Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ruturn of the Mummies

Yes, they're back. And for one simple reason: to illustrate the value of drybrushing. These figures took me not more and ten minutes to paint and I think the result is spectacular. I have to give the sculptor all the credit. Well, that and the dry brush technique.

Originally, mummies were wrapped in white linen but over the centuries it becomes a very dark brown so I gave it a base coat of a fairly thin Burnt Umber. This is something like a wash coat, where the paint collects in the deep spots. Then the drybrush with--what else?--Linen.

The drybrush technique is pretty simple. It's called "dry brush" because there isn't much paint on the brush. I wipe it off on the paper towel. Dry brushing is hard on brushes for some reason, so I usually use an older brush that has lost its point an spreads a bit. If there are a series of lines (as in these bandages) or folds, then brush perpendicular to them. That catches the edges and misses the deep parts. On these, I brushed mostly from bottom to top or from the hands in toward the shoulders.

Practice a bit with the amount of paint on the brush. The paint itself should be on the thick side. That's really all there is to it. I like simple.

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