Tips to Paint Without Brushes

Learn how to use dry twigs, a toothbrush, feathers and kitchen roll to create illustrations with Laura McKendry

While paintbrushes’ obvious versatility is a clear advantage when it comes to painting (with watercolor, gouache or acrylics); you can use a whole range of other objects to generate interesting effects. Illustrator and artist Laura McKendry is an expert at portraying the natural world. She shows you how to transform simple things from your home or garden into powerful creative tools.

Learn more in the video:

Dry branches produce a scratchy effect you can use to add a natural touch to landscapes. The same is true of a toothbrush. Its bristles are tougher and harder to control than a paintbrush, so it leaves marks that can help achieve beautiful textures.

Feathers are another useful tool. Their super-softness can create areas of significant or practically invisible pigmentation.

Laura also recommends using kitchen paper. Just dip it straight into your paint. This is very useful when it comes to filling in large areas where you don’t need dense color.

Like these tips? Remember you can learn how to illustrate the natural world by experimenting with ink and watercolor in Laura McKendry’s online course: Illustrating Nature: A Creative Exploration.

English version by @studiogaunt

You may also be interested in:

- Illustrated Portraits with Botanical Elements, a course by Isadora Zeferino.
- Watercolor Portraits Inspired by Nature, a course by ZELVA.
- Botanic Animal House: Watercolor, Ink and Graphite.


Log in or sign up to comment

Get Domestika's news delivered to your inbox