All About The Rake Brush

Brush Series: Episode #6

In the past year, I have discovered this new paintbrush, and I think it’s the best thing ever! I wanted to share the rake brush with you and show you how easy it is to use!

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All those times you’ve dreamed about painting palm trees or the perfect grass, but you couldn’t do it or it just never turned out quite right. It may be because you were too heavy-handed or the paintbrush didn’t work for you. Well, this little rake brush solves all those problems!

Rake Brush VS Fan Brush

A rake brush (also known as a wisp brush) looks a bit different than a fan brush though they are often compared. While the fan brush is also great for making light wispy strokes for grasses, I always liked it best when the paint would make the bristles stick together.

Imagine the gaps between each prong of a fork. Instead of getting just one line per stroke, you will be getting many from all the gaps in your bristle.

The rake brush is also different than a fan brush because it is much easier to control when painting things like grass and palm trees.

They come in several different sizes and shapes so you can choose the right brush for your task.

I love using them when painting grass or palm trees and think they would be great for painting fur or feathers.

I’m going to show you how easy it is to use in this short video. It’s all about getting the right amount of paint and the amount of pressure that you apply, as it is with most brushstrokes and techniques.

Painting Grass with a Rake Brush

The first thing I demonstrate in the video is how I use a rake brush to paint grass. I like to load my brush with a blend of greens for more variation. Make sure to have plenty of paint on there, but the sections need to be separate still.

Start at your ground and brush upward, with very little pressure, using a flicking motion. The gaps in the bristles fan out the blades of grass out for you, creating little wispy tips.

Painting Grass with a Rake Brush The Social Easel Online Paint Studio

Hold your brush so the bristles are horizontal and continue moving across to create full, thick grass. This is when you get to see the shape of the rake brush bristles in full effect.

If you want long, defined blades of grass, you can turn your brush vertically and use the same flicking motion.

Remember to drag your bristles across the paper lightly. The more you press your bristles into your painting surface, the thicker your lines will be.

Long Grass with a Rake Brush The Social Easel Online Paint Studio
Painting Tall Grasses with A Rake Brush The Social Easel Online Paint Studio
Thick Grass The Social Easel Online Paint Studio

You see how quick and easy the rake brush makes painting grasses?! You could use this technique when following my Tranquil Beach painting tutorial.

Tranquil Beach

Painting Palm Leaves with a Rake Brush

Don’t let painting palm trees intimidate you! It really all comes down to the amount of pressure you apply… and of course, this brush makes it even easier!

In the demonstration video, I keep it easy and use the rake brush to paint a simple trunk with a burst of branches off the top, kind of like fireworks, but of course, you can use a round brush for that too.

painting a palm tree with a rake brush The Social Easel Online Paint Studio

Then, take the rake brush and, using a flicking motion, lightly pull downward with a bit of curve to it to pain the palm leaves. You can make them as long or short as you want.

You can create any beachy palm, like in my Paradise Beach painting tutorial! Shop all of my painting tutorials HERE!

Paradise Beach The Social Easel Online Paint Studio
Paradise Beach

Practice in your mixed media pad to see how much of a curve you like. If you want a dense palm leaf, you can go back over to fill in sparse areas.

And that’s it! It’s all about trial and error. I would love to know if you have ever used a rake brush and what you like to paint with it. Text “Hey Christie” to 417-217-7044 and show me what you are working on!!

Keep practicing and stay creative

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