O I L  D R Y  B R U S H:

*Please note this page will be under construction as I continue to add information and video's that take you through this technique step by step. Be sure to pop in from time to time to stay updated.

As the name suggests, this is where you use oils "dry"- as in without any medium. Since you need to use medium with typical oil application, this method allows you to use oil paint in a very thin layer by itself- sans medium. You can still work in "layers" slowly building up values and texture (flat texture- not actual dimensional texture). Very similar to how you would layer values and texture in drawing. Unlike traditional paint methods, and similar to drawing, you can erase the oil paint- now this is only if it hasn't dried yet, and obviously the more paint on the surface the less the paint lifts up. Erasing the oil paint is easier to do when on linen or canvas as opposed to paper which is less durable and prone to pilling/tearing/wear down. To save yourself the headache of removing "eraser poop" from your wet oils, use a kneaded eraser when possible for this.

This technique is usually done using just black, where you achieve a range of values for a monotone work by using less oils on the brush to barely coat the surface to create a range of mid to light values, and more paint for darker to black.

Now that's not to say you cannot use this technique with colour- as a matter of fact it can be used in colour, even as an effect on dried layers of traditional oil application, just the results when its colour dry brush on its own, are less than desirable compared to traditional oil painting techniques.

This technique must be done very thinly. There will be no texture. The end result looks something akin to a charcoal drawing.

You can choose to do this technique on oil paper, canvas, linen, or any hard panel thats been primed (as oil paint- even in thin layers, will eat away at your substrate. It will be much more difficult to do the slicker the surface is- therefore not recommended on aluminum or other slick board paint surfaces.) 

The great thing about oil dry brush is since it is so flat and thin that the tooth of the substrate you're painting on is still visible, acrylic paint can grip to it. So you can experiment with untraditional stylistic approaches as  I've often done for my first solo show 'Dimensional Analogue'

The pros to this method include: not having to adhere to THE 3 RULES of oil painting, it is faster, and since it is flat and flexible, it can be rolled easy for transport and unlike drawings- once it is dried, it will not smudge. Cons include, not being able to build depth with glaze layers, not being able to add texture, and may not be recognized as an oil painting and mistaken for a drawing. This method can be used as an underpainting option if done in umber (or another desired underpainting colour, though a black underpainting would appear muddy it could still be used for greyscale tradition applications if you wanted

Though many aspects of oil dry brush make it suitable for beginners, it sill remains a very difficult and unforgiving technique since there isn't much margin for error.

You'll want a range of brush sizes, but a few things that seem to be consistent as far as what brushes are best suited, are rounder brushes, and  are brushes whos bristles are stiffer (hog hair, or old gummed up brushes you thought were garbage b/c they cant be used for traditional painting is perfect!).

You don't want soft flexy brushes for this. If you find yourself gently brushing the paint on, you may have trouble getting it smooth and free of random dark spots. The less paint you have on the brush the more you have to scrub it into the canvas, and therefor getting smoother results as it forces you to build up to the desired value.

You can use a brush that has no paint on it to help smooth out results, or even a paper towel or cloth and rub it out.

you will be working a lot with circular movements to yield consistent results.

You'll want to use the largest brush for the job (my main brush is an old piece of shit house painting brush that was all splayed out and no good for anything else.) When you use the largest brush possible for the section your working on, you get smoother results.