Lee Phillips won the February 2011 Watercolor Artist Creativity Workshop challenge with this watercolor landscape. “This is a painting done with drybrush with the exception of the sky, which was built up with three washes,” he said. “After the sky was completed, I next went to the mountains in the distance, the green trees, then the lighter and remaining plants. I rendered the ground last to bring the composition together. I use drybrush to build values such as the dark shadows on the trees and I generally work from light to dark as a result.”
What is dry brush painting?
Dry brushing painting is one of a number of watercolor, oil and acrylic painting techniques that focus on the viscosity of the medium at hand. In dry brush, the artist uses a brush that is slightly damp and paint that is thicker than normal.
Technically, the brush should not actually be dry, but damp. It works well with old brushes and rough surfaces, particularly when the subject being painted needs broken texture, such as craggy rocks or grasses. It’s important to use a light hand and to blot the brush before applying it to the surface.