Making my own Paintbrushes from Natural Materials

Paintbrush made from natural materials

Autumn is my favorite season with its beautiful scenery, changing leaves, and cooling weather.  And the drizzly days let me hole up in my Colorado studio without guilt that I’m not outside.  I wait for all year to walk through the aspen trees with their golden leaves raining down on me when the wind blows.  This year, I decided to bring home some of nature’s bounty from my hike to see if I could make some unique paintbrushes using these materials.

I gathered up some sticks to use for the paintbrush handles first. Then, I picked up some pinecones, native grasses, spruce boughs, thistle heads, feathers, and more. Using electrical tape, I attached these elements to the sticks. For a little flair, I decorated the handles by wrapping them with colorful yarns and threads. Watch the video to see how easy they were to make.

MARK MAKING WITH MY NEW BRUSHES

I dipped these new brushes in India ink (a luscious black color) and started making marks on paper.  I used heavy copy paper and created lots of great marks, all different from anything I could have made using traditional paintbrushes.  Some of the natural brushes fell apart with the rough usage, but most of them held up surprisingly well.

QUIZ: Can you match up each brush with the marks they made below?

PAINTBRUSHES
Making brushes with natural materials
BRUSH MARKS
mark making with natural material brushes
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Paintbrush mark answers from left to right:
spruce bough, feather, pinecone, and dried leaves
How did you do?

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