How can you blend and shade well if you don’t hold this brush correctly?
This is the biggest thing people get wrong when they use a badger blender (the big flat one: not the small round one). They hold it delicately. They hold it as if it were a feather duster.
The badger blender is not a duster
This a bad way to hold it, because your grip is weak. It lacks confidence. It is too gentle. This weak grip makes it harder for you to use the blender quickly and decisively. It makes it hard for you to control the speed and force with which you blend.
It also encourages you to blend from the wrist. Generally, you see, it is bad to blend from the wrist because you don’t want to swing across your glass paint in an arc (which is curved).
When you blend, you sweep across the glass
Rather, you want to sweep across the glass on the same (flat) plane, because that’s how you blend evenly.
And that is why, most times, the movement comes from your elbow; sometimes, indeed, from your whole arm. That is why a grip like this is better:
A grip like the one you see above is firm and confident. It encourages you to sweep from your elbow – or even from the top of your shoulder.
You will need to experiment for yourself. For instance, your fingers will not be the same length as mine. But the main point is you’ll work better when you hold your badger blender like a proper tool.
The badger blender is not a feather duster. It is a heavy-duty tool.
You’ll learn much more about blending in Part 1 of Glass Painting Techniques & Secrets from an English Stained Glass Studio. If you also like to watch and copy, then these films about glass painting are very good because they show you exactly what to do.
Next week we’ll start a new series of video demonstrations for you.
It’s called “The Beastly Lion of Wolsey Towers”.
In the first episode, you’ll see how to use your badger blender when you’re working with a big piece of glass.
You’ll see how the movement comes from the elbow and the upper arm (not from the wrist).