Artistic Technique Terminology

Talk about CONFUSING.... Some of the terminology in painting makes you just sit there kinda unsure of how to proceed...... and then when the terminology stays the same but the artist does something different from what you have been taught you are REALLY lost.

These terminology descriptions are used when doing landscapes...... so pull out your notebook and jot yourself a note.

For all of the following techniques I soak my brushes in water fro about 5 minutes and then rub briskly on a terry towel to fluff out the bristles.   The brushes should be damp dry when loading and using.   The fluffing out of the bristles does NOT ruin your helps them PERFORM.  

My brushes of choice (after MANY years of trying others)  are Dynasty.

 DRYBRUSHING:  Load a very small amount of color or colors to your brush and wipe most of it off on either a paper or terry cloth towel.   Test.   Very lightly touch the surface with your brush....I refer to it as tickling the surface with your brush as you paint.   **** I love the Faux Squirrel Single Blenders and the Decorator series Dry Brushes.  Both lines are different,  come in several different sizes and work WONDERFUL.

FEATHERING:  This is a form of dry brushing where you are blending the color on your brush into another color on the surface until it blends with no harsh ridges or edges of color.

MOTTLED:  I love this technique and use it mostly for backgrounds.  Several different colors can be applied to your brush (I use the Faux Squirrel line in angles and flats, or the Eye of the Tiger brushes depending on my surface) tapping gently to just merge colors and then apply directly to your surface using random strokes in different directions.  Do not work the colors or you will end up with mud rather than a "mottle".   This technique also works great for skies, grassy areas, foliage, walls on houses, etc.

STIPPLE:   I use several different kinds of brushes depending on the effect I am looking for.  I use this technique when I am doing foliage, clumps of bushes, etc.   For the first application of highlight I choose a color which is just SLIGHTLY lighter than the foliage color and form the tops of bushes, clumps of foliage on a tree, etc.  For the final highlight  I hold my brush right down at the ferrel as I want TOTAL control of the brush and where the paint is going to go.  I use a heavier load of paint on my brush and just drop little pieces of paint to highlight on  bushes, trees, etc.   The application is done with a quick, tapping motion.  ( I love using this technique for teddy bears also).
****  I use IPC Brushes, Faux Squirrel Blenders, Decorator Series Dry Brushes,  Decorator Series Foliage Wave brushes and Debbie Mitchell Stipplers.

SCUMBLE:  Although nearly the same as mottling I call it sctumble when I am working in smaller areas such as the top of a background tree line, clouds, hair, etc.  The strokes are going in different directions and overlap.  **** I use IPC Brushes, Faux Squirrel Blenders, Decorator Series Dry Brushes,  Decorator Series Foliage Wave brushes and Debbie Mitchell Stipplers.

SCRUBBING:  This technique is used when underpainting areas (some call it base coating) where you don't need refined coverage.   Many times an overhand method of holding the brush provides a stronger motion of the brush for this technique.  It is a more aggressive painting procedure to simply cover the canvas.  I like this technique when I want a weathered look for a house, door, etc.  

I am hoping that this will clarify some of the questions you might have had referring to the different technique terms.  

Dynasty brushes can be purchased at:

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Freezing fog on a pine tree bough.