Let’s look at some review strokes. The scroll style can give you fits if you don’t use the right grip, and so the following approach encourages you to abandon the techniques used in dagger striping. The grip for most of these strokes is similar to the way you hold a dart.
A light touch and fluidity of motion is necessary, resting the heel of your palm on the surface, and gliding the brush using your whole arm, and not your fingers. Lock your wrist (do not rotate it) and fingers, grip the brush lightly, and begin. Kustom Shop has an outstanding pallet, including flat colors that work really well with the Wizard Mack Brush (shameless plug here) for practicing scroll strokes.
Using Hot Rod Red and yellow, I palleted/loaded the brush thoroughly using a consistency of thin honey.
I moved my arm, horizontally, in the shape of an “S”, slightly pushing downward as I approached the middle of the stroke and gradually shifting upwards toward the end of the stroke. Repeat this stroke over and over, aiming for line consistency. Notice my first touch-down was a little wet, leaving a fat end on the first stroke. I should have used less painton the brush.
This rotation from left to right and downward loops keeps the brush the same distance from the surface all the way through. Practice these loops over and over, making some smaller than the previous ones. Pallet again after every four or five loops to maintain sufficient material in the brush; but don’t overload!
This pattern is pretty and fairly difficult to achieve. Pull going into the first “S” curve and then push the brush away and into the second one going across the first one. Yes, it’s like a figure-8 in a way, but trying to make them all the same size and angles requires lots of practice. Don’t forget to reload your brush. Students tend to rock-and-roll with these strokes and forget to reload, which leads to “dry brush.”
Moving downward, I leaned into the first “S”, and then looped around and stopped. Study your stroke, and try repeating it.
Once you get one you like, grace it with additional loops downward, giving it body. Lean into the last stroke, making it a fatty with a sleek tail.
Here, you can use your fingers slightly. Pulling the brush toward me, I tapered the stroke at the end with an upward movement to thin out the tail (similar to how the dagger stroke ends in airbrushing). Go slowly here; don’t rush! Diminish these from center to left, as well as making them smaller. This is a great exercise!
8a & b.
Here’s a good beginning to a design: heavy into a left-handed “C” loop and stop! Now, connect to where you stopped and head into the other direction and stop. Hook onto that onceagain and loop into the other direction and finish with a flaired tail.
9a, b & c.
Pushing away and upward, start fat and blow it out toward the V. Continue this stroke making smaller and smaller ones, until they become tiny dots. This sequence is advanced and challenging, to say the least. Although pushing may seem difficult to impossible at first, you must master these “away” strokes. In the next issue I’ll share some palleting tricks and finish this design with some cool stuff.