Today we will be discussing white work, one of my favorite things. (I feel just like Oprah, only you don’t get a high priced gift with this show.)

White Work:

White work is the white shading and white line and dot work on top of the base color in almost every painted section of many illuminations. This photo shows a close up of some white work, both on the left in the painted border and on the right in the illuminated letter.
White Work

White work is done after the base paint is completely dry.

I know this can be a scary concept for beginning scribes, but just go ahead and do it! It looks great even if you’re new to it, you have to start somewhere.

Things to Keep in Mind as You Paint White Work:

A little bit goes a long way.
White Work

Use your brush with the finest tip; this is not always your smallest brush. I like to use my 18/0 liner by Lowe-Cornell. Look at the tips of all of your brushes when they’re damp (not drenching wet), and choose the one that has the sharpest point.

Move your brush a little faster than you’re comfortable with, until you get used to it. If you move the brush too slowly or are not confident with your brush strokes, the paint will show every twitch your hand makes.

I work with a paper towel between my hand/forearm and the paper. In this case it helps my hand move or float across the page more easily, creating stronger, cleaner, straighter lines. I will hold down the paper towel and let me hand float across it, as it has less resistance than the art paper.
Paper Towel Beneath Hand & Arm

White Work in Three Easy Steps:

1) Think Melted Ice Cream:
When you do white-work, make sure your white paint is just a little bit on the thin side like cheap melted ice cream. If your paint is too thin it will just disappear into the darker color beneath it. If it is too thick, it might not come off the brush, or it will come off in big chunky blobs.

2) Dab, dab, dab!:
Make sure after you dip your brush into the paint that you pull the excess paint off the brush on the side of your white paint well in you palette. Dab the sides of the bristles just a few times; it’s enough to get the excess off of the brush tip. Getting that extra paint off your brush ensures you will NOT end up with those funny blobs at the beginning of your white work lines, nor extra large white dots where you don’t want them.

3) Paint ONLY with the Very Tip of Your Brush:
Then apply the white paint in dots or smooth even lines with JUST the tip of the brush, making sure you don’t flatten or push down the bristles. This ensures your dots and lines will be consistent throughout the piece.

One last thing, when you are doing a long line, and your brush runs out of paint (it will start to look transparent on the paint color beneath it), go back and get more paint on your brush, and dab, dab, dab again. When you restart your line, do NOT place the brush where you left off, place it back about 1/4 to 1/2 and inch on the same line you are continuing. This will make it look more continuous.

That’s it! So much easier than you thought, right? Right!

Next week, diapering without the kids!

Hopefully Helpful,