Watch the video below:
What is a brayer?
Let me introduce you to one of the most awesome art tools in existence!! A brayer is simply a paint roller, traditionally used in printmaking to transfer paint onto the printing plate. They can be made of a variety of materials but the ones you see most in the mixed media art journaling world are made of rubber.
Why do I love them?
It is an instant texture and layering tool. Using a brayer to apply paint instead of a brush gives you a very interesting texture and look. It’s quite random what you get which is part of the fun. A layer of paint applied with a brayer provides a sort of push-pull effect, so you can usually see part of the previous layer through it.
I love using a brayer to create a quick background. A bit of gesso and one or two colours rolled out over a journal page and you have got rid of the blank page and created interesting texture within about 20 seconds.
Another reason a brayer is invaluable is if you have a Gelli plate. You can apply the paint quickly and evenly. Alternatively you can use it to apply paint in a circular motion or use the edge of the brayer to etch designs into the paint.
Things to try
- Try using a brayer with gesso
- Experiment with low to high viscosity paints (e.g. fluid and heavy body acrylics)
- Brayer some colour into an area and then make a glaze with the same colour and brush over
- If a layer of paint seems too thick and you want to see what’s underneath, either remove some with a baby wipe or keep on rolling the brayer to transfer the paint to different areas and pull bits off
How do you use a brayer in your artwork? Leave a comment to let me know!