The Comb Runs Through It

To create the illusion of the weave of a wicker chair in a recent painting, I used a hair comb (like the one pictured at right.) Designed to hold back a woman’s hair, these little combs are much more flexible and have longer teeth than larger, regular combs. To make the wicker weave, I simply wet the area where I had drawn the chair and ran the comb across the paper in the direction of the weaving. Then I applied a wash of color to the chair. The paint settled into the indentations made by the comb, making the weave lines slightly darker than the rest of the chair.

This technique is great for crosshatching and creating veins in flower petals. You also can break the comb into smaller segments to make a variety of marks and to work on smaller areas of the painting.

Christopher Leib began his art education at The University of California at Berkeley and the Academy of Art in San Francisco. He then apprenticed with the master Italian painter Roberto Luppetti. His paintings have appeared in numerous exhibitions across the United States. An associate member of the Oil Painters of America, Leib lives in San Francisco and currently splits his time between fine art and illustration. He’s represented by the Giacobbe-Fritz Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the Garden Gallery in Half Moon Bay, California.

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