Painting impasto entails applying thick paint straight onto the painting surface. Impasto techniques contribute towards expressive paintings, for the thick paint adds an element of texture and movement to the painting, which can give satisfaction to the oil painting process.
Impasto Oil Painting
Impasto is an oil painting technique that compliments painting alla prima, which means “in one go.” By applying thick paint straight onto the painting surface, the artist may enjoy using bold and expressive brushstrokes in rendering skies, cornfields or seas. Painting impasto is also ideal for expressing emotions within a painting, as the Expressionists did. Oil painting techniques such as using palette knives and Sgraffito are ideal with impasto.
Cheap Impasto Painting
But using thick oil paint can be costly, for the amount required in producing deep ridges and troughs within the oil paint. In particular, using palette knives or other mark making implements when producing an impasto oil painting will surprise the artist in how much paint will be used up quickly. But impasto medium will make impasto painting cheaper.
What is Impasto Medium?
Using up unwanted pigment on the palette will also come in useful when mixed with other colours to produce neutrals and earths, and will add volume to the paint mix.
Watch my Youtube video on how I painted Cezanne's the Great Bathers in impasto speeded up.
How to Paint Impasto
Applying paint impasto is a great antidote for the artist who finds it hard not to agonise over every detail. By using wide bristle bushes, no thinner than number 6, or other mark making implements and a small art board, the artist will be forced into using bold brush strokes within the painting. Keeping the composition simple will also help. A vivid sunset or rough seas are an ideal subject matter for impasto techniques in oils.
Essential Art Materials for Impasto
Painting impasto is a painting technqiue that in many ways, is the opposite of glazing, or painting in layers. This means that one layer of thick paint is required. In terms of oil painting materials, the following might come in useful:
A Simple Oil Painting Technique
The beginner in oil painting will find impasto painting complements alla prima, which means completing a painting in one go and in one layer. Using thick oil paint will enable the artist to explore mark making in the oil paint and introduce an element of texture and movement into the painting.