Some folks have asked me about some of the marks I make and what brushes make those marks. I use all sorts of brushes and have shared quite a bit about that in previous articles I’ve posted here on Muddy Colors. For this post, I put together a couple quick videos to show how I’ve modified a few of my brushes. I cut them with scissors. You can do this with any brush and any scissors. It doesn’t have to be fancy. I tend to favor a more raw, organic or natural look and feel to the marks they can produce, so I opt for shaping them with that in mind. Hope you enjoy watching!

DIY Modified Brushes for Painting and Mark-Making

This video shows how I cut a few of my brushes and how the various marks that are made with them appear. Then I make a few looser marks, moving the brush in different directions using various amounts of pressure and tilt/turn. The last few marks were made on yupo paper, and you can see how the water stays on the surface longer and doesn’t absorb as fast as it does on the sketch paper I used earlier in the video. Using various types of surfaces allows for some really wonderful different sorts of marks as well. See video below for a quicksketch ink wash using one of these brushes.

Tools used:
All sorts of brushes, bristle and sable
Black ink
Sketch paper
yupo paper



Ink Wash QuickSketch in my Sketchbook

This shows a quick sketch I painted using ink and a few different small brushes. One of the brushes used is a modified brush that I had cut with scissors (as in the first video) to create a different sort of loose corrugated mark. The other brushes used in this video are are Royal and Langnickel zen series sables.

Tools used:
Black ink
Sketchbook (sketch paper)

There are some brushes you can get that are premade with this sort of look and feel. They’re usually called Grainers or Grain Stripers, and are made my several different brands.

The marks I make with these modified brushes are similar to the marks I make with the silicone rakes/combs/grain striping tools I use for pick-out. I’ve shared a bit about the silicone pick-out tools in previous articles here on Muddy Colors. You can see a couple of those articles by clicking here and here. I will post more videos in the future with some of those tools as well.

Hope you found this helpful and fun. Happy painting and enjoy the exploration!