Mastering Bushes

Question: Tackled another one of your lessons, this one on the bushes and grasses DVD. I really enjoy doing these and I found doing bushes a little tough.

I made mud on the right side doing the bushes and had to scrape off the paint and start over. I still wasn’t happy with what I did do. Maybe because I thought my foliage color wasn’t dark enough. Was tough seeing them on the grass. I will have to practice more on bushes and the technique of applying them to the canvas.

My brush doesn’t behave like yours does. I used the 2 inch brush but found it difficult to put it on the canvas and bend it until the boot bristles touched the canvas. Mine did not look like yours.

Do you think my water moves too much?

I’m never sure just how much paint to mix up and maybe that is most of my trouble. Not enough paint on the brush although doing the highlighting on them was a tad easier for me so not sure why I am having so much difficulty with the ugly mix on the canvas.

Maybe you have a couple of ideas what I may be doing wrong?


Darrell’s Answer:

Hi Ann.

Thanks for the question and thanks for the photo. That really helps in trying to understand what may be going on.

First, let me say we all make mud. I was just in Florida for a week teaching and right there in front of everyone, I did it.

I made mud.

I’ve made ten thousands of great bushes, but right in front of everyone I blew it.

Like you,

I scraped off the mud and just redid the bushes.

In looking at your photos, I do not think its the darkness of the under painting that is your problem. I do not see the nice lattice formations for bushes that I like to see. I believe you may not have thinned down your paints enough. We can have a lot of paint on our brushes, but if it is not ‘wetter’ (which is my way of saying thinner paint — remember thin paints sticks to thick paints) than what’s on the canvas, it will not ‘stick’. Remember, thin paints stick to thick paints.

Also, you may be more comfortable using the 1″ brush than the 2″ brush. It wasn’t until after I mastered the 1″ that I could develop good control with the 2″.