Are there really dozens of  painting techniques? – Yes, let’s take a look at some …



images (12)cAlla Prima is an interesting  painting technique that the Impressionists used to capture fleeting impressions.  Alla Prima describes a painting that is completed in a single session. It also describes a direct method of working, where each brushstroke is applied decisively and left alone; the colors are applied directly onto the painting surface. This technique uses layers of wet paint over previous layers of wet paint. It requires fast work because the work has to be finished before the first layers have dried.

This technique is usually done with oil paints. In the medium of acrylics wet-on-wet painting requires a certain finesse in embracing unpredictability. acrylic paint will bloom in unpredictable ways that, depending on the artist’s frame of mind, can be a boon or a burden.

Translated directly from Italian, alla prima means ‘at once’ and it refers to the method of painting in one application and without retouching, otherwise known as ‘direct painting’. If you want to paint alla prima all you need is to make sure you finish the painting you are working on before the paint dries – this usually happens in just one sitting.




oil-Glazing-painting-techniquesGlazing techniques can bring life and vitality to dull or faded artwork. Glazing is mixing thin glazes tinted with pigment to make small adjustments in colour and hue, Glazing enables the artist to avoid and recover from mistakes in a fun and and easy way.

A glaze is a semi-transparent layer on a painting which modifies the appearance of the underlying paint layer. Glazes consist of a great amount of binding medium in relation to a very small amount of pigment. Drying time will depend on the amount and type of paint medium used in the glaze. Different media can increase or decrease the rate at which oil paints dry.

Acrylic paint glazes are often used to create more depth in an image. When glaze medium is applied to acrylic paint, the paint becomes more transparent and will reveal the layer of paint used beneath it, which modifies the color.

This technique is commonly used to create more realistic images. Light colored glazes also have softening effects when painted over dark or bright images. Artists can mix glazes themselves, or can buy pre-mixed acrylic glazes.




RembrandtSelfPortraitScumbling is a technique that is similar to glazing. The difference is that the coating is opaque. The coating is painted on very thinly to allow bits of the paint below to shine through. Scrumbling is a technique for adding a layer of broken, speckled, scratchy color over another color. Bits of the lower layer or layers of color show through the scumbling. The result gives a sense of depth and color variation to an area.

You can scumble with a brush or a crumpled-up cloth. The key is to use a dry brush (or cloth) and very little paint. It’s far better to have to go over an area again than start with too much paint. Dip your dry brush into a bit of paint, then dab it on a cloth to remove most of the paint. It helps if the paint is stiff rather than fluid, because it doesn’t spread as easily when you put brush to canvas.



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