Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Tight squeeze

It's Tutorial Tuesday, and I have a lot of great material lined up. Let's get right to it with this great post on painting clean edges and deep crevices from Erika Baird.

Painting Clean Edges and Tight Spaces

by Erika Baird

My pony has some rather tight spaces, so tonight while confronting them I took some pictures for tips of how I generally get in there for clean edges. 

1. The usual. I do a lot of my hand painting with filbert brushes. They're a rounded shape that can do a surprisingly thin line from the side, hold a decent amount of paint, and give good edges. .

This is a very versatile brush, but the way you load it matters. When painting edges I like to stack the paint in the middle, and leave my edge only lightly loaded, so it can spread up against the edge of something and leave paint in a crisp line. I then clean up the brush strokes of the off side after that. I do about 90% of my edges this way
2. The fixer. I keep a clean brush on hand with clean water. This is usually a brush retired from painting, that's a bit stiff. If you get a paint oopsie somewhere (assuming you've sealed your previous work) grab the water brush and gently scrub it off. It can also clean up edges, or work them into tiny crevices this way. 
3. The culprit. This is a deep recess that my trusty lil filbert brush can't quite get to, and I don't want to use my 'water eraser' down there because I suspect it would fill the recess with water.
4. The Specialist. I use this brush maybe three times a year, usually for something like this. This is a liner brush that is (apparently) generally used for caligraphy and some types of folk art. On its own, it's very squirrely and hard to get fine control with the tip—those long bristles flip everywhere easily. Tiny tight spaces are where this brush shines though, but again, how it's loaded is important. In a case like this, I thin down my paint, and load only tip of the brush (1-2 cm or about a 1/2 inch). 
The tip for getting a clean edge down there, and not accidentally fwapping the wrong spot of the model with that squirrely brush tip, is to ignore what you'd usually do with a brush, and push rather than pull. Put the tip of the brush against the model in a safe spot, then push the bristles so they're held against the surface you actually want paint on. 
Then, use a gentle plunging motion to go down and reach that tight spot with the tip—all while keeping sideways pressure.
Thank you so much, Erika. I can't wait to see the rest of your horse. I know he's going to be fabulous!

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