Painting – Different Paint Stroke Techniques

While it is true that there is no right or wrong way to express your talents through art, there are however, paint stroke techniques that one can use to create amazing results. Here are the five most common stoke techniques used with most paint mediums.

Under-painting – Under-painting is used in almost all paintings. Apply a color or variety of colors and later you will build upon this initial base. When you under-paint you simply apply color to the canvas with a large brush. Use any direction of stroke and any brush. This layer of color is just the base.

Dry-brush – Apply paint to a dry bristle brush. Use a small amount of paint at first and add more as you feel comfortable. Rub or scrub the brush where you want a weathered or shaded appearance. The idea of a dry-brush stroke is that you do not completely cover what ever is underneath.

Scumble – Apply paint to a bristle paint brush. Tap the bristles to the canvas to create foliage. It is easy to over do scumbling. I suggest to tap, tap, then step back and look. Keep this in mind so that you don’t end up completely blocking in the area. The area that you don’t paint is called negative space. When doing the scumble technique, remember what you don’t paint is just as important as what you do paint!

Glazing – Applying a thin watered down layer of color over a dry surface is glazing. Sometimes you need a color slightly darker or you need a variety of color here and there. Simply use a very thinned or watered down paint and apply where you need the change. Always start light and see if you get the results you wanted. If you are not satisfied, its easy to simply darken the mixture and reapply.

Hake or Blender Brush Blending – Sometimes you want to create a very soft gradual look of colors. For example you created as sky that is blue near the top and gradually turns to red and orange near the horizon. You’ve applied all the colors but there are brush strokes that you are not happy with. When using acrylic or oil paint you can use a soft – dry hake or blending brush and gently use criss-cross strokes to blend the colors together. Use a paper towel to continually dry your brush off as you work.

Using these paint stroke techniques should improve your results. It’s important to not become frustrated because if you are teaching yourself art, you will need to experiment and practice. These and other techniques will become second nature to you as you practice.