Floating with a Flat Brush
My Floating Technique:
Floating is a technique that some struggle with. Believe me, I know firsthand.
I must say that practice is one of the keys to conquering this technique. The more you do it, the better you will become at it.
I want to share with you how I float. It might be different than how you’ve learned it, or have seen someone else doing it, but I’ve found this way works best for me.
I am floating with a flat brush but you can use an angle brush the same way.
I start by dampening my brush.
I use a misting bottle and spray drops of water onto the side of my palette opposite of where my paint is.
Then I begin loading the brush with equal amounts of water and paint. Put water on one side and paint on the toe of the other side of the brush.
I gently start working this into the brush by blending it on my palette in a V next to the paint. Keep the brush flat as you load the paint and gently work the paint into the brush.
If I feel like I have too much water I will lightly touch the brush to my paper towel to remove excess water and go right back to the area I started blending paint with my brush.
I will give more pressure to the brush if I need the paint to go over farther, this will also work it up the brush so that the float will carry further.
As I pick up paint I will notice if my brush feels like it is dragging at all. If it is dragging on the water side I pick up a drop of water. If it drags on the paint side I pick up a drop of water on the paint side and then gently blend it on my palette.
As you are loading your brush, if the paint gets more than ½ way across the brush then wash the brush out and start over because then you will just be painting not floating.
As you begin to apply the float, don’t hold your brush too tightly. Breathe!
Apply soft pressure as you stroke, keeping the brush flat. Only go up on the tip or edge of the brush if you are floating in a very tight area.
I always keep a mop brush in my other hand because I always mop the water edge of my float to soften it. I believe that is one major difference I do that other designer/painters may not do. Only soften with the mop brush in the paint area you floated if you feel it is too heavy and needs lightening as mopping in this area will remove paint. You cannot mop once the float is dry.
Practice, Practice, Practice and once you get it, you will have this technique down forever! And who knows you may develop a floating technique that is all your own, but whatever way you learn take pride in accomplishing what you have just achieved.