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Colour Glazing – The Optical Experience.

What is glazing in painting?

Glazing is a process of applying a thin layer or layers of translucent paint over a more opaque layer of paint.

Why glaze?

A glaze creates luminosity and an inner glow on a canvas that can be like stained glass.

Margret writes:-

In this workshop we will experiment with glazes, overlays of transparent paint, to produce vibrant colour optically. For example, painting a glaze of red on top of a blue layer gives a more vivid purple than you’d get if you mixed the same red and blue paint together on your palette before you applied it. Glazes are used on top of one another to build up depth and modify colours in a painting.

The rich purple is created by light bouncing back from the canvas, through the blue and then the red layer, into your eye, producing a deeper colour than if it’d just bounced back from the surface of one layer of mixed paint. Tube colours with intense chroma can’t compare to the built-up jewel tones that can be built up with glazes.

All modern chemically-produced pigments are inherently transparent and are well suited to glazing, and it is particularly suited to acrylic paints because the artist must wait for the glaze coat to dry before proceeding with more colour.

Let the process of painting be a dance of adventure and exploration not a journey to a known end.