How To Glaze With Oil Paint

Old Masters Oil Painting Technique - Glazing With Oil Paint

The 'old masters' oil painting technique means, that you paint an underpainting with just two colours. Then you glaze your colours on top of the underpainting in thin translucent layers. In this blog post, I've written about the painting process of my new painting 'Parrot Garden', and the thoughts behind the painting. I've added affiliate links below to all the supplies I used in this painting.

This underpainting was painted with Raw Umber and Zinc White oil paints on a Fredrix Belgian linen canvas board.

This underpainting was painted with Raw Umber and Zinc White oil paints on a Fredrix Belgian linen canvas board.

Oil Painting Supplies For The Underpainting

My newest oil painting, 'Parrot Garden' was painted by using the old masters oil painting technique. I started by painting an underpainting with just two colours: Raw Umber and Zinc White. It is very important to have a smooth quality surface to paint on when you are using this oil painting technique. I love using Fredrix Belgian linen canvas boards. The canvas boards are super smooth with just the right amount of texture. To thin down the paint and to make it dry faster, I used Winsor&Newton Liquin painting medium.

In this photo I am putting the finishing glazes on 'Parrot Garden'.

In this photo I am putting the finishing glazes on 'Parrot Garden'.

Glazing Medium For Oil Paints

To paint the light translucent colour layers, you need to thin down your paint with an oil painting medium. The glazing medium is made out of three ingredients: Dammar varnishBleached linseed oil and odourless turpenoid. Pour an equal amount of all three mediums into a glass jar to make the glazing medium. Dip your brush into the glazing medium and mix it in with your paint. You can adjust the amount of medium you mix into the paint, depending on how thick you want your paint layer to be.

Here is a video where you can see how I glazed the colour layers on top of the underpainting.


The Inspiration behind 'Parrot Garden'

'Parrot Garden' was inspired by my love for macaw parrots. I imagined a beautiful garden that is filled with the scent of exotic flowers, where the air is fresh and where you can find dew droplets on leaves. 'Parrot Garden' is a place where many new feathered friends can be made.

The background for this piece was inspired by the 17th century Dutch painter Jan van Huysum. When painting 'Parrot Garden', I wanted to re-create the interesting lighting effects and richness of detail that old 17th century still life paintings are known for.

There are 10 limited edition remarked canvas prints available of 'Parrot Garden'.


Thank you for reading!
-Eeva