Tree, house and squirrel

Have you ever tried a dagger striper brush? I think they were originally used by sign painters and lettering artists. The one I’m trying out is made from squirrel and I used it this morning for the first time when painting the view from my front window.

The brush has a short wooden handle and very soft, long squirrel hair. It’s an unusual experience to paint with it because the brush is very floppy but for painting certain things — like the trees in the background or the texture on bark — it is the perfect tool. It has a life of its own when you paint with it (and I hold it quite loosely) so the brush strokes end up being almost random as the brush flops around the paper. It holds a lot of wash and the strokes stay wet for a long time, making it easy to go back into them with more pigment as I did on the snow shadows. Tomorrow I’ll take a photo of the brush and demonstrate the type of marks it makes.


26 Comments on “Tree, house and squirrel”

  1. Ren says:

    Looking forward to tomorrow!


  2. Rene Wojcik says:

    Love your winter scenery in watercolor…reminds me of my formative days in Michigan. Alas I live in central Texas where snow is extremely rare. Those days of freshly fallen snow now just a distant memory. Can’t say I miss the slush and black ice.


    • Slush and black ice. Perfect choice for describing the two winter conditions I dread. We had both of those today. But a sunny day after a fresh snowfall is always wonderful. Thanks for writing Rene.


  3. blissfullycreating says:

    it turned out great! you can definitely see that the brush is “floppy”.


  4. Ruth Kaldor says:

    What brand is your dress anger brush, I have never used one


  5. gaelle1947 says:

    Oh what a winter wonderland!! Gorgeous work Shari. May I confess my initial puzzlement….I was having one of my “stupid brain” moments when I read the title. I hadn’t notice the comma, and I read it as Tree House and Squirrel….so… naturally (or should I say stupidly–perhaps my natural state LOL!) my eyes scanned every inch of the painting to find…..the Tree House….and the squirrel…looked up the tree….then down the tree…in case the little critter was taking flight…then the snow…to perhaps detect a set of little paw prints……THEN, I read your text….Dahhhhhhh. Yes, commas are important aren’t they?


  6. Lovely mark-making on that tree, Shari. so organic.


  7. Soni says:

    I feel better reading gaelle’s comments because I did exactly as she did ! 😆🤪

    I love daggers & have been using them for years – have a collection of different brands & sizes. I love triple loading big ones with various colors then twisting turning them into Chinese dragons as well as landscape pieces. I even love using them same color way doing figures. You get such a fun surprise & creative look. Different brands produce different results in various sizes. Brands I like : Silver Brush, Connossier (so?), Rosemary & Co & the Jackson Art Supply is latest fav too.

    Love what you did with them.


  8. Jodi says:

    you are so amazingly talented! Any more classes/videos on the horizon?


    • Hi Jodi, Thanks for asking about the classes. Nothing on the horizon at this point. It’s really difficult to find the time with my teaching schedule. But hopefully in the future, I will be able to make it work.


  9. Alison says:

    You are the squiggle queen. Great marks, texture, and the grays! Oh my! Love that pop of blue and green on the bins.


  10. I have one and haven’t used it. So now I will try it. Your painting is so lovely. Lots of snow in Montreal!!


  11. joantav says:

    I love marks you made with the new brush. I have seen them and wondered how they would be used since they look so soft and unstructured.


  12. Just love the whole scene of bright, clean colors. The tree is magnificent, great touch of purpley stuff on the upper right and that green peeking from the corner, genius. You brighten any day of mine as I enjoy your words and painting, thank you so much for all the great years of inspiration! Happy holidays to you and your loved ones, Laurie Dodge Paci 🙂


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