Dazzling Drybrush

Drybrushing is a great way to add texture to your paintings. But the term “drybrush” is somewhat misleading because the brush isn’t actually dry, just slightly damp.


I created this entire portrait of White Deer (watercolor, 6×6) using layers of drybrush crosshatching. Soft highlights appear where the white of the paper shows through.

To use this technique, dip your brush in your pigment, then touch it to a sponge or tissue to remove most of the moisture. Using the tips of the brush hairs?either in a clump or fluffed apart with your finger?make short, overlapping strokes. I created this portrait of White Deer using layers of drybrush cross-hatching. Notice how soft highlights appear where the white of the paper shows through.

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