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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Glazing Hjalmar

The oil painting technique of "glazing" goes back to the Great Masters. It brings a wonderful, unique feeling to a work that is very different from traditional oils. Here's a demonstration of how it works. Could I have a volunteer from the classic horror audience? Anyone? Ah, yes, Mister Poelzig, you'll do just fine!

Let's begin with a rough sketch, and a thin application of the three tones (light, middle and dark) with just some Burnt Umber...




Next, using only that Burnt Umber and Titanium White, the underpainting is created. The important thing in this step is to "pump up" the light tones. Keep in mind that there is going to be color paint applied on top of this, so we want everything to be a bit lighter than usual...


Once the underpainting is dry (and I mean dry!), the glazing can begin. The color oil paint is thinned out with Glazing medium, and applied in very thin layers. The paints used are referred to as "transparent" colors, such as Ultramarine Blue or Alizarin Crimson. Gradually the colors are built up over the monochromatic base. The tones show through the color, maintaining the depth of the painting. A little Zinc White or (better) Flake White can be added if needed, to lighten an area or color, or to create a highlight...



The finished painting dries with nice high gloss, and the results can be quite striking. This painting was only 5" x 7" and is now in the private collection Robert Taylor in Ohio.

Thank you, Mister Poelzig, for your cooperation.

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