I wanted this work to be clearly the antithesis to my vector fish- but also use no standard gradients, only solid colors. I tried endlessly to replicate dry brush strokes digitally, but none of them were achieving the look that I wanted. I ended up breaking out my worst brushes… but I had no brushes that could achieve the dry scratchy paint strokes that I wanted. I take way too good of care of my brushes for that, so off the to the Home Depot where I bought the cheapest, most awful brushes I could find. It worked.
A sample of the scanned paint strokes below