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Just say no to “scumble”

The word “scum­ble” is an art term that has a lot of mean­ings. Some­times, it means thin glaze with a mix­ture that con­tains white. Some­times it means paint­ing with a dry brush using a bro­ken color effect. Some­times it means other things. In fact, it means so many things that it really doesn’t mean any­thing at all unless you define what you are try­ing to say each time you use it.

Let’s just get rid of it. It causes more con­fu­sion than it’s worth. It should be replaced with terms like “glaze,” “bro­ken color,” “dry­brush,” and “velatura,” which actu­ally do have coher­ent meanings.

Just say no.

Posted in art technique, color, painting.

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  1. david thompson says

    hello, just found your web­site for the first time, it looks inter­est­ing but whilst idly brows­ing I came across this com­ment and felt a nerdy bit of hair-splitting was called for. Actu­ally a scum­ble is quite a sim­ple thing, a semi trans­par­ent layer which mod­i­fies the layer below, of course a semi trans­par­ent layer can be cre­ated in a num­ber of ways hence the con­fu­sion. One thing it isn’t though is a glaze which is by defin­tion fully trans­par­ent and com­plet­ley dif­fer­ent in feel. regards

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