Brush and ruler
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Thread: Brush and ruler

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    Brush and ruler

    I've been trying to practise with the trick of flipping a ruler on its side and running the brush ferrule along it for straight lines, but it's giving me some grief. I think the problem partly comes from trying to get the ruler to match up parallel with the line I want to paint. It's really hard to judge when it's tilted at forty-five degrees, so I end up almost petting the line with little spider strokes to give myself a chance to adjust, but my strokes are so indecisive that the pressure ends up varying the line thickness and it just all goes wrong.

    Is there some really obvious trick I'm missing to get this right? The only thing I managed to think of was getting a light or torch to face at an angle to cast a shadow, and then matching that shadow parallel to the line I want to paint, but it sounds like a pain the rear to do.

    Thanks for any help.

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    dpaint is offline Registered User Level 16 Gladiator: Spartacus' Retiarii
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    Using a brush and ruler is a really refined skill. How many times have you tried it? It takes thousands of tries to get it right. You have to make the mark in one continuous move. Find the best angle for you and the ruler and rotate the image to correspond to it.

    There are also other methods, like using a ruling pen; you put paint in it instead of ink and run it along a flat ruler. I find it just as difficult as learning a brush. You have to get the paint consistency just right, besides the pressure when making the mark but I've worked with guys who could do it no problem with gouache and got the best results from it.

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    I guess just need a heck of a lot more practise with it. I've been trying it for a while, but definitely not to the degree you suggest. I'd seen a few photos of technical illustrators and architectural renderers with a brush and ruler, and I had the impression that it was meant to be as simple and easy as using a ruler and pencil. Like, line it up, shazzam, straight line of paint, no sweat.

    Thanks for your help.

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    What you need is called an "artist's bridge" -Google it and you'll see.
    They're made mostly to keep your hand off a wet surface,
    but work very well as a straight edge for things like brushes and markers.

    Also, it's much better and cheaper to make your own. Just go to the craft
    store and buy a transparent ruler, and a couple of cheap wooden or
    plastic blocks. I got this stuff for about $5 at Michael's.

    Crazy glue the blocks to the bottom of the ruler and you're in
    business. This is even better than a pre-made bridge because
    you will have a ruled edge.

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