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Scumbling - What is Scumbling?

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Definition: Scumbling usually refers to the application of a fine layer of paint with a very dry brush. It is sometimes described as a glaze effect, but rather than the pigments being dispersed in a transparent medium, scumbling creates a fine mesh of opaque pigment.

In drawing, scumbling is sometimes used to describe a random, scribbled texture, with figure-eight and concave shapes used to create a spiky texture, rather than the common circular scribble. Some teachers have come up with their own inventive names for the method, such as 'squirkling' or 'brillo pad' (the later after a brand of kitchen pot-scourer.)

Painterly scumbling effects can be created by using fine pencil lightly applied in a random fashion. The softening or blending effect of dry scumbled paint can be mimicked by using layers of light, random erasing combined with random hatching. Shading with the side of a pencil or broken pastel can create a similar, open texture.

Also Known As: squirkling, brillo pad technique,
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