ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Techniques to Paint a Painting

Updated on February 15, 2013

Painting Pallete

Source

Introduction

Human creativity knows no bounds and in painting, there are a myriad of mediums and techniques which can be employed to produce beautiful work on a range of subjects. Painting mediums include acrylic paints, water color paints, gouache, ink, oils, tempera and many others.

Oil painting is something which has held a great mystique for centuries, especially among those who do not know anything of the techniques involved. When it comes to working with oils, the thick consistency and slow drying time is a delight for seasoned oil painters, but can be a nightmare for beginners.

There are a variety of traditional techniques which can be employed to make life easier for the painter, as well as to produce the very specific effects in a painting. Some of these techniques are discussed here.

Alla Prima

Alla prima is what is known as the wet on wet technique. The term alla prima is Italian for “at first attempt.” Essentially, you apply layers of wet paint on top of each other. The technique requires experience and the ability and confidence to work very fast. This is because in order to be true alla prima, the painting work must be completed before the work has fully dried.

A number of Baroque early oil painters favored this technique, including Franz Hals and Diego Velazquez. Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet were also prone to exploiting the fluidity of oil paints by employing this versatile technique.

Van Gogh

Source

Impasto

Impasto is another borrowed Italian word which translates into “dough,” or kneading. In painting, this means that thick layers of oil paint are applied to the canvas so that the finished result retains the texture and feel of the brush or palette knife used to apply the paint.

The technique allows the paint to have a three dimensional effect and depending on how the paint is applied, can seem to be coming out of the canvas.

The point of using this technique is to give specific effects. By layering the paint on thickly in certain areas, the artist can play with light, causing it to reflect on the painting in very specific ways. This can affect the feel and mood of the finished piece in quite distinct ways. It can cause certain areas of the painting to have a sculptural feel, or it can be used across an entire painting.

Artists like Vermeer used this technique to highlight certain parts of a painting and make them stand out next to more delicately painted areas. For example, one could use impasto to make the folds in a piece of cloth stand out next to a delicately painted hand. Van Gogh was known for using this technique across entire paintings. It created a very particular aesthetic.

Underpainting

Underpainting is the process of using a thin mixture of paint and a thinner such as turpentine to block in the initial stages of a painting. The purpose of the underpainting is to serve as the basis for paint which is later applied over the dried underpainting.

They can be monochromatic, but this is not a rule. There is nothing to stop you applying color in an underpainting. When dried, further layers of paint are added. Glazing can be used to optically mix the colors of the underpainting with those of subsequent layers to produce stunning results.

Artists such as Giotto and Titian used underpainting, followed by over painting in this way.

Glazing

Glazing is the process of mixing oil paint with a glazing medium to make it transparent and applying it in a thin layer over dry paint. The technique allows the artist to play with the hues and values of the painting and can produce a spectacular finish if done correctly. Thin, translucent paint is applied over dried opaque paint of a different color, to produce a color which is optically, rather than physically mixed.

When executed correctly, looking at a painting made in this way can seem like looking through a stained glass window. The translucency and light which the technique brings to a finished piece of work can be quite stunning.

“Girl with a Red Hat” by Vermeer is an excellent example of the stunning effect glazing can produce. Reconstructions of the painting have demonstrated the various stages of glaze on the hat in the piece.

Considerations

There are numerous techniques for painting and numerous styles of painting. There is no one set way of doing things. Learning various techniques is an excellent foundation which enables you to then go on and develop your own unique style using any combination of traditional techniques.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)