How to Paint Fog Mist

Painting fog and mist can be challenging, but with some specific painting techniques such as dry brushing or floating, you can master the technique and enhance your painting. Always practice new painting techniques on a scrap piece of paper base coated the same colour as the project you are painting. This will enable you to refine your painting technique, and give you a preview of the finished painting. After you have practised both painting techniques, you can decide which one you prefer to use on your painting.

Pour out a small puddle of white paint onto your palette.

Dip the scrub brush into a small amount of white paint.

Pounce the scrub brush up and down on a paper towel until most of the paint is removed. This technique is referred to as dry brushing, as it uses a very small amount of paint for the affect to be painted.

Apply the scrub brush to the painting where the fog or mist is desired, in a scrubbing circular motion. Start at the bottom, where the fog is heavier, and use less pressure toward the top; the fog or mist should be lighter and fade away near the top.

Dip the 1/2-inch angle brush into floating medium or water.

Place the angle brush on a paper towel to remove the excess floating medium or water. The brush is ready to load with paint when you see the shine leave the bristles.

Dip only the sharp point of the angle brush into a small amount of white paint; this is referred to as side loading the brush.

Load the angle brush by using a back-and-forth blending motion on your palette to blend the colour across the hairs of the brush. There should be colour on one side of the brush, gradually fading out to no colour on the opposite end of the brush. If you have colour all the way across the brush, the brush is not loaded correctly and you should wash the brush out and reload it with white paint.

Apply the angle brush to the area of the painting that you want to paint the fog. Use light, even pressure on the angle brush to float the fog in. If the fog is being painted on a dark background you may have to float the colour in several times. Be sure to let each coat dry completely before painting the next coat of paint.


Floating medium will extend the drying time of the paint, but water can be substituted if floating medium is not available. If you apply a floated colour and are not happy with the results, quickly wipe it off and start again.


Do not wet the scrub brush before loading with paint or the technique will fail.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/2-inch artist angle brush
  • Small scrub brush
  • Water
  • Lint-free paper towels
  • White paint
  • Floating medium (optional)
  • Water
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About the Author

Kay Baxter is a freelance writer that has been writing articles since 1999 on a variety of subjects such as small equine and art instruction. Her book "Miniature Horse Conformation" was published in 2007. Baxter has also had articles published by "Better Homes & Garden" and "The Horse Magazine." Baxter attended Illinois Central College, majoring in art.