Scumbling & glazing
Jeff Miracola uses glowing colours.
Over the past few years, I’ve uploaded videos to my YouTube channel featuring my various drawing and painting techniques. These short videos have become so popular that my subscribers have asked for a more in-depth look at my process. I answered by creating a video which is the most comprehensive look yet into my acrylic painting techniques. The painting I created for that video is the image you see in this workshop.
My Forest Angel painting is the perfect way to present my method of glazing and scumbling with paint to achieve both texture and vibrant colour that seem to glow on the canvas. Early in my painting career, I stumbled upon the method of glazing: that is, applying thin washes of paint over a base colour (usually a lighter one) in order to change or enhance that original base. I found that applying many glazes throughout the course of a painting gave me wonderfully rich colour unequalled to that straight out of the tube. I also discovered that scumbling, that is, the method of dry-brushing a lighter, opaque colour over a darker one to lighten the original, was extremely useful for creating interesting textures.
I do a great deal of preparation work before I start painting. Essential parts of my pre-painting process include allowing quiet reflection to think of ideas, creating thumbnail sketches, photographing reference, rendering the final drawing, preparing the painting surface, and transferring the final image onto it. Without those crucial early steps, my paintings could not be successful.
Just as critical are my underpainting and local colour stages, which lay the groundwork for a strong image. I often call these early stages the “ugly” stages because that’s when the painting looks its worst. This is the time when many artists abandon a painting, never pushing through to the final result. I was guilty of this as a young artist until I learned to be persistent, to keep working until the painting resembled the image of my imagination. The way I was able to achieve that final result was through glazing and scumbling, two painting methods which have become the foundation of my acrylic painting process. I’m thrilled to share them with you here.
Jeff has been creating fantasy art for over 22 years and has illustrated for properties such as Dungeons & Dragons, World of Warcraft, and Magic: the Gathering. He runs a YouTube channel where he showcases many art techniques. You can see more of his paintings at www.jeffmiracola.com.