Brushes are used for a variety of purposes, but brush drawing is a unique and exciting way to create art. Brushes come in all shapes and sizes, from asian brush pens to western watercolor brushes. Brush drawing is often done with ink or watercolor because the brush can be used to create fine lines or thick strokes depending on how you use it. In this article we will discuss what brush drawing is and why artists should give it a try!
When drawing with a brush, you have to hold your breath a little, since no matter how delicate the line is it is still distinct and can be difficult to remove once it’s on the paper.
Brush drawing is a lot more complicated than using a pencil or pen. It takes considerable planning and consideration, but it’s a wonderfully expressive art form that I don’t want to scare you away from. With time, you’ll learn how gratifying brush painting can be.
What is brush drawing in art?
Brush drawing in art is the practice of using brush pens, brushes and other brush tools to create art on paper or another surface. Brush drawing is popular among artists because it can be very expressive, allowing them to express their artistic voice in a way that they couldn’t with traditional pen and pencil drawings.
Brush drawing, in the art requires practice to learn the technique in which a round and pointed brush is used to make drawings in ink or watercolour. I first started brush drawing when I was learning to sketch a drawing for oil painting by simply diluting oil paints with thinners.
If I made a mistake, I would simply apply a wash over it and start again with a darker paint. I would learn later on that this was also a form of art in itself.
What is brush and ink in art? Is it the same as brush drawing?
A brush and ink drawing is produced by placing brush strokes of ink on paper to create a bold design similar to brush painting or calligraphy.
It’s more about the technique than it is an art form, though some artists use brush and ink techniques for their drawings as well as paintings. On the other hand, brush drawing focuses mostly on the process itself rather than the final image.
I like to think of Japanese and Chinese letter artists, you see them repeat the same painted letters over and over because to them, the artwork is the process of getting the technique right.
What brushes do you use in brush drawing?
There are paint brushes that you can use with ink (bottled) and brush pens like Kuretake brush pens that you can use for brush drawing. You can also try using brush markers as well, those create different effects and techniques.
I like to use a round sable brush, sizes 00 to 4. While I tried using Asian brushes I found the tips too soft as they are mostly designed for letter art. I do like Kuretake brush pens though as they are a little firmer and the ink flows nicely to the tip. They also look really nice.
It’s up to what you want to experiment with but brush markers work really well since they allow so much control over the stroke widths and colors used.
Brush lettering is good practice too! Just remember that brush letters require lots of consistency in your strokes if you’re going for traditional calligraphy styles like gothic script or copperplate penmanship .
Now brush drawing is nothing without ink and there are two types of ink to choose from, pigment based ink and dye based ink.
Pigment based ink is waterproof – think of Indian ink or Kuretake ink. While dye based ink will usually blend with other mediums and bleed. What makes inks waterproof is that the pigments use a binder that has a shellac in them which also gives them a veneer when dry. Some people hate this veneer but I have no issue with it.
You can also dilute your ink as most good quality inks are a very dark black. Mixing or diluting your ink can allow you to control the tones from dark to light, like using different grades of graphite pencils or charcoals.
I tend to make light tentative marks with the more diluted ink and then start to work the drawing with darker shades and reserve the blackest of ink for outlines or deep shadows.
Can you use acrylic ink in brush pens?
Yes you can use brush pens with acrylic ink as long as you leave a little water in the brush pen. This means that it will not dry out so quickly and also gives you more control over how dark your lines are going to be. I recommend Liquitex acrylic ink if you want to give it a try.
It has a nice sheen to it and comes in many colors.
Do brush pens need ink?
Try not to use cheap quality ink that leaves crusty bits in the cap when dry. The Sailor KiwaGuro, made by the same firm that produces Sailor fountain pens, is probably one of the finest ink for brush pens.This ink is dark, dries relatively fast, is matte when dry and flows well.
I also rate Kuretake ink quite highly as well and also Winsor and Newton Indian Ink.
Can you refill a brush pen?
Some brush pens have reservoirs that you fill from the handle and some are used as dip pens where you dip the brush tip into ink. Just purchase ink bottles and use them to refill a brush pen.
What color inks can you get for brush drawing?
You can get brush pens in different colors and even metallic colors. The most common are black and grades of browns such as Sepia ink.
How long do brush pens last?
Brush tip markers not only give you a brush like line but also produce strong color that is water resistant and very lightfast. The brush tips are replaceable so they should last for years if used with care. These types of pen work well on paper, vellum or silk cloths as the ink unlike regular markers will not bleed through to the back of your artwork.
What kind of texture does brush drawing add to artworks?
Brush drawing adds an extra dimension when doing sketches by creating textures; adding highlights; shading etc using just one tool rather than having to use pencils, chalk pastels and paints separately .
Are brush pens hard to use?
They do take some practice but you will find that if you have some experience painting with a brush then these will feel like second nature.
Some brush pens are harder to use than others so it is worth experimenting with the different brands before choosing one. It’s also good practice for brush drawing to experiment with other materials like fountain pens, dip pens and paint brushes as well as trying out your brush pen first.
A brush can be used anywhere; you don’t need much space or any expensive equipment, a simple pad of paper, ink and you are good to go.
What paper is best for brush painting?
Any paper that is prepared or stretched for watercolors is suitable for brush painting with ink. It really comes down to how wet your ink or watercolors will be.
As usual, a mid level rough watercolor paper will be quite good for brush painting as you want it to absorb the ink and not let it run over the paper.
Bristol and Canson paper are usually the go to paper for brush painting, so are Arteza watercolor pads, they have a nice texture.
Try not to use printer paper, you will see that you will not get the desired results if you do.
What is brush drawing suited for?
Brush drawing is great for doing life drawings, flower drawings or landscape studies where exact detail isn’t important but tone, shape, volume and gesture are vital elements of creating a good piece of work anywhere from very quick sketches to highly finished pieces. The brush can produce beautiful marks depending on the amount of pressure used which makes this technique both versatile and expressive.
Introduction to Brush Drawing Video
Brush Drawing – Wrap up
So brush drawing is a useful and versatile technique which can produce beautiful marks in your work.
It’s great for both quick sketches or highly finished pieces! Try it out if you haven’t already!
Joseph Colella is a frustrated artist with over 40 years experience making art (who moonlights as a certified Business Analyst with over 20 years of experience in tech). While he holds a Diploma in Information Technology, in true wasted talent style he spent years trying to get into various Art degrees from the Accademia di Belle Arti (Napoli), and failed to get into the Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts) at the University of Western Sydney. His goal is to attend the Julian Ashton School of Art at The Rocks Sydney when he retires from full time work. In his spare time, he writes for the this blog, WastedTalentInc, where he shares practical advice on art, making art, and art materials. Joseph’s art has been sold to collectors all over the world from the USA, Europe and Australasia. He is a trusted source for reliable art and copyright/fair use advice and is committed to helping his readers make informed decisions about making them a better artist.
He also loves all things watches (ok it’s an addiction) so show him some love and visit his other website https://expertdivewatch.com