Monday, March 14, 2011

Glaze question.

Above; From a number of studies by Ingres that show some unfinished portions and give some idea of his working methods.

Stapleton -
Have you posted to the blog any entries relative to Mediums and Glazing techniques?
Your post on Ingres (and master references) remind me that I want to try this technique.
For mediums I have Liquin Original and Res-n-gel, but have in the past only used these to thin my paint or to make a mix go further.
Thank you ..................... Dr. Unctuous Craquelure

Dear Unctuous,

I haven't used Res-n-gel in years but Liquin will work just fine as a glazing medium,most of the makers of mediums make a glazing medium and a varnish, turps and oil medium works well too.

Being an impressionist landscape painter I don't do a lot of glazing, but the general idea is this.

  • Generally you will have at least a drawing on your canvas first and more likely a "dead color" underpainting. That is a nearly complete version of the finished image done in a single earth color or black or umber plus white.
  • Then you are going to color it up with transparent color. The beauty of this is that you can separate the problems of drawing from those of color. You first deal with the drawing in your underpainting and then the color in glazes.
  • Generally you will want to use transparent pigments in your glazes. If they are opaque pigments you are scumbling which often gives a cloudy look.
  • If you are not using something like Liquin or Galkyd you may have long drying times.You may have to lay a glaze and then wait for your painting to dry completely before continuing. Some painters who work in glazes operate at a glacial pace because of their drying times.
  • You are probably going to want to use fewer bristle brushes and more sables and soft synthetics. Fan blenders can be handy for glazing too.
  • I have a book called "How to paint like the Old Masters which lays out in very simple steps some systems of building paintings up in glazes. It is aimed at the weekend warrior or the reader of the popular how-to magazines from your local magazine store, but it does give you enough information to figure out how to make a painting in glazes several different ways.
  • Be careful to keep the pigment loads in your glazes up, better to spread the glaze out well than to make them entirely out of medium.


Stapeliad said...

There is a step-by-step glazing site, which is one methodology. In my limited glazing experience, just with oil and solvent, the layers are dry in a few days, a little longer if it is humid outside.

Deborah Paris said...

As you might know, Stape, glazing is an important part of my indirect painting technique (and Liquin is my medium of choice for that as well as a general painting medium). The method you describe is indeed the classical way to approach indirect painting, but there are many other ways. In my case, I start with a transparent underpainting which includes most of the information that will be contained in the final piece. This is then covered with glazes, and some areas are worked up with opaque or translucent paint. Some areas of the painting remain transparent. Scumbles and more glazing are used in other places, so that a rich,luminous and varied surface is achieved. And yes, it does move at a glacial pace sometimes.

I think glazing is a tool that is underused by direct painters. For example, it can be used to darken or change the temperature of an otherwise well painted passage for example, or help to create a more atmospheric look, or to unify certain areas of a painting.

One important thing to note is that glazing darkens so you have to start out a couple of ticks lighter in value than you plan to end up.

billspaintingmn said...
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Stanka Kordic said...

Deborah, I couldn't have said it better. I too am an indirect painter working in a similar fashion as you. There are so many subtleties that go unappreciated in today's preference for alla prima painting. JWW also employed this technique, as did many others. The only diff for me is that I use M.Graham Walnut oil thinned slightly with OMS.

Stapleton Kearns said...

My experience has been varied. I have seen a glazed painting take much longer. I am spoiled by the quick drying times I get with Liquin.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I was thinking about going into some of that, but I decided I would keep the thing simple. I live near Dennis Sheehan who is an acquaintance and master of that sort of thing.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I use glazes to affect an alteration over a previously painted all prima passage, but that is not the kind of glazing I wanted to point out ass we have been discussing Ingres and I think the reader wanted to work in an Ingres like method.