Today was our last day working on the Venice Canal painting. In the demonstration I talked about glazing. A glaze is a transparent layer of paint. I used oil paint in my demonstration but glazing can be done with acrylic paint as well. The fast drying time of acrylic does make glazing more challenging in acrylic and requires a little more planning.
There are two ways to create a transparent layer of paint. With any color of paint if you add enough transparent medium you will get a degree of transparency - you are spreading out the particle of pigment which makes it easier to see passed them. More medium means more transparent.
We also need to consider the transparency of the actual pigment, which is the ingredient in paint that gives it color. Some pigments are more transparent than other. Most brands of paint will tell you how transparent a color is directly on the paint tube. A word : transparent, semi-transparent or opaque will be written on the tube or sometimes a graphic like a white square, half-white half-black square and black square.
With transparent pigments you don't need to add any medium to spread the particles of color apart in order to see through them. The particles themselves are transparent. These transparent pigments are especially good for glazing. Ultramarine blue, Indian Yellow and Alizarin Crimson are great transparent glazing colors.
In my demo I used glazing to: 1. adjust hue value and saturation of both large and small areas of the painting. Glazing is good for adjustments - making something a little darker, more red or more saturated etc. You can make these adjustments and still be able to see all the details from previous layers. Generally you don't want to glaze with a lighter value color though - this usually has an undesirable cloudy quality.
When working with acrylic you want to err on the side of being too transparent. You can always add another layer of glaze but you can't take a layer off, once you have too much color on there you have to cover it with opaque paint to fix it.
NEXT WEEK: we will start our next project. I have posted a bunch of images in last weeks post (scroll down below this page). Make sure to submit your vote for you two favorite images. I will print a copy for everyone of the image that gets the most votes.