Impasto, Painting Technique

ImpastoImpasto is one of the painting techniques that has been used even by the great painting masters. The term comes form the Italian word which means "dough" or "mixture". As a painting technique, impasto refers to a method of painting where paint is laid on a canvas very thickly. The paint applied is usually thick enough that the strokes of the brush and painting knife are visible. Some techniques make use of impasto in order to mix paint right on the canvas itself.

In using the impasto technique in painting, oil paint is usually used as it has a slow drying time and is relatively thick, making it ideal for using on canvas without dripping. Acrylic paint is another type of paint that may also be ideal for impasto. Watercolor or tempera may also be used if only a thickening agent is used because of the inherent thinness of these types of media.

There are several reasons why some painters make use of impasto in their artworks. First and foremost, impasto makes light reflect in a particular way unlike the usual style of painting. This allows the artist to incorporate the play of light into an artwork. Impasto can also add some form of added expressiveness to the artwork by letting the viewer notice the speed or the strength applies by the painter on the canvas. In a way, impasto can also allow the artwork be rendered in a somewhat partial three dimensional form.

The impasto technique was used by notable artists throughout history in order to provide a different texture to their paintings. Rembrandt and Titian used this technique in order to have better control of light that affects the whole artwork. This is more notable with these noted masters trying to represent folds in the clothes as well as the edges of jewels as depicted in some of their artworks.

Sometime later, impasto was used together with rich delicate paintings to present various textures. Much later, early Impressionists in France began creating entire canvasses using the impasto style solely on its own. Another noted artist, Vincent Van Gogh also made use of impasto for some of his artworks as a means of expression and aesthetics. Noted Abstract painter Willem De Kooning was also known to extensively use the impasto technique to create some form of "action" into his artworks.

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