bristle brush to start your drawing ,using it sideways (instead of pointing it) almost like an Egbert, but you won’t get the same bounce. If held properly, (holding it at the end of the handle), it can help to keep you from getting too tight, and get a better “lay-in”. Try a # 4 to -8, bigger is often better.
To get the painting going, I chose to use one of my favorite bristle brushes, which is a flat chunking bristle brush, either a number 4 or 6. Number 6 is good for larger areas where you want to use more paint, number four for smaller areas and paintings. I’ll often select just one and use it throughout the entire Painting, but I prefer to have a second available as a backup.
It can have its benefits to vary sizes, using the smaller ones to get in sharper strokes, as the
foliage in the corner, where I turn the brush on the side and drag the edge. I often do it with a larger brush when I don’t have a little one out. The trick is to load the paint on the tip by Scooping it up on the edge, then by rolling the handle of the brush back and forth between the thumb and forefinger, to unload the paint on the canvas with a forward and backhand stroke, creating interesting strokes. Remember to wipe often to keep the colors clean.
If I decide to go back over any very wet areas, that is when I might Look for a nice #8 sable brush. I prefer the genuine sable brights Usually over the Synthetics, but I like them too. They both handle the same basically, but I find the sables hold up a bit better on their tips not fraying out as much. They are more delicate so you have to treat them well. To sign my name I either use a #2 round sable or a # 1-2 round synthetic round brush (dipped in liquin if still wet), and that’s it!
On to my next masterpiece!