from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Present participle of scumble.
  • n. An application of scumbling; an opaque glaze.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.
  • n. A mode of obtaining a softened effect, in painting and drawing, by the application of a thin layer of opaque color to the surface of a painting, or part of the surface, which is too bright in color, or which requires harmonizing.
  • n. In crayon drawing, the use of the stump.
  • n. The color so laid on. Also used figuratively.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In painting, the operation of lightly rubbing a brush charged with a small quantity of an opaque or semi-opaque color over the surface, in order to soften and blend tints that are too bright, or to produce some other special effect.
  • n. In chalk - and pencil-drawing, the operation of lightly rubbing the blunt point of the chalk over the surface, or spreading and softening the harder lines by the aid of the stump.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Brooding over my blue woman, I ate a cheese and chutney sandwich and in the afternoon overpainted the background with browns and crimsons, glazing and rubbing together the colours in the method called scumbling until I had a deep rich background that wasn't identifiably blue or brown or red but which receded from the eye, leaving the face itself startlingly near and clear.

    To The Hilt

  • She relies on " scumbling, " in which layers of paint are built up to create a shimmery effect, to give her work its depth and vitality.


  • So many people think that 'scumbling' is about a particular brush mark and not about the paint at all.


  • The profusion of flakes falling through the air had a scumbling visual effect on the surfaces of things.

    The Bridge

  • Fish and Rocket have a terrible time scumbling their savvies.

    Savvy by Ingrid Law: Questions

  • When I tell others what scumbling really is, they look at me cross-eyed.


  • The eye mixes the scumbling and underpainting, and effects of texture, focus, etc. can be induced.


  • Yes, scumbling is a way of painting where you dry-brush a thin layer of opaque paint over a the dry surface of a painting.


  • In my mind, i put scumbling in with glazing, as a technique.


  • The key to this kind of painting is to use the biggest brushes you can, but to use them very lightly, dragging and scumbling.

    Archive 2008-02-01


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  • 1. To soften the colors or outlines of (a painting or drawing) by covering with a film of opaque or semiopaque color or by rubbing.

    2. To blur the outlines of: a writer who scumbled the line that divides history and fiction. AHD

    March 17, 2008