Using Brusho Paint Crystals

Experimenting with a New Medium

Recently I have been experimenting with Brusho Crystals which are intense colored paint crystals.  If you are not familiar with Brusho, you can learn more here.

These paint crystals pack a lot of color punch.  Here is a sampling of the colors I purchased:

There are several ways to apply the Brusho:

  1. You can pre-mix the crystals on your palette with water and paint as you normally would. This gives you a flat color as in the photo above.
  2. You can sprinkle some onto dry paper and spritz with water and tilt the paper to move the washes around. As you can see this method creates more interesting color than the above method.
  3. You can pre-wet the area with water and then sprinkle some of the crystals into the wet area where they will immediately begin to disperse. I think this method is where the crystals show their magic.

Brusho crystals make great backgrounds for note cards, invitations, etc.

Here is my first experiment using the Brusho.  I first wet small sections of the background and then sprinkled in some of the crystals.  In order to have them dissolve a bit more, I would tap some more water on top of them.

Next, I wet my petals with either plain water or in some areas a very light wash of yellow Brusho.  I then sprinkled on some yellow crystals before it had a chance to dry.

I did the centers last, being careful to just wet the center areas and carefully sprinkle the crystals in that area alone.

This wasn’t too bad for a first try.  However, I am not crazy about the colors on the petals.

Although pre-mixing your Brusho with water is the easiest to control, it is also the least interesting way to use Brusho.  Also, when you rewet an area that has already been painted with Brusho, you need to rewet that entire area before dropping in any more paint or it will leave a watermark.

Sprinkling crystals and then spritzing with water is by far the most difficult way to control the outcome as the crystals will be scattered in less desired places on your painting.

For my next try, I took the following steps which gave me a fairly controlled outcome.

After finishing my pencil sketch, I applied frisket to the area I wanted to protect and let it dry completely.

Then I was free to wet the background area and sprinkle in my colors.  I could also spritz them when I wanted them to disperse even more.  The photo below shows my piece after the background was painted and the frisket removed.

Brusho Matilija Poppy © Annie Glacken

Next, I pre-mixed my Brusho with water and proceeded to paint my petals.

PInk Poppies in Brusho © Annie Glacken

Here is another sketch I painted using Brusho:

As you can see, the colors are very intense.  I think in the future I may like to try using the Brush Crystals for a spontaneous type landscape.

If you are interested in Brusho you may want to check out my next post on how I prepared the jars for sprinkling, labeled them, and how I store them.

I would be interested in hearing from those of you who have experimented with Brusho as you may have some tips for me since I am a “newbie” with this medium.

As always, the compositions in these exercises are copyrighted. Thanks!




11 Replies to “Using Brusho Paint Crystals”

  1. I’m very interested by Brushos too.I’ve just order them some days before and I espect to receive them today, what a surprise to see your post this morning ! I’m curious to see your next post to prepare the little pots. I think I must buy some pins….I’ve seen some tutorials on youtube, like with Angela Fehr for example and Brushos look well with watercolor. Thanks for sharing your experiments. By the way, I don’t comment a lot but always read your posts with pleasure.

    • Laurence, I am so glad this post was timed perfectly for you. I have been wanting to do a post on Brushos but needed to experiment with them a little first. Please let me know how you like them. Thank you for taking the time to comment. It is always nice to hear that people are reading and enjoying the posts!

    • Lin, I love your Brusho pieces–especially the zinnias. I noticed on the description of your process that you combined the Brusho with watercolor. I think I will try that method as it will be far more easy to control the outcome since the Brusho doesn’t allow you to soften edges. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you for going to the trouble to share this information. This these paintings are beautiful.

    • Thank you for the compliment Vivian and thank you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate comments very much. It lets me know People are reading.

    • It is pretty new to me as well. I definitely need to experiment more with this product to get the hang of it! Thanks for commenting!

  3. I just this week watched a video on using Brusho as a background for Bible journaling. It’s an intriguing medium, and your examples are so vibrant and beautiful. I think the last is my favorite. The colors are gorgeous!

    • Thank you Susan. I have a long way to go learning this medium. I think it is easy of you are doing random backgrounds but much more difficult when trying to use them in a more deliberate painting. Check out the links Lin Frye posted of hers. They are beautiful! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  4. Pingback: Preparing My Brusho Containers for Use – Sketching and Painting the Moments