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Serves Me Right

By Bram 'Boco' Sels
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Date Added: 23rd May 2013
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I’ve recently had the opportunity to follow ‘Traditional & Digital Painting’ at The Art Department. It was taught by the magnificent Vanessa Lemen ( and the all-powerful Jon Foster (, who are both amazing artists and skilled in both traditional, as well as digital painting. This tutorial will take you through the steps I took for one of the assignments we had to do.

On a side note, before midterms the class was mainly focused on fundamentals and traditional painting with oils, but after midterms things turned digital.

One of the first digital assignments was to create some custom brushes. For that I used some excerpts out of three abstract oil paintings we did before midterms. I even used an eye from a self portrait and some marker thumbnails from a still life with a skull.


It doesn’t really matter what you use as the basis for your brushes, but it does make a difference how you define your brushes and what you’re planning to do with them. In my own library I’ve grouped my brushes in three big categories:

• Plain painting brushes: Round brushes, soft brushes, palette knives and some gritty brushes. It doesn’t matter which brushes you use here, as long as you’re comfortable with them. It will be your own style and skill that define what you do with these.
• Texture/scatter brushes: Some brushes to quickly texture or create materials like rock, cloth, clouds, random leaf patterns, grass, etc.
• Thumbnail brushes: These are brushes like the ones in Fig.01; I use to quickly generate thumbnails.

Fig. 01

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