Sunday, 11 October 2015

Brushos–First Experiments

Today I finally got around to testing my recently acquired Brushos. These crystalline waterclour pigments with their intense, vibrant colours proved a lot more difficult to use than I expected! I am sure I will get the hang of them eventually, and as you will see, my final results today were an improvement on my first attempts!

07 Four Trees with Distress Inks

I began by cutting five pieces of card measuring 5 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches – these will matt and layer nicely onto an A5-sized card. I stamped them with two stamps from the Inkylicious “Simply Trees” clear stamp set that I got recently.

12 Inkylicious Simply Trees Stamp Set

For my first attempt, I stamped the trees using sepia archival ink, but this proved to be not dark enough, so for the rest of the samples, I used black. The stamping didn’t come out terribly well, but I think this would be improved by using better-quality card. I had to touch up some of it with my permanent black drawing pens.

The colours of Brushos I chose were Dark Brown, Leaf Green, Scarlet, Yellow and Orange, to give an autumnal effect to my trees. I added the brushos by using a soft dry brush to pick up a few of the crystals from the pot, and tapped them onto the card. After this I spritzed it with water.

01 Trees 1

My first attempt was definitely underwhelming! I think I put on too much Brusho powder, and it didn’t really go where I wanted it! This stuff is really hard to control, but then that’s part of its attraction!

Attempt 2: This was definitely an improvement. With Brushos, less is definitely more! This girl definitely needs more practice!

02 Trees 2

For my third attempt, I used less again.

03 Trees 3

Fourth attempt: We’re definitely getting somewhere now. You really do need the absolute minimum of Brushos to get a good effect. Once I had dried the samples, I put a small quantity of the Leaf Green and Dark Brown brusho crystals onto my craft mat and mixed them with some water, using a fine brush, and then painted on some foreground.

04 Trees 4

My fifth attempt I was pretty much satisfied with. I quite like the foreground on this one, too.

05 Trees 5

In each case, I had to use a bit of judicious blotting with kitchen paper to remove excess water and Brushos, in an attempt to control where most of the colour ended up.

Here are attempts 2-5 as a group, the only ones I feel I could actually use, although #2 is debateable. #1 is definitely a reject and not included.

06 Four Trees

I thought that the addition of a little distressing around the edges might improve things further, and provide a little cohesion to the designs. Using a home-made ink blender, I applied Forest Moss distress ink for the bottom half of each one, and Vintage Photo distress ink for the top halves.

07 Four Trees with Distress Inks

Here are the completed pieces in order. First: sample #2. I am still not sure about this one. I shall matt and layer it and see how it looks, but it may join #1 as a reject.

08 Trees 2 Complete

Sample #3.

09 Trees 3 Complete

Sample #4.

10 Trees 4 Complete

Finally, sample #5.

11 Trees 5 Complete

Watch this space to see these pieces matted and layered, and made up into cards.


  1. These are lovely and would make beautiful Autumn and Thanksgiving cards . . .oops . . . I forgot that Thanksgiving was our holiday. They are very pretty :)

  2. I love these Shoshi - they look great as a series! What an interesting medium! Will have to try it one day! Your finishing touch with the distress inks really added a lot to the overall feel of the images. I love that that type of vintage, distressed look! Thank you by the way, for your lovely encouraging words you left on my latest blog post. I do tend to look at my work with a critical eye, which is not necessarily bad, but if I do it too much I end up somewhat deflated. Thank you for inflating my ego a little!

  3. Great samples and i like the finished products. You have given me a terrific idea for matting too!

    1. Thank you Joyful! So glad you like them. I am having fun with my card factory and experimenting with different matting - I am learning lots along the way!



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