Dry Brushing with Watercolors

A Dry Brushing means a brush with pigment but very little water.

Normally applied with a brush at a very low angle to dry paper, almost parallel to the paper and a slight scrubbing action applied.

Most texture will be on rough paper.

Least texture will be on hot press paper.

Cold press paper somewhere in between the two.


The first tree has too much water, the second has little water, good texture.

The sides of buildings, old barns, and rusty metal roofs all lend well to this dry brushing.

How about rocks, tree trunks, etc.?

If the brush is too wet, you’ll lay a flat wash.  If the brush is wet, try holding it in a verticle position (hairs pointing up) for about five seconds. The water will flow towards the ferrule (where the hairs meet the metal) then take a tissue and wrap and squeeze the small area of the ferrule and hairs. Don’t touch the upper hairs where the pigment is. You will often read to  lay the brush on a sponge or tissue to remove excess water. You will like my way best, try it. Don’t forget to apply a scrubbing action with the hairs, it may take a few strokes but the texture will appear.