By Natasha Alliston
I have seen a lot of posts lately using Sword Liner brushes on Instagram and Pinterest, and was amazed at what you can do with the brushes. So I thought I would have a go and try some of the ideas myself. Knowing that we stock 3 different sizes from Proarte I decided to try using the large sized brush to play around with.
These brushes are synthetic and are predominantly made for watercolour, so I decided to try out the Daniel Smith 5ml watercolour for this trial. Although these brushes are synthetic they hold a lot of water and paint which means you can work for longer with the brush rather than keep dipping into your paint.
I first started with making marks to get used to the brush
and the way it bends. My first instinct was to hold the brush like a
pen/pencils which although worked I found was harder to control the brush. I
then played around with holding the brush at different angles and holding it at
the end or half way down the handle, this I found better for the flexibility of
Once I finished making marks I then played around with trying out the different marks to make an image of reeds.
Once I was comfortable and happy with making the marks and experimenting with the reeds/grass. I decided to try and produce a picture purely using the brush itself. I first made the reeds using Daniel Smith Green Gold; using the tip of the Sword Liner brush I made quick lines which produced grass like lines. I then added leafs using the side to tip of brush on one of the more plant like stem. Using the side of the brush I then added Quinacridone Coral with a very small amount of Quinacridone Violet to darken to make the heads of the poppies, for the centre I used Moonglow and the very tip of the brush. I was quite pleased with the final result considering this is my first go with the brush and just playing around.
I then decided to try and make a flower using the techniques I had learned, this was much easier the second time round as I knew how the brush would bend and work. I started with Daniel Smith Quinacridone Coral and placed the tip of the Sword Liner at the centre point then laid the angled edge onto the paper then dragged it slightly to get the first petal; I continued this leaving a gap in between each one to make the first set of petals. Once dried I then used Quinacridone Coral with a small amount of Quinacridone Violet to make the next layer of petals, again I used the same method as before. For the stem and leafs I used Green gold and the tip of the brush with a small amount of pressure, this makes the line slightly thicker. I then added a leaf with the same method I used to do the petals. I added Moonglow to the centre with the tip of the brush to finish the flower off.
I love doing Calligraphy and I like to try using different materials and products to make my work more unique to me. So I thought I would try and use the Sword Liner to make some lettering. I found this quite hard to do with the size of the brush but I will at some point try a smaller size Sword Liner as I really think this brush would work well for lettering. Also with a little more practise I really think I will be able to make the brush work for lettering.
In summary I like these brushes and would use them in my art work and with a little more playing and practise my Calligraphy. I feel these brushes would be really good for painting rigging and reeds on paintings as well as petals and leaves. I find the length of the brush hairs really good for lines and as I mentioned above even though this is a synthetic brush it really holds paint and water very well.