Help needed, making fine lines [Archive] - Artist Forum

: Help needed, making fine lines

01-17-2019, 02:32 PM
Hey everyone,

I'm new to oil painting and I'm having a really hard time making fine lines.

I bought round and pointy hog bristle brushes in order to do some linework on a painting, but the bristles are rock hard because they're glued together when they're brand new so I went ahead and used some water to remove the glue from the bristles and the brush turned from a fine liner-looking brush to a round mop and became completely useless to me.

I've searched information about this for days and watched a bunch of videos but nowhere have I seen any mention about removing or not removing this glue from new brushes, other than on a Finnish brush brand's website about a type of Japanese sumi brush of which stem you're apparently supposed to leave "starched" (hardened with a starch based substance) and only moisten the tip of the brush even when cleaning it.

Can anyone answer how I would go about making fine lines? Or how I could get a pointy brush since none of my brushes are even remotely pointy and they're only capable of making a really fat and ugly line, thanks

02-22-2019, 02:18 PM
A pointed brush won't work. It has to be a long thin brush that is flattened out with the paint on it. Then a straight edge is used to scribe the line using the sharp edge with very little pressure. I painted a tall ship and used this method for the rigging.

03-11-2019, 08:59 PM
You might try the rigger or script liner brush. It is a long bristle brush that can come to a point; usually found in the watercolor section. This brush can hold a sizable amount of paint. Thin the paint to an almost ink like consistency, then twirl the brush in your fingers as you draw it through the paint. Also great for making thin branches, weeds and grasses. Experiment/practice.

05-31-2019, 09:51 PM
I know this was backj in November, I hope you have found an answer, I have an online art school, I give a demo if how to load a fine brush. From the sound of your description, you have the incorrect brush for fine lines, I use soft brushes when working with oils, the brushes are classed as acrylic brushes. for fine lines I use a rigger, also known as a liner number 0 to 2 depending on how fine the line needs to be. have a look at the clip in the free course 'basic basics'.

06-01-2019, 11:00 AM

How fine a line are you looking at? If it is 1 to 2 mm, use a palette knife, load the paint and glide the colours with the edge, but make sure the paint is thin. If it is a thicker line like 5 mm, any small brush would do as long as the action is dabbing a bit at a time. Have patience. You did not mention about whether you are doing a realistic one or an abstraction. The way I supplied is abstraction. True realism and landscape painters may have other solutions.

Hope this help!

06-01-2019, 11:05 AM
oh... it does not have to be a palette knife...anything flat would do just fine. I always prefer to go McGyvering, this keeps my mine open to possibilities!

Natalia Karpman
07-05-2019, 05:08 AM
Flat synthetic brush would work the best! Apart from pallette knife, which is also good for that (as for me, it requires a little bit more of a skill, but maybe it's just me).
I had the same problem, lines are hard :)) I tried a few brushes and i'm actually the happiest with a random noname brand brush from the nearest art supplies shop. Just try different ones!

09-03-2019, 11:29 PM
I rely on a palette knife in general. For even finer lines I use a piece of fishing line.

10-28-2019, 11:40 AM
As Erik said, it would be helpful to get an indicator of how fine (thin og clear edges) a line your thinking, and also what material and what oil paint/context you are painting?