I’ve been experimenting with different tools and mediums lately because I’m setting up some workshops and I want to find the best tools to create easily understood and mimicked techniques. This is one of the best canvases from these experiments, using a make-up dauber with acrylic paint and india ink to create awesome layered, cloudy backgrounds.
At first I didn’t like the using a make-up dauber. It’s has a tapered end, but the bottom, where it’s the widest, is rectangular and when I would use it to add paint to the surface, I would get a rectangular, or corner imprint. It wasn’t a huge deal because I would just spritz it with some water or smear it with my finger to blend it into the background. Despite this, I’ve come to really like them and now I use them all the time.
They’re cheap, first of all- you can get a whole pack of them for just a dollar or two. The material is good for either daubing or brushing, they’re absorbent so they will hold a lot of water to help dilute the paint if you need it. They’re still not perfect, but it’s fun to get messy! I can spread the paint super fast with these babies, and then load them up with water and wring them out in certain spots that need it.
They are also great for layering- once your main background is dry, you add a small amount of paint to the end and daub straight up and down. Especially if the paint your using is a bit lighter, but the same shade as the background, it will blend wonderfully and add more texture and depth to the colors.
Using a Make-up Dauber
One more thing about using a make-up dauber to paint – if you mess up and use too much ink or paint, the dauber is great at soaking it up (if you using a lot of water, like I do), and then you have it to use somewhere else.
I hope this has been helpful! I’d love to hear your feedback- what are your favorite painting tools? I’ve always on the lookout for some awesome new techniques. 🙂