Monday 3rd August 2015by chel
A year ago (or maybe two?), I made an impulse purchase on Dick Blick- a set of 24 Brusho Color Crystals for $35 (now they are over $100 for the set- so glad I got them when I did!). I didn’t know what they were exactly, but I saw the sample artwork created with it, and had to have them.
It turned out that they were finely ground pigment powders, that when added to water burst into little blooms of color.
They came in these tiny sealed plastic tubs, and to be honest, I didn’t know the best way to use them. Because they are so vivid and pigmented, just a few crystals go a long way, so you can’t open the top of the tub and dump a bunch out- they sort of needed to be sifted but I wasn’t sure how to so that. I was hesitant to poke holes into the containers because I live in a humid environment and open containers of anything water soluble is never a great idea.
There weren’t really any instructions or videos other than “add to water”, so I put them on my shelf and figured I’d experiment with them when I had more time. Then I took Flora Bowley’s painting class and moved on to acrylics and forgot all about them.
Earlier this spring, videos started popping up on my YouTube feed of people using Brusho (most notable is Lindsay the Frugal Crafter’s video using stencils and water and her Brushos). I remembered I had them and got them out, but still wasn’t sure how to go about opening mine up. I finally just poked some holes in the tub with a pottery pick, and that was okay, but I knew I had to figure out a better long term storage/use solution.
Here’s the deal with the Brusho, and why I like them better than the Ken Oliver Color Burst: Brusho have a bunch of different color crystals mixed together in each container. When diluted and blended, the multiple colors create one solid color. But if you get them to dry before they dilute completely, or are very careful in how much water you use with them, you can get them to dry with a mottled, multi-colored look.
Here’s a color chart I made with them with the colors straight diluted. The colors are crazy vibrant and beautiful. They would make amazing watercolors.
But if you don’t let the colors dilute all the way, they stay “speckled”, which is pretty much the most amazing thing ever. There’s a bit of a learning curve to using them- how much water to use, how quickly to get them to dry, etc. But it’s so worth it.
I think I figured it out, but here’s what I created that first afternoon, just playing. THEY ARE AMAZING.
As far as storage, I think that the regular containers with the holes poked in the top are fine. Like little salt shakers. But if you live in a humid environment, you probably want to get something with a screw cap. I wound up getting little glass vials from Amazon with screw tops.
The vials are clear, so I can get a general idea of the color (plus, I labelled them), and the vial opening is small enough that not much will come out if gently tapped, and I can use the squeeze dropper thing as a bit of a wand to move the color around (DRY- don’t put a wet dropper back in the bottle!) I’m sure there are better ideas, but this is the one I chose.
Getthing the powders into the vials was a huge mess, I will admit. Filling them was one of the worst re-organizing art/craft projects I have undertaken- about three straight hours of powdery mess. I would just recommend leaving the Brusho in the little jars and poking holes in the top if you can.
Anyway, definitely going to play more with these and hoping for more (bright) colors. Thanks for stopping by! <3