Friday, February 26, 2021

Glazing in the Pits

A confused Lee Crabb from "Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara" is painted with a technique called “glazing in the pits” to bring out the impasto texture in his sleeves.
Glazing in the pits means dropping pigment into the hollows, nooks, and crannies of your impastos. To do this, build up your impastos either with acrylic modeling paste before you get started with the oil paint. Or you can build up impasto texture with some white oil paint mixed with a little cobalt drier to help it set up in a few days.

When it is completely dry, you can quickly glaze a thin layer of raw or burnt umber thinned down with turpentine. Most of that brown glaze will sink naturally into the pits.

When that layer is dry, you can lift off the hint of the umber layer from the tops by using a smooth cotton rag with just a hint of turpentine or a more gentle paint solvent. This will take away the glaze from the tops but leave it in the pits. But don’t try either of those last steps unless the surface is bone dry.

Glazing in the pits was used by Rembrandt, NC Wyeth, Norman Rockwell, and a lot of other painters. For illustrators, this method allows impastos to survive the flattening effect of copy cameras.

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