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glaze is a thin, semi-transparent layer of paint. Glazing is a popular technique in oil painting, where glazes are applied on top of an opaque layer of paint that has been allowed to dry.

The general practice is to create a monochrome under-painting using opaque colors and then gradually building up glazes on top, allowing each layer to dry in-between. This practice is obviously very time-consuming due to the slow drying times of oil paint. Depending on how many glazes are used, the time it takes to create an oil painting using this method could be anywhere from a few weeks to years.

When glazing, it is best to use paints that have more of a translucent quality. White for example is not great for glazing as it is very opaque.

When there are multiple layers of glazes, the colors optically blend as if they were all combined, without the pigments actually mixing. This creates interesting effects which are very effective for portrait painting.

As there are many layers of paint, care needs to be taken in relation to the fat over lean rule. Each subsequent layer of paint should have more oil than the prior layer to avoid cracking in the paint. This is because whilst oil paint may be dry to the touch, it may not be completely dry.

Many painters use both thin glazes and thick, impasto brushwork to create variance in the painting. The impasto areas would appear pushed forward in the painting compared to the softer glazes.

Want to Learn More?

You might be interested in my Painting Academy course. I’ll walk you through the time-tested fundamentals of painting. It’s perfect for absolute beginner to intermediate painters.

Thanks for Reading!

I appreciate you taking the time to read this post and I hope you found it helpful. Feel free to share it with friends.

Happy painting!

Dan Scott

Draw Paint Academy

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Dan Scott is the founder of Draw Paint Academy. He's a self-taught artist from Australia with a particular interest in landscape painting. Draw Paint Academy is run by Dan and his wife, Chontele, with the aim of helping you get the most out of the art life. You can read more on the About page.

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1 thought on “Glaze”

  1. Hi Dan,
    I recently subscribed but have not received your Beginner’s Guide To Painting. Looking forward to that. As an absolute beginner (never painted), I will be starting with your collection of 45 prior postings then hope to take the first class after the first of the year.


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