Jill Poyerd
A free video tutorial from Jill Poyerd
Professional Artist and Fine Arts Educator
4.7 instructor rating • 7 courses • 18,522 students

Learn more from the full course

Mastering Brushstrokes - Part 1

Master key brushstrokes that lie at the core of watercolor, oil, and acrylic painting.

05:13:50 of on-demand video • Updated November 2020

  • Gain a thorough understanding of a broad range of brushstrokes
  • Develop a toolbox of strokes for reference when creating works of art
  • Learn how each brushstroke impacts form
  • Learn the history behind brushstrokes and paint application
  • Expand your creativity by increasing your knowledge base
  • Understand how brushstrokes are affected by painting medium
English [Auto] There are actually many different definitions for the word scambling and in some cases they aren't even very similar. So for this course I'd like to establish an independent definition. Let's define it as a stroke where a fairly dry brush skips over the painting surface in a haphazard way in order to create a textured effect and allow some of the bass player to show through one of the earliest artists to use this quiz. John Constable when he painted his clouded skies this piece by Theodore Russo is another great example of how scambling can be used to disguise scambling can be done using any level of dilution and really any level of brush and a brush that's loaded to the maximum will produce an impasse Stowe or a kind of solid Scammell one that's barely loaded will produce a haphazard dry brush kind of look. Each level of brush load will give a slightly different look. The surface is typically dry but you can scramble over wet paint with oils as mentioned scambling is a nice brush stroke when depicting texture in the painting especially for the landscape artist scambling can be used when painting grasses. It can be used in abstracts or to paint still like objects this painting appears to consist almost entirely of Scambos Turks. It's really amazing. My preferred brush for scambling is around a medium round to be specific and that goes for both watercolor and oil. When I stumble I'm not usually looking for straight lines but rather sporadic rounded marks. I use a moderately loaded branch so that it can deposit enough paint and I usually lay it fairly flat along the sewer line it flat allows me to get a more spontaneous look rather than the precision that an upright brush would give me. Let me show you what I'm talking about here. I'm holding my brush upright and now I'm laying it on its side. Notice the difference in the marks that preferred motion is kind of a bouncy slightly scrubby action all with a delicate touch. Remember that you're not looking for solid cover. You actually want some in the bottom layer to show through because that can give you some very interesting layering. Thanks. In this example I'm letting each layer of color dry before adding the next color or value. This creates dimension and a complex textural fact that you can't achieve when you paint wet and wet. At least in modern media Ping's a little earlier we mentioned a flat brush. Well let's take a look at the mark that it would make. You can see here I'm using the same motion but the shape of the brush head affects the mark. I use the flat edge as well as the side bristles. You can see that it has a different work but in some cases that maybe we look for. If you use a small brush such as this small round you get a smaller mark that looks a little bit like a dry brush. The difference is that you have more control over where the mark lays down with the scandal. And finally you can even use a Rychard brush. This is my second favorite brush for some time because it can create very unusual texture. I especially like it for landscape texture brush though defects. The mark that's created as well. Watch as we begin scambling with a moderately loaded brush as we move along. And I'm not reloading the brush the bristles slowly empty of their paint and the resulting marks change. This is because the brush has less and less paint to distribute. So we're using the same motion but there's less paint now. What happens if we dilute the paint a bit the result is the same kind of scrambling work but a lighter value into the thinner the paint the lighter the mark. We mentioned that the preferred surface condition is dry. But let's look at what happens when you apply this stroke to a wet surface in water color. It creates a soft model book. And finally another variant is to use the side of your brush to create the mark. If you sweep it upwards you can get something resembling kind of feathered scrambled. Look experiment with your own brushes. Each one will offer you unique capabilities in the next video. We'll discuss scambling with oil paints.