Kerrie Woodhouse

Whimsical Watercolour

How to use Brusho Crystals

art tipsKerrie Woodhouse

What are Brusho Watercolour Crystals?

Brusho is watercolour ink in powdered form. The very fine powdered watercolour comes in little white tubs in a range of vibrant colours.


The highly pigmented Brusho watercolour crystals are acid free and non-toxic. They are transparent and unpredictable - much like watercolour but even more surprising as you really never know what you are going to get.

Delightful. (See for yourself in the video later in this post)

My favourite colours are those that contain multiple colours (eg Sea Green, Cobalt Blue and Orange) so that when you use them you see all the variation. In addition to those lovely composite colours there are also many gloriously bold solid colours (like lemon and turquoise).

All the glorious colours of Brusho Watercolour Crystals in my set

All the glorious colours of Brusho Watercolour Crystals in my set


How to Use Brusho Crystals

The little white tubs of Brusho have a tab to pull which would break the seal of the lid and allow you to pop it off. However, since the brusho is so concentrated and fine I think this would probably end in considerable waste and a fair bit of mess. I think it is better to just poke a little hole in the top of the lid to turn the tub into a sort of shaker.

I keep a toothpick in my Brusho box to open up the hole if it becomes blocked, but I have seen push pins being used as a sort of permanent topper. They would seal the tub and keep the hole clear. I choose not to use this approach because I like to store my Brusho in its box and the push pins would stop it from closing.

Brusho Techniques

Since Brusho is in powder form you have many options when it comes to painting techniques. Most of them include a degree of unpredictability - that for me is the charm of Brusho! 

Here are 4 basic methods of applying the Brusho to paper.

See them all these Brusho techniques for yourself in the video above.

1.Sprinkle onto dry paper and spritz

This is so exciting to watch! You never quite know what you are going to get. Use a little atomiser/spray bottle to spritz a little water over the sprinkled Brusho powder and watch it leap to life. The results will vary depending on whether your spray bottle is a powerful jet or a delicate mist. Try altering the distance of your spray bottle from the paper. See if you like more water or less water with this effect.


2.Sprinkle onto dry paper and activate with wet paintbrush

If you use a clean damp paintbrush to activate the  Brusho you have sprinkled on the page you will find a more uniform spread of colour. The brush is probably applying more water than your spray bottle and the bristles will be mixing those pigment crystals. This means that you will probably lose some of the texture and variation relative to the spray bottle method


3.Dampen the paper and then sprinkle in the brusho

For more control but retaining the texture and color  variation try dampening the shape you want to paint with clean water. Then sprinkle in the brusho. You might have to blow a few of the errant particles into your damp shape as it can be quite tricky to be accurate with the fine watercolour brusho powder.


4.Place a little brusho in a palette and then add a little water to create paint

Use a little palette or plastic plate or acrylic block, or even spare watercolour paper to sprinkle a good amount of the Brusho. Then add a drop of water to turn the powder into paint. Of course you can now vary the strength of the paint to create different washes by adding more water. You could also mix up extra colours to expand your premixed selection. 


The fourth method is the one which gives you the most control because it is simply turning the powder into liquid paint. Do bear in mind though, that since it is now essentially watercolour paint you still have the wilful nature of watercolour to contend with. But that is why we love watercolour too, isn't it?

You can see me demonstrate them all in the youtube Brusho techniques video above.

Brusho Backgrounds

One of the best ways to enjoy Brusho is to use them for watercolour backgrounds. If you are a card maker, or an art journaler this is something you will definitely appreciate.

Using any of the above simple techniques you will have a glorious spread of vibrant colour in moments. Of course, once you get the hang of Brusho I’m sure your imagination will be fired up to incorporate Brusho with other things like stencilling, doodling and using a wax resist, just to name a few.


Brusho Artwork

Brusho isn’t just for backgrounds. You can use Brusho to create a beautiful abstract painting, or even something more realistic. Towards the end of this Brusho techniques video I created an abstract floral just to explore the medium. 

Once you think of it like watercolour paint, there is really no limit to what you could paint with it. I have used it to paint some of my monthly series. Would you like to see?

Brusho art from my gallery

I have painted a couple of series using Brusho in the past. They tend to include water in one form or another because that is the first thing that I am reminded of when I see an exuberant splash of brusho.

I painted one series entitled ‘Messing about in Boats’ which gave me a chance to use brusho as watercolour paint to create the form of the boat as well as let the free spirited powder work its own magic on the water.

One of my most popular series to date was my Rainy Days series which is all about learning to dance in the rain, the way a child does - without a care in the world…

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