How to Create a Blurry Background in Paintings

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Blurry backgrounds take less effort than detailed work.

A blurry background can serve many purposes in a painting. It can force the viewer to focus on specific objects or people in the foreground. It can also offer a visual flair that the painter desires for her work. Painting a blurry background requires the use of a mop brush which has a loose, wide group of bristles similar to a brush used to apply makeup.


Step 1

Dip the mop brush in your paint. Apply enough paint to cover the tips of all the bristles.

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Step 2

Hold the tip of your mop brush against the canvas and move your hand in quick, back-and-forth movements to apply the paint to the surface.

Step 3

Move the brush around to apply background colors in the desired locations. Reapply paint if your brush runs dry. Don't worry about detail as blurry backgrounds lack fine detail.

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