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Article: How to use the blender fan brush

How to use the blender fan brush

How to use the blender fan brush


I use the blender fan brush in many of my paintings, to smudge and blend the paint together, creating a smooth and softened effect.  Often I use it on the sky areas of my paintings, the Cumulonimbus Cloud painting is a perfect example, softening the puffs making them appear fluffy with no harsh edges. It's a very soft brush and leaves very few brush marks in the paint, by gently sweeping over the surface it softens any ridges of paint that are visible, giving an air brushed look.

You can watch my video tutorial here 

By using the very edge of the brush and barely touching the surface at all, apply very little pressure, gently tickle the surface, slowly smudging everything together. This will smooth the thicker areas of paint, blending and pulling everything together.  

The series 8 Blender Fan brush is available to purchase here


It can be used to blur the background, for example my Kingfisher painting has a soft focus background, this effect makes the Kingfisher pop with it's iridescent colours.  After roughly applying paint in the areas we want to blend we start off with vertical brushstroke, adjusting the angle of the brush to horizontal and then diagonal brushstrokes. It's really quite satisfying dragging the paint together blending and smudging to achieve this look.

However, when finishing off the soft focus, blended areas, especially on flat surfaces, it's important that we finish on vertical brushstrokes. This is because if we finish on horizontal brushstrokes, it will leave micro, horizontal ridges in the paint and the lights that are above will catch them and make them visible. Finishing on a vertical brushstroke also gives that ultra smooth airbrush look.

You can watch my YouTube video below

Be careful at this stage not to overwork it, or you will start to take the paint off, leaving the block in area visible. Don't worry too much if this happens, it isn't the end of world as you can always add more paint and carry on blending! The beauty of this is you can blur it as much or as little as you want.

If you feel as though you want to clean the blender brush during this process use a paper towel to wipe off the excess paint, rather than using any cleaning or thinning products. It's really important the brush is completely dry, if there is any thinner on the brush when blending, you inevitably put streaks in the paint, and you don't want that!

My New Blender Brush

The Synthetic Domed Mop Blender is available to purchase here

 These brushes are available to purchase as a set here

Why don't you give them a try. 

Happy painting!



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