Monday, 28 May 2012

Brusho Workshop with Joanne Boon thomas

Have had a really brilliant day at a Brusho workshop led by

Joanne Boon Thomas

Some of you may know of Joanne as she has just done a series of DVD's

Expressive Watercolour Florals

for the Art Tutor venture

Art Tutor

Here is a link to the Brusho Secrets website where you can also get Joanne's recent Book and DVD about Brusho... check my review you won't be disappointed!!

You will find some of her demos on youtube.... she's had about 50,000 hits in a very short space of time and can assure you the DVD's are excellent as I have previewed some of them on ID&P.

So what is Brusho...... it's an interesting product....... a powder pigment which sort of explodes when sprayed with water.... as you can imagine I was just a little bit excited (well more like beside myself!!!) when I saw all the effects you could achieve with this stuff.

Joanne has a very easy, encouraging style,  her passion for watercolour shines through and her enthusiasm for this product was infectious....... not that I needed much encouragement!!!! It is a very versatile but unpredictable medium so the whole workshop was punctuated by lots of ooohs and ahhhs, not just from me by the way, and Joanne generously shared hints and tips which she has taken years of experimenting to discover. Thank you for that Joanne.

Just a few photos of the day. Joanne guided us through a few ways of applying the pigment to the paper and we then went on to do one or two washes, just playing and learning how to use with the water.   The next demo was a floral using an initial wash of brusho showing us how to build up the details with negative painting, splattering and the odd application of bleach,. The final piece was a woodland scene. Although brusho very much lends itself to florals Joanne wanted to show us it can be used for any subject..... the effects are brilliant and even though some of us did overwork and as always it wasn't as easy as Joanne made it look can see there is endless potential in this product and will definitely be adding it to my very limited repertoire of medium which at the moment comprises watercolour, watercolour and more watercolour!!!

This was my go at the floral.... tulips, more work needed on this but think you can see them developing, especially top left. Have used bleach and wax crayon on this and I am liking how this is going so will see what develops.....

Finally the woodland scene... not sure about this as it is, but the beauty is I can go back in especially now it is dry and keep working it for as long as the paper will stand it. The bleach is a revelation and can be splattered, applied with a brush and then painted over and can rescue those oh so annoying painted over white bits!!!!!!! Forgot to say, brusho can also be mixed to use like watercolour but one of the main differences is the vibrancy you get. As you will all know watercolour fades as it dries whereas there is much less fading with this from the initial application so all in all am a very happy bunny today!!!

Big thank you to Joanne, her workshop was fun, relaxed, informative, I learned a lot and thoroughly enjoyed myself!!!


  1. Very interesting Judith. Love those bright, vibrant colors.
    I am really interested to hear more about the bleach. Do you apply full strength? Does it change the texture or quality of the paper? Sounds like it might be just what I am looking for for a particular project I want to do (and I am too lazy to try to use tiny dots of masking fluid).

  2. Hi Nanette, the colours are wonderful..... we applied the bleach about half strength, doesn't seem to affect the paper and with this product masking doesn't work. I don't know whether bleach would work the same with watercolour I have used it many moons ago but forgotten just what effects I got, worth a practice on a scrap piece of paper though......

  3. This is a product I'm not familiar with at all...did this originate in the UK? I'll have to search online to see if it's available here.

    This is just a suggestion: White text on black background is very hard on the eyes, makes it difficult to read your there some way to change the background color? Don't mean to tell you what to do with your blog. The only color combo that's worse than white on black is yellow on black...I can't read those at all.

    1. Thanks for the comments Joan, don't know where brusho originates, have seen some you tube demos from America and I know schools use it as it is economical and a little goes a long way. Joanne will probably have more idea, I would ask her.

      As for the blog, will have a word with my son, he works for a design agency so will have more idea than me about it, I thought it was quite easy to read but then it would be for me as I know what I've written!!!!

  4. Hi Judith. I like your blog very much. I have ordered Brusho from UK ( i live in Denmark), and I wonder: what is bleach that you use ?? I only now masking and wax. Hope you will "enlighten" an old woman with only a few years experience with watercolor.
    Kind regards from
    Else Rasmussen

    1. Hi Else.... the bleach is normal household bleach diluted half and half with water. Thank you for your comment on my blog. For further information Joanne Boon Thomas has a DVD and book coming out soon and that will have all the information you will need to get started!!

    2. Hi again. Thank you very much, I will keep an eye on book/DVD. I envy you very much, that you have all those courses in UK, in Denmark there are so few for watercolor. I will follow your artwork, you are really good !!!
      I wish you all the best.
      Else Rasmussen

    3. Thanks for the lovely comment Else... yes we are lucky here with the access to good teaching, I have been very fortunate to attend workshops with Joanne and Jean Haines and am thrilled to be taking my own classes now as I love it!! As for my art I am constantly working to learn and improve and I am delighted you like it!!

  5. Hello Judith
    I bought the brusho crystal 1 month ago and eager to try it out I opened the turqois colour pot. I got pretty much powder on my paper and on my fingers. Adding water to the paper I also came to add water on my fingers and finaly I looked like a smurf up to my elboes and it took me half an hour to get rid of the colour. I think I will wait to see somebody explaining how to use this medium on a video LOL See you on IDP and Arttutor. :o)

  6. Hi
    Where can I attend one of these workshops?
    They look fantastic so could you please let me know?
    Patti Atkins


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