Dry Brushing and Dry Rubbing with oil paint

dencaldencal -
edited May 2016 in Painting

Has anyone had any experience with the dry brushing technique?

i have been looking on uTube, mainly finding acrylic, folk art floral painters using this method.

Wikipedia suggests that it is excellent for figure work, with results very similar to graphite or pastel but can be completed in a fraction of the time.

This has me interested because more than half of say, a twenty minute pose is for shading with the first ten minutes for drawing.  Fine for the gesture and block in but always seems to leave me with incomplete hands, faces and highlights. 

Any advice or links welcome.



  • Hello Denis .
    i had this drybrushing video link bookmarked in my library
    but this is not something that one can do quickly , except when working over a layer of couch and in multiple layers .  so maybe this is not what you are looking for .

  • Gerard61

    Thank you. Very useful information.


  • I often use a technique called scumbling.  Basically, you take up paint on your brush, wipe off the excess, and gently rub it on, usually with something of a side-stroke.  The trick is to use very little paint and apply lightly, building up the applied paint.  Generally, it's a way to add light values and build them slowly so you can see the effect at you go.  If done thinly enough, the effect can be somewhat like glazing.
  • edited September 2016
    I used all of these techniques. Practically, all of these scumbling, dry brush and smudging are indispensable in landscape art to create various textures and color combinations. I am sure this can also be used in any other genre. Rembrandt's paintings are great example of this technique.

  • SummerSummer -
    edited September 2016
    Denis - Coincidentally, I was reading something yesterday about realism and drybrushing.  Here is the technique that was proposed:

    “The drybrush technique is somewhat self-explanatory. Load a red sable brush with paint, and squeeze it until it is almost dry. Spread the hairs of the brush as you squeeze it. This creates the same effect as using a very small brush to make parallel lines.”  As an afterthought, I'd include bristled brushes and use them interchangeably.  Both types of brushes in different sizes will create different effects.   Summer

  • edited September 2016
    Sorry I didn't see your post in May...just now noticed it...or I would have provided this info at the time.  

    Igor Kazarin does quick portraits using drybrush.


    Click on the "About" button and you will see links to his other sites where he describes more about his technique and work methods.
Sign In or Register to comment.