I’ve been working on this painting and am nearly finished with it. The challenge in this one was all of the long, flowing lines that made up the fins of the fish.

Image of Goldfish

One of the keys to painting long thin lines is the consistency of the paint. Oil paint out of the tube is just too thick so it needs to be thinned into a liquid. Use the medium of your choice for that. Galkyd works well… or maybe a bit of linseed oil. Brushes can make a big difference too. Here are some of the brushes I use when I need long lines:

The first two on the left are liners. The second two brushes are typically used by sign painters, often for lettering (they’re called lettering quills). They have soft hair and are almost floppy when loaded with paint but can pull very long, smooth lines. The last two brushes are dagger stripers. The little short one on the end is sometimes used for painting pinstripes on cars. With a bit of practice the dagger striper can be used to paint intricate lines and it holds a razor edge. Great brush, but they don’t come cheap.