It took me a while to get to know the wonders of the fan-shaped paint brush. But now I'm hooked! This brush creates a wide-range of brush marks from soft gradient shifts to a single mark that looks like many. I think one of the things that made me fall for this product is the fact that I couldn't get too controlling with the exact precision of the mark - there was always a little bit of surprise - a little bit of magic.
1. Blending - To get a great blend of colours you will need to use some glazing medium. Mix the medium with two colours that you are going to blend together then apply a couple of patches of each of the colours fairly close to each other on your surface.Then clean your brush and load it up with just glazing medium. The most important thing you can do now is hold the brush in a way that you are almost parallel to the surface and then drag the brush across the edges of the colours blending them into each other. The glazing medium will start to dry so you can keep blending or the colours will start to lift. This technique has never failed me!
2. A series of marks in one mark - when you need to paint an area where you want to apply many small marks quickly a fan brush works very well. You use more of the tips of the fan than you do for blending. You can make small side to side wiggle that can quickly look like leaves on a tree and drag up or down to create multiple blades of grass or plant foliage.
3. Striping - soak/wet the fan brush so that it separates into chunky sections, this works with most fan brushes. Load up with some fluid acrylic, thinned acrylic or watercolour paint. drag across the surface steadily to produce a mark that creates varied widths of stripes.
4. Multicolour application - because fan brushes are pretty wide but thin you can load 3 or more colours onto the brush to get a mark made up of multiple colours. Very fun way to apply colours!
5. Dry brush application - Start with a dry brush and add a little paint to just the tips of the brush- you might want to wipe a little of it off on a napkin and/or rub the brush against a bare part of your palette to even distribute the paint before making your mark.