Lesson 3: Types of Brush Strokes


Evaluation Criteria

  •    Different types of painting strokes

  •     Different techniques used in painting
  • Students are to submit  painting #2 on their blogs, where they have to illustrate the painting brush strokes they have learnt in this lesson.
  • Students need to write a blog documenting their painting experiences on brush strokes; other students are encouraged to give insightful feedback for participation.

  • The content of this lesson is to learn about the types of brush strokes in oil painting. 
  • Brush techniques is perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of oil painting, but it can be mastered with experience.
  • Oil Painting techniques depends on the viscosity of the brush, how much paint is applied, the pressure and angle.

Painting Brush Stroke Techniques:


    • A technique used to create layers of depth by using criss-crossing with the brush, commonly referred to as "cross-hatching" technique. 
Nest; acrylic on hardboard; 6 inches X 6 inches; Carson 2002

In this painting, the lighter brush strokes make the nest look like it is popping up and light. The darker layers below define the rest of the nest. In this case, no blending is necessary, as hatching allows layers to build upon one another for definition.


  • Painting thin layers of opaque light colours over dark colours to give it a broken colour effect, as sometimes painters don't want perfect coverage. Scumbling is a glazing technique with light colours over dark, the result is a shimmery, opalescent object. 
Planet; acrylic on hardboard; 6 inches X 6 inches; Carson 2002


  • The technique is used to build thin see-through translucent layers that can mix optically with underlying colours.  it is most effective with paints that can be transparent. Glazing is more smooth and fine than the scumbled application of paint.
        Milky spheres; acrylic on hardboard; 6 inches X 6 inches; Carson 2002


  • The technique where paint is applied on top of previous layers of wet paint. The trick is to avoid getting the canvas murky and muddy with the previous existing paint. Wet-on-wet allows the painter to blend in the colours to create a more blended effect.

YouTube Video

Blending Technique

  • This technique is used to refine the painting and remove the raw paint, however too much blending can reduce the visual energy in the painting. Blending should not be used for subjects embedded with softness and several light effects such as fog, mist, spray etc.  

YouTube Video

Below is an interesting video, where the painter utilizes some of the techniques we learnt. Even though the painter uses a palette instead of a paint brush, he still uses the same techniques such as cross-hatching and blending with his colours. 

YouTube Video

Video of some helping tips on painting:

YouTube Video