Self-Made Paint Brushes:
In the beginning of this high school course, we were asked to make our own brushes, out of anything we could find, even things from our backyard. We were told to make multiple brushes of different sizes and bristles so we could see the varying results in further art work we would make with them.
So…I made four brushes! (*Moving left to right*) The first brush is the biggest; made from long, thick stems of a dead plant, tied together with hair ties and yarn. The next brush is the smallest. Its handle is made from a small stick and the bristles are actually made from a cat toy! Yes, I cut off a toy mouse’s tail which is a big plume made out of thin feathers (perfect brush material I thought!). I connected the two pieces by taping and wrapping yarn around them. The third brush has a handle made from a bamboo stalk and the bristles are just a grouping of flowers from a plant. The flowers were on a stem so I stuck the flowers into the hollow part of the bamboo and wrapped yarn around them to secure them. The fourth and final brush is simply made from pine needles and the handle from bamboo. I also taped and wrapped yarn around it to secure the handle and the bristles together.
After these unique brushes were made, we experimented with them to see what the brushstrokes would look like with some questions in mind: are they scratchy and thin? Or smooth and thick? We basically just looked at the raw brushstrokes by making small paintings. Our medium that we used was ink, I personally love ink and the fluidity of it.
I made many, many paintings, but I’ll only show a few of my favorites…
This is my biggest piece, which was actually made with my biggest brush. I noticed that the strokes weren’t clean, or in other words they were short and scattered looking. What I noticed the most when I was using the brush was that it was very hard to control where the marks would be made. I could only really predict the direction of the strokes, but other than that it seemed as though the bristles had a mind of their own! Overall I like the piece and the sense of movement I was trying to convey showed through well.