John Salminen’s Must-Have Brush

American Watercolor Weekly Advisor John Salminen reveals the brush he can't do without, but how he uses it may surprise you.

watercolor painting
“Neon Reflections”

I’ve become very dependent upon the hake brush. I don’t use it to apply paint, but rather as a blending tool. I rapidly whisk the damp surface with a dry hake brush to create a seamless transition and a unique surface texture. In “Neon Reflections,” I used the hake brush on the foreground to blend the colors and create a range of mixed grays.

Hake Brushes


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  1. I like that effect. I have such a brush because my sister told me it was essential! But I’ve never used it because I’ve not seen it used. I guess I should have gone to youtube or the library!

    Thanks for the tip!

  2. Gray is probably my favorite color. It works so well with other colors. I have used a Pat Dews automizer and will continue to use it. It produces beautiful grays.

    However, using a hake brush to achieve the same blending effect will be interesting. I will try it.

    Thanks John.

  3. John showed me his technique for blending- the only problem is that it blended too well. I like to blend haphazardly and not so fine.


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